Saturday, September 27, 2008

More Prep Conference Notes

Here are some of my notes from a recent preparedness conference. Although some items may pertain only to larger organizations and institutions, many will be able to be modified for use in your own home or small office:
  • Know what your generators power. In one large facility during a disaster, their generators seemed to power some unneeded things while some important things weren't connected to the generator. It's good to know this and make needed changes before the winter storm season starts.
  • You need a lock down procedure even if your facility is usually open 24/7 and the doors have never been locked before.
  • It is important to have a designated area for cell phone charging with the ability to charge many cell phones at once. Having an assortment of cell phone chargers available is also important because employees usually leave their cell chargers at home.
  • In a storm, especially big windstorms where the trees are toppling, stay inside. If you aren't responding to a life or death emergency, don't risk having a tree fall on your head by going out while the storm is still in progress.
  • Have current maps of your area which include DNR and logging roads. If bridges go down or roads are closed, having maps to plan your escape via little used roads can be useful.
  • When evacuating, take a chainsaw, bolt cutters, gloves, goggles, a tow rope or chain, and other items that can help you clear a path if the roads are blocked.
  • Have a disaster recovery directory. When the dust has settled, you don't want to have to hunt down a phone book and try to figure out who to call. Make up a directory that includes contact information to get your utilities restored, supplies delivered, employees back to work, non-urgent medical assistance, construction people to help (plumbers, electricians), etc.
  • If you work where your uniform is supplied or you are an employer that supplies uniforms and employees will be required to work during a disaster (utility people, medical people, police people, etc), make sure there are plenty of uniforms in reserve. People will want to change every so often and laundry services may not be available.
  • The most urgently needed items during a disaster: fuel, medications, water, food, tarps and ropes.
  • People need BOBs with them at any location they will be during a disaster (at home, at work, in a shelter, etc). this way they will be self sufficient and have all of the items (including food and water) that they will need to take care of themselves until the disaster has passed. This also takes the pressure off of family members, employers, and shelter staffers to provide the basics (hygiene items, clothing, etc) which may or may not be available.

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