Tag Archives: Disasters

Free Flood Readiness and Response Exercise

Received from NMDHSEM….

Posted on the National Preparedness Community website

Free Flood Readiness and Response Exercise
Eric Nankervis (Mar 12th 2014 8:30 am)
In conjunction with National Flood Awareness Week, Points of Light is offering a free online flood readiness and response exercise on March 21, 2014 from 6 pm – 12 midnight ET

Resilient Response is intended for group interaction and lasts between two (2) and five (5) hours, depending on participant interaction.  The exercise walks the group though different scenarios related to flooding and challenges the group to explore how they would respond to the situations presented.   Participants may include:

 

  • Neighborhood Associations/Civic Associations
  • Homeowner Associations/Board of Governors
  • Church/Faith-based Communities
  • Neighborhood Watch Volunteers
  • Volunteers in Policing (VIPs)
  • Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
  • Disaster Volunteers/Volunteer Emergency Support Teams (VEST)

 

For more information and to register for this and other Resilient Response exercises, please visit: www.ResilientResponseExercise.org

Here is the direct link to the Information:

http://www.drc-group.com/project/rrce.html

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Home Economics for rainy days, floods and natural disasters

To be honest, I really don’t know what a modern home ec person does nowadays, as opposed to when I was in school (and our school didn’t have a home ec program). I do know that I wish I knew every time something goes past its expiration or I have to dispose of something safely. I look those sorts of things up, of course, and I have this wonderful book about keeping house, called
Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, by Cheryl Mendelsohn. This blog post, though, is the first I’ve seen that links Home Economics to community preparedness. That should be a no-brainer but I see now that I have a whole new area to explore 🙂

Dr Jay Deagon's HomeEcConnect

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Words written and photographs taken by Jay Deagon @HomeEcConnect

For those of you who do not know me personally, I live in South-East Queensland, Australia. For the past few days we have had extensive flooding down majority of the east coast of Australia. Thankfully, me and my family are all safe and no damage has been done (except for our washing line which was bent by a very large tree branch). I am truly grateful; however, many other families and communities have not been so lucky. At this point, I would like to extend a big thank you to all of the emergency workers, electricity workers and our police departments for their efforts in rescues and clean up.

DSC_0167I believe that this natural disaster, and all natural disasters around the world in the past few years, are a timely reminder about the importance of Home Economics knowledge and education. For example:

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Have you backed up your data?

The following is from FEMA. Don’t think for a minute that this is only a business concern. Do you do online banking? Pay bills online? How about e-mailing your attorney? Don’t put yourself at risk – invest in a backup drive and consider an online backup system like Carbonite, as well.

Back It Up

Businesses create and manage a large amount of data and electronic information. Some of that data is essential to daily operations and business survival. Vital information can be lost due to hacking, human error or hardware failure resulting in significant business disruption. Would you know what to do if your information technology stopped working? This is when having a plan for data backup and recovery will come in handy. To develop your data backup plan, you should:

  • Identify what data to backup;
  • Implement hardware and software procedures;
  • Schedule and conduct backups; and
  • Periodically check data to ensure it has been accurately backed up.

Data backup and recovery is an integral part of the business continuity plan for IT disaster preparedness. Data on network servers, wireless devices, laptop and desktop computers should be backed up along with hard copy records and other information. Tapes, cartridges and large capacity USB drives with integrated data backup software are effective means for business backup.

Taking steps to secure your business’ vital information is also a great way to support the America’s PrepareAthon! campaign to increase community resilience in times of disaster.  Follow @PrepareAthon on Twitter for all things disaster preparedness!

 

Preparing others financially for a major disaster

OK, I’ll admit that if the zombie apocalypse happens, we may not be able to get to our bank accounts, anyway (and, no, we won’t go there about money in the freezer). Most disasters, however, are well-addressed by normal preparedness plans. If you help others with financial preparedness, this University of Minnesota offering may be just the ticket:

via Ready.gov….

FREE DISASTER FINANCIAL RECOVERY WEBINARS
Natural disasters wreak havoc on families in more ways than one. It takes time for survivors to recover emotionally and financially. This webinar series will help professionals assist individuals and families with disaster financial recovery including:

  • Becoming familiar with the “Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit”;
  • Identifying key strategies and resources to help with financial recovery;
  • Determining family financial picture; and
  • Guiding families as they make financial decisions.

The hour-long webinars are held once a month November 26 – March 18 at 2pm CDT.

Readiness for Indian Country

From FEMA:

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November is National Native American Heritage Month! Make sure to join our State/Local/Tribal/Territorial community of practice and check out the introductions  and relevant discussions.

Also visit Ready Indian Country for emergency preparedness resources. You’ll find tips on readiness planning, special considerations, local plans, and regional materials.

Emergency Planning for Those With Specific Functional Needs

From FEMA:

When making emergency plans, remember that each person’s needs and abilities are unique.  If you or someone you know has access or functional needs, additional steps should be taken to stay safe, healthy, mobile and independent during a disaster. Individuals with access and functional needs include:

Those who are hard of hearing, of limited sight or with limited English proficiency;

  • Single parents;
  • People without vehicles; and
  • People with special dietary needs.

Find out about assistance programs that may be available in your community and register in advance with your local office of emergency services, non-profits groups and health departments.

Stay mobile and independent by including items in your disaster kit that meet your needs such as:

  • Medical prescriptions;
  • Extra eyeglasses and hearing aids;
  • Written descriptions of service needs; and
  • Batteries and chargers for assistance devices.

More ways to plan for those with access and functional needs is available in the “Prepare For Emergencies Now, Information For People With Disabilities” guide.

New FEMA Tools for Disaster Preparedness

From FEMA:

FEMA has released several new tools you can use for disaster preparedness.

The FEMA smartphone app has been updated with a new feature called Disaster Reporter available for Android users. The Disaster Reporter lets users share disaster-related information for events occurring within the United States, allowing citizens, first responders and others to view and contribute information on a publicly accessible map.

Don’t have the FEMA App? Download it for Android, iPhone or Blackberry today!

The 2013 National Preparedness Month toolkit is also now available. It includes suggestions for events and tools and resources to support outreach efforts on a community level.

Protecting Your Home During a Wildfire

From the FEMA NPM Team:

Wildfires can spread rapidly, with little-to-no warning, often going unnoticed until it is too late. These wildfires, commonly started by human error, quickly ignite and burn through tinder-dry bushes and trees, and unfortunately spread to nearby homes as well.

If you live in a fire-prone area there are various ways that you can help reduce the chance for severe damage to your home and property, by designing and landscaping your home with wildfire safety in mind; selecting materials and plants that can help contain a fire rather than fuel it.

For home design and construction:

  • Use fire-resistant or noncombustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling.
  • Treat wood or combustible material used in roofs, siding, decking, or trim with fire-retardant chemicals evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory.
  • Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees around your property such as hardwoods, and avoid more flammable pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.

For home maintenance and safety:

  • Regularly clean your roof and gutters to remove any debris;
  • Install a fire alarm on every floor in your home and test monthly;
  • Have a garden hose long enough to reach your home and any other structures on the property;
  • Ask the power company to remove any branches that are near or on the power lines; and
  • Mow your grass regularly.

A great resource for proper home and property fire prevention planning is www.firewise.org. The site contains a variety of fire safety and prevention  information designed for residents, property owners, fire departments, community planners, builders, public policy officials, water authorities and architects. To learn about Firewise’s upcoming Wildfire Education conference click here.

Should you be directed to evacuate your home due to a wildfire, follow the instructions of local officials, and be sure to take your battery operated radio, disaster preparedness kit and lock the door behind you when evacuating. If you have time to prepare the home before leaving, visit the U.S. Fire Administration website for additional tips.

How To: Create a Facebook Interest List

Note: This is not just for SMEM. A journalist friend was about to “friend” a lot of politicians or Like their Facebook pages because it’s coming close to some elections. She apologized to those of us who are friends and I suggested to her that this might be a better route, so she doesn’t have the discomfort of “Liking” being interpreted as support.

An interest list is a list of Facebook pages that you compile, using your Facebook profile, to maintain awareness of a particular topic. Note that you cannot currently create an interest list with a Facebook page. So, if you’re planning on creating a list for monitoring a topic or for networking with similar groups to your own, you must create the list from your profile and make it publicly available, if others will be using it to monitor/network.

Why would I want to create an interest list? Can’t I just “like” all the pages I want? Well, of course you can! The disadvantage of that approach, however, is that your topic-related pages will be mixed in with all your personal friends’ updates and you may miss something important. If you create a list, you can click on the topic header and read through only the posts for the emergency at hand.

How do I create one of my very own (or two or three)?

  • Log in to your Facebook account.

  • Look at the left-hand side of the Home page (where your newsfeed is) and scroll down until you see a menu header that says Interests. It will look something like this:

Interest List Option

  • Click on the menu item that says Add Interests
  • Once you click there, you have the opportunity to look for existing lists. You do that by typing into the “Search for lists” box
  • Then click the Follow button if you find one you like. Of course, you can follow as many as you want.

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You can (and should) also create new lists.

  • First click the + Create List button (see previous image)
  • You will be shown a set of pages that you can add to this new list

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  • To add one or more items, click on the image (s) and a check mark  will show (you can toggle it back off to deselect)

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Hat tip ^ to my friends at 30Days, 30Ways, who are about to start their annual preparedness game. Do give them a follow and play along too or be a sponsor!

  • You can also add friends or profiles of people you follow
  • Once you’ve selected some things to add, click Next and it will ask you for a name for the list and whether you want to make it available publicly, to your friends, or private.

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  • Once you have created a list, you can add pages as you find them. You don’t even have to Like the pages. If you add a page to your interest list, it will show up in the list but not individually.
  • Your list will always be available in the left-hand menu, where you started building it and you’ll get a consolidated post daily, with a couple of highlighted items. As, you can imagine, if you’ve liked 50 accounts, this is a much better way to go.

I hope you’ll make your lists public and if you have some already or make a few after reading this, feel free to share the link(s) in the comments.

Stuff in the news 6/30/2013 – Wildfires

Fire Danger Level Meme

“…the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is working on a kinder and gentler approach. Though some people are calling it “Whopper Junior,” the BLM pointedly is not. In a preliminary planning document released this month, the BLM’s state director, Jerome E. Perez, said the new approach will be based on what the public wants, science, the law and on the goals of healthy forests, not board feet of timber.”