Plan For Emergency

Plan For Emergency – Be Prepared

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Although short in length, this AdCouncil video contains an extremely important message…

Three main points are given to help you be prepared:

1) Have an emergency supply kit
2) Have an emergency plan
3) Find out about natural disasters in your area

Emergencies can be life-changing events. Be sure to equip yourself with the information you need in order to be ready should an emergency occur.

How Tornadoes Form

Tornadoes are a natural disaster that should be an essential consideration when making your plan for emergency.  Understanding how a spiral, violent wind forms into a tornado, shattering anything in it’s path, will help you know what you need to be prepared for and what weather conditions precede a tornado.

Tornadoes, also known as twisters, are usually a by-product of strong thunderstorms, although not all thunderstorms have tornadoes.  When a thunderstorm forms, the winds within the thunderstorm increase and change direction, a process called wind shear.  Wind shear creates an invisible horizontal tunnel of air.  If this horizontal tunnel of air, the wind shear, gets caught in the upward energy of the thunderstorm it begins to strengthen and speed up.  This upward energy then tilts this rotating air from horizontal to vertical.  As a result a funnel cloud is produced and it’s the rain and the hail from a thunderstorm that causes the funnel cloud to touch the ground and form a tornado.

In the AccuWeather.com video above, Expert Senior Meteorologist, Henry Margusity, explains that most tornadoes form in the late afternoon or early evening hours during the maximum heating of the day. The most powerful tornadoes measure two miles in width, can reach wind speeds of more than 300 miles per hour, and demolish the ground for dozens of miles.

Emergency Evacuation: You’ve Got 10 Minutes!

Emergency Evacuation:  Imagine the fire department is at your front door telling you that you have 10 minutes to evacuate.

  • Have you talked about making a plan for emergency?
  • What you would do in the event an emergency evacuation is issued where you are?
  • Have you made an evacuation plan?

Watch the video shown below as two families respond to this very message from the fireman ringing their doorbell: “You have 10 minutes to evacuate the house.”  Two families… and two completely different responses.

One family, with two young children, had already talked about what they would do in an emergency evacuation.  Not only had they discussed evacuation procedures and made an emergency plan, but they practiced their evacuation plan.  Their evacuation planning divided up the duties: “Mom” packed a suitcase with clothing, hygiene items, medicine and “comfort items,” while “Dad” was in charge of office and photos.  He quickly disconnected and packed the computer, and also grabbed important personal files along with a pre-packed box of financial records and photos. In less than 10 minutes they were ready to load their emergency items in the car.

We see a completely different scenario with the other family.  This family with three young children and a dog had not previously talked about an emergency plan to evacuate.  Three minutes into the evacuation notice, this family is still trying to figure out what to pack.  As they are getting the children into their car seats, they realize they hadn’t brought any clothing for the children because each parent thought the other had done that.  While the children wait in the car, the husband runs out of the house with his guitar while the wife is running back in after her purse. The last image you see as they’re ready to drive off is the family dog jumping onto mom’s lap in the front seat.

When interviewed later, the unprepared mother in the video states that they were “calamity” and “not prepared,” in contrast to the statement made by the prepared family mom in which she says they were able to evacuate in less than 10 minutes because they had made and practiced their “plan in advance” and they knew what “the basic things are that you need to take.”

Even if you’re not located in an area where you might expect to experience an evacuation, it is wise to plan for it.  Sit down together with your family and ask the question, “What would we take if we only had 10 minutes to leave?”

The Insurance Information Institution provides the following recommendations for emergency evacuation:

Evacuation Tips:

  • Make an evacuation plan ahead of time.
  • Decide who will pack what.
  • Make a list of what you need to pack: medicines, clothes, food & water, etc.
  • Pre-pack financial records: wills, deeds, insurance policies, birth certificates, etc.
  • Also pre-pack any other emergency supply items that are able to be stored for a period of time.
  • Make a list of your home inventory and store this list at a separate location.
  • Have an out of town contact person to help communicate to other loved ones when local phone lines may be out of service or overloaded.

Disaster Preparedness Planning

Disaster preparedness, is crucial. Based on guidelines issued by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), how to be prepared for disaster is presented in a clear and concise way in the above video created by Honeywell International.  An excellent overview of the many different aspects of disaster preparedness is provided in a practical way that can be easily implemented.

The video addresses how crucial it is in today’s times that we prepare our home and family in the event of an unexpected emergency situation.

Discuss possible emergencies with your family or loved ones, such as severe weather, earthquakes, etc.  Members of your household need to know how what to do in the event of an actual emergency.  Each family member should be aware of where to go to find the “safe spot” in your home for the different types of emergencies that may be experienced in your area.

One suggestion made is to have a floor plan of your house drawn out with escape routes for emergencies  where that may be needed.  Be sure to determine a location for family members to have a meeting place during or after an emergency.  For example, a meeting place during a fire emergency should be close to your home.  For other emergency situations, designate a meeting place away from the neighborhood in case it is not possible to return to your home.

Teach children how to dial 911 and be sure to keep a list of emergency phone numbers next to your telephones.  Have your children memorize the phone number of a local friend or family member, as well as someone that lives out of state, who can be called in case you become separated during a disaster.

Each member of your household also needs to know how to turn off the water, gas, or electricity at the main switches.

First aid and CPR classes are a wise investment because in the event of a major disaster emergency medical assistance will most likely be unavailable and you may need to know how to handle an injury.

Summary of FEMA’s Emergency Checklist:

Home Emergency Kit
Keep your disaster supply kit in a backpack or duffle bag to make it easy to carry.

Bottled water (one gallon – per person, per day) – Replace every six months
Non-perishable, packaged or canned food
Non-electric can opener
Change of clothing for each family member (include rain gear & sturdy shoes)
Blankets or sleeping bags
Battery powered radio
Flashlight
Batteries
Credit cards & cash
Extra set of car keys
Special items needed for infants or disabled family members
First aid kit that also contains:
Prescription medications
Extra prescription glasses, if applicable
List of family physicians
List of important family information (i.e. style and serial number of medical devices like a pacemaker)

Car Emergency Kit
A battery powered radio
A flashlight
Extra batteries.
An emergency blanket
A shovel
Booster cables
A fire extinguisher
First Aid Kit
Bottled Water
Non-perishable food
Maps
Flares
Tire repair kit & pump

What To Do If You Need To Evacuate
Locate the nearest emergency shelter by listening to a battery powered radio
Follow instructions given by local officials, such as travel routes, shutting off utilities, etc.
Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes
Bring along your disaster supply kit
If possible, lock your home

If time allows, do the following:
Let your outside contact person know when you evacuated & where you’re going
Make arrangements for your pet, many public shelters do not allow animals

Preparing for disaster is an important safeguard for you and your loved ones. Hopefully you won’t need to use this disaster preparedness information, but when you plan for emergency you will be ready and equipped with the information and supplies that will help keep your family safe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emergency Management with a plan for emergency in the workplace is an essential part of every organization or business.  Each organization is responsible for providing a plan for emergency to develop a safe environment for workers, volunteers, employees, and also the general public.  Having an emergency plan in place, first and foremost can save lives; however, it can also prevent or reduce property loss or damage, and help prevent business failure.

In the above video from WorkSafe BC, Emergency Management consultants advise organizations with the information needed to implement an emergency disaster management plan so they will be prepared for whatever emergency may occur, whether it is a natural disaster, a man made hazard, or an accident.

Getting Started

The first step is to start employees thinking about disaster preparedness in the workplace and to develop an emergency consciousness in the workplace.

Quick Answers In A Crisis

An emergency plan needs to include a guide with quick answers that can be pulled of the shelf in a crisis.  This guide needs to let an individual quickly assess:

What is needed to solve this problem?

How do I do it?

Who do I contact?

What equipment do we have or do I need?

A Flexible Series Of Activities

A disaster and emergency management plan should be a flexible series of activities that employees can perfect through trial runs.  An effective, well managed plan, involves workers as part of the solution which equips people to deal with an unexpected emergency in a controlled manner.

Hazard Analysis

Creating your disaster and emergency management plan begins with determining the types of events that can threaten you.  Are you in a flood zone, an earthquake prone area, tornadoes?  Consider other possible emergencies such as a major break in a water line or gas line.

Hazard Reduction, also known as Mitigation

Once hazards are identified, the next step is to plan a response.  Many community agencies offer guidance on Hazard Reduction and some will conduct a walk through to assess your situation and streamline your program.

Hazard Reduction also includes activities such as backing up copies of vital business records, proper ventilation to remove hazardous vapors, location shutoff valves for gas and water, etc.

Also consider if an evacuation is needed, how will you handle that? If you need sheltering for people, how will you handle that?

Implement a first aid course and CPR training, as well as search and rescue skills.

During The Crisis

This is the time when your Hazard Analysis and Reduction plans are put into action.  Experience has shown that emergency response training of workers not only minimizes injuries, damage, the recovery process, but carries the added benefit of confidence among the workers in knowing management cares about their health and well-being.

Testing The Plan

Testing the plan is a key element to its success.  Begin by providing a simple paper exercise where an emergency scenario is outlined and go over what the employee responsibilities and response should be.  Also conduct a full-blown evacuation drill with all employees involved.  This allows them to become familiar with the procedures laid out in the plan.

Case Study No. 1

The First Interstate Bank of California is an example of how testing an emergency management plan can pay off in an actual emergency.  In 1988 they experienced a catastrophic fire that burned for more than 4 hours, destroyed 5 floors, and caused 50 million dollars worth of damage.  The bank had recently tested their emergency plan just 3 weeks prior to the fire and everyone knew what their role was.  Each business operating in the 62-story building knew what action to take, reducing the chaotic activity of each office environment trying to solve problems without knowing what the big picture was.

Case Study No. 2

Metro-McNair Laboratories in British Columbia has 400 employees with 52 labs and offices.  They work with dangerous chemicals and medical specimens. In designing their fully integrated safety program, they gathered information and advice from community resources like the Workers’ Compensation Board, police, fire, water and other municipal departments.  They created 2 manuals in order to deal with an emergency at both types of locations their business has: a lab location and branch locations.

A Quick Reference Guide is in on hand so employees can quickly look at the table of contents and find the type of emergency that they may be in.  A checklist style action plan is included for any manager or supervisor or person who is first on the scene so they can quickly run through all the things that they are supposed to do, which is often difficult when you’re in the midst of a stressful situation.

Insurance Isn’t Enough

Without an emergency management plan, insurance alone won’t provide complete protection.  While buildings and equipment are costly, people are your mainstay.

A Plan Provides Security

Emergency Management is a crucial part of any business plan.  WorkSafe BC has made this video available, along with nearly 300 other workplace safety videos,  providing excellent guidelines and procedures that will help your organization know what needs to be included in order to establish a quality emergency and disaster management plan.  Emergency Management not only helps protect and reduce the loss of critical assets and help your business with recovery operations after an emergency; but, there is a moral responsibility to develop a safe environment for everyone involved in your organization.

 

Natural disasters in 2010 marked this year as one of the most deadly years in the past twenty years giving us a stark reminder of the importance of planning for emergency.  According to this video by the United Nations, floods, storms, extreme temperatures, and earthquakes were the most common occurrences during the year.

A top UN official in the disaster reduction department stated that better disaster preparedness must be implemented now because climate change is expected to cause weather related disasters to increase in the coming years. Nations must coordinate efforts to be prepared for catastrophic events in order to reduce losses incurred during disasters and to help communities and nations become more resilient.

2010 Natural Disaster Facts

  • 373 natural disasters
  • 296,800 lives lost
  • 225,000 people killed in the Haiti quake (75% of the year’s disaster fatalities)
  • 56,000 fatalities in the Russian summer heatwave (20% of the year’s disaster fatalities)
  • 208 million people directly affected
  • Asia had 4.7% of disaster fatalities
  • Asia nevertheless remains the most prone region to natural disasters
  • 89% of those affected by 2010 disasters were from Asia
  • 5 out of the top 10 most deadly disasters in 2010, occurred in China, Pakistan, & Indonesia
  • 3,000 killed by earthquakes in China
  • 530 killed in Indonesia earthquake in October
  • 1,500 died in China floods
  • 1,765 Chinese fatalities from mudslides, landslides after August’s heavy rains
  • 2,000 people died in massive floods in Pakistan
  • $110 billion total cost related to all 2010 natural disasters. Only 2 other years had a higher total: $139 billion in 2005 (which included hurricanes Katrina, Rita, & Wilma) and $200 billion in 2008 (which included the quake in Sichuan, China).
  • $18 billion losses in China from the summer floods and landslides
  • $9.5 billion cost in Pakistan floods
  • $8 billion damage by Haiti quake
  • $30 billion damages from Chile earthquake, making it the most costly disaster of 2010

The above facts were included in an article by the UN (United Nations) News Centre.   With 373 natural disasters in the year 2010, it was not possible to include information on each of them in this article.  Additional information can be found on other natural disasters that happened in 2010 by checking out MSNBC’s scientific perspective,  or read about the rise of global disaster in 2010 at CBC News where you’ll also find a link to a detailed report on disaster statistics for 2010.

It is vital to plan for emergency now, beginning with your own individual/family’s plan; however, it is also critical for preparation to be made by businesses, schools, churches, communities, and even on the national level.