Plan for the “Extreme Case” – Prior to a Hurricane

Emergency checklist
As Hurricane Irma approaches, we thought we would share some smart hurricane
preparation tips. The key is to be prepared, have a plan, know where to go and try
not to freak out. Stay calm and plan for the worse case scenario.

1. For a big storm like Irma, you need enough water to drink for 7 days.
The water does NOT have to be bottled. You can simply buy water containers
and fill them with tap water.

2. Buy plastic sheeting and duct tape. Use the plastic sheeting to line the
tub. Then you can fill your tub with water without it leaking out. You’ll
use this to flush the toilet and for basic cleaning if the water goes out.

3. Have enough food on hand to eat for 7 days – food bars and other
packaged food is good.

4. Buy a large number of Ziploc-like plastic bags – large and small. You’ll
use them to protect papers and other valuables AND you’ll fill them 3/4
full of water and stuff the freezer full. Do that by midweek to be sure
they are frozen when/if the power goes out over the weekend. It will keep
the refrigerator colder. Do NOT set your fridge on the lowest setting.

5. Get a portable radio that receives AM and FM. NOAA radio is good, but
doesn’t get you information on evacuations and other instructions. Get
batteries.

6. Get LED flashlights and/or lanterns. They run forever on fewer
batteries. But you still need plenty of extra batteries.

7. Get large plastic boxes. If you put your valuables, photos, and papers
in plastic bags inside the boxes, they will likely be okay. Put the bins in
a high place, second floor, or safe room if you don’t plan on taking them
with you.

8. Do your laundry this week! Lol

9. Start running your ice makers now and bagging the ice in freezer bags.
Fill as much space in between your freezer items with these bags as you can.

10. Freeze regular tap water for pets, cleaning or drinking in
Tupperware plastic-type containers. REMEMBER to leave a small bit of space between
the top of the water & the lids so the ice expands but doesn’t crack the
container.

11. Start using up your perishables to make more room for ice in the
freezer.

12. Fill up all vehicles with gasoline, check tires & oil.

13. Get your cash from ATM, at least enough for 7-days to get you through tolls and gas out of  town. Call your bank if you plan on leaving the state so they don’t freeze
your card for out-of-area “suspicious” transactions.

14. Screenshot all of your important docs & send to your email. Take
originals in sealed bags or plastic bins.

15. Prepare pet / livestock food & supplies. Vet records in case you need
to shelter then at a storm-safe facility.

16. Make evacuation plans and share with family members so they know where
you’re headed.

17. SECURE ALL FIREARMS & AMMUNITION PROPERLY.

18. Gather old rags & beach towels for use on your windowsills. Even with the best windows & shutters, water seeping from the wind pressure happens. A few damp towels
is better than soaked drywall or floors!

19. Shutter windows and doors and bring everything outside into your garage 
or house NOW. Do not wait until the day before. Better to get done early
and relax than wait until it’s too late, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE MANDATORY
PERSONNEL (hospital employee or first responder).

20. If you don’t already have your hurricane supplies get them now. Shelves are already empty in most places.

Although these are great tips, please rely on official
preparation, evacuation and emergency information available at the National
Hurricane Center and Ready.gov
<https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2FReady.gov%2F&h=ATMT9P9j1MvB9pcIiqMI5TZFuowiDiazB7MNymZrpFM8ZnfhD9daQNLPlLL9WM0hdIESr07SwIBroDVHDglqdvZfWjGgWYfnHsB5PwOx-j4X9mwrfEXQBHWP8vvI3upjHkfqdjF9g1AfjQTUCovBjIhVvXf9KhQ6vflGW2GtKMoKGXX-Y7dW0UvFCSeKgSEoMU3Rsi2Ab5G5didxdgNmPqgvGy-0V4NBw_HxgM75l2QYmSbUiEBJMKK6y7aNcH41ZgkfBjo-8h12h8mesR9U-PsiQvq4TArNQ5JznLA2EymydIwY0GM>

Hurricanes and Flooding – Planning for Your Evacuation

Animated Don't Panic

At this writing none of us know what the landfall will be of the latest Hurricane churning the Atlantic known as Irma. For those of you contemplating evacuation in advance of a mandatory “go” let’s consider the key things we advise our clients when doing their personal planning.

Using D.E.P.A.R.T as your memorable acronym consider:

DESTINATION: Where will you go and how long under normal driving conditions will it take for you to get there? Are they accommodations pet friendly? Determine well in advance where you will go (hotel, friends or relative’s house, or RV Park, if you are driving or have a camper or RV) and when you will leave to get there. Make your reservations as soon as the hurricane track shows possible tracking through your home area and make them at least one hour (60-miles or so) inland from the possible landfall. Too often hotels in the landfall cone will close their doors and may leave you stranded. Don’t run this risk.  Don’t wait until the last minute to leave and get caught up in the mass evacuation. Simply, pack and leave well in advance and carefully drive to your accommodations.

EQUIPMENT: Our friend Ann Knipe always kept a box of her valuables packed and ready to go into the trunk of her car.  These included her valuable photos and documents (copies of the home owner’s and automobile insurance, leases, deeds, titles to the vehicles, birth certificates, passports, copies of your credit cards, utility bills and the telephone numbers of those companies, a key contact list to include your insurance agent, your doctor, lawyer, etc. etc. and most important copies of your driver’s license). The originals of many of these documents should be in the safety deposit box at your bank. Put all these valuables in a plastic water proof zip lock bag. Also, in another box pack those items you will need to use when cleaning up and making repairs to your home on your return. This can include paper and cloth towels, hand sanitizers, handy wipes, cleaning supplies, etc. Take the time to think through what you must have to return to your home and get back to a resemblance of normality.

PEOPLE AND PETS:  Who will be going with you? Do they need extra assistance or time to prepare to go with you? Are there people you need to check on before departing? Do you have carriers and leashes for your pets? Do you have plenty of extra water and pet food, protein snacks, medicines, bowls and cups?

ATLAS:  A good old fashioned Atlas of maps is essential. We have come to depend on our telephone GPS however during an evacuation cell lines may be down or overwhelmed and there are simply areas where you will not have service. Consider all the alternatives on how to get to your destination in advance and using your Atlas write out the routes in order. You may even choose to highlight the route in your Atlas. Plan your route according to your medical and dietary needs. Remember you are planning to leave in ample time to use any of these routes however when the evacuation is sudden the main route will be congested. Use your alternative.

RETURN READINESS: To get back into the area you will need your ID to prove you are a resident. This can be done with a driver’s license with your permanent address or a utility or credit card bill in your name with the permanent address on it. Before returning load up with groceries and cleaning supplies that will complement what you have already packed such as mops and brooms, etc. When returning gas up often returning with a tank of gas. Local supplies and services will be limited.

TRANSPORTATION: Have all systems on your car, truck or RV checked immediately. Get any repairs or maintenance done on your primary vehicle. Keep your gas tank full. When you decide to leave, with these preparations you will be ready.

Prepare now and evacuate orderly or preferably in advance of the mandatory “go” and stay safe and aware out there.

Golden Eagle Award – Redwood City Schools Presents New Safety Plan

 

  

 We are pleased to give a “Golden Eagle Award” of excellence to the Redwood City schools in California who have announced a new safety plan to prevent and react to campus violence in the wake of several recent shootings throughout the county, according to the city’s police and fire departments.

The Redwood City Police Department actually began devising the new safety strategy several weeks prior to the string of violence and its need solidified even more greatly after, according to the announcement. 

The plan is a multi-phased approach that includes collaborative training of schools staff and a large-scale preparedness exercise involving the departments, school staff and other involved agencies. No specific date for the exercise has been announced but officials expect to do so within the year.

The safety plan’s other components include:

• On-site safety lectures to school staff by experts on how to immediately respond to campus threats while awaiting police response;

• A drill by school staff of those lessons;

• Refining existing emergency response contingency plans and training levels to boost effective response;

• Develop synchronized response plans.

The Redwood City Police Department is also focusing on protection of middle and elementary school students — the youngest and most defenseless children, according to the announcement — by reviewing security plans and making recommendations at all school sites, having day shift patrol officers meet with the administrators of each school within their beats to establish good working relationships, conducting walk-throughs of each school to  familiarize themselves with the layout and surrounding areas and, when work permits, stop by each elementary school in their beats at least once during each school day. 

The plan is in keeping with the advice we share with our clients at L. Darryl ARMSTRONG and Associates Behavioral Public Relations LLC:

1. The importance of being inclusive and having all the stakeholders and impacted parties involved in the planning process on the front-end so they have the necessary buy-in on the back end.

2. The need to collaborate – co-labor – instead of just cooperating – “playing nice”. Collaboration requires all parties to stay involved until the best plan possible can be prepared and agreed upon.

3. Announcing the plan to the community, students, staff and all interested stakeholders was appropriately accomplished and helps the community understand the commitments the college has to its students, faculty and staff.

4. Finally, the announcement states a “drill” will be conducted and we would encourage the developers of the plan to hold regular table-top exercises (drills) using all the key principles outlined in the development and implementation of table-top exercises, which can be found in our manual Campus Tabletop Exercises 2013 – Tools, Tips and Techniques available at Paper-Clip.com. Developers and interested parties also can obtain free checklists at our website: ldarrylarmstrong.com