Saturday, June 25, 2011


Today I rode the ferry to South Worth from West Seattle and on the crossing I began to think of preparedness - Now!  I am a big proponent of all of us taking personal responsibility for being prepared.  But is there a time when we shouldn't be prepared?  Do you think the ferry service would be happy if I tried to board with a life vest on? What about trying to get on a plane with my own oxygen and or parachute?
So there are times when we have to depend on the government or a carrier to protect us.  But what is our responsibility?
  1. Make sure we are prepared for interruptions in travel (snowed into an airport) 
  2. We have some way to contact loved ones
  3. Leave an itinerary
  4. Make sure we are using a safe travel carrier
Some things we can't control, so control the things we can

Disaster Dave

Friday, June 24, 2011


For the Government Mitigation can be many things, from buying back land to levees and other activities.  For you no levee building!
You do need to be involved in your own mitigation for your disaster risks. And we’ll come back to this from time to time. But for now think how can you lessen your chance of becoming affected by a hazard.
Many of us live in areas of great beauty, and in most cases, that means some sort of hazard.  Do I live in a hazard area? Yes. Seattle is in a seismic area. We have floods, and winter storms.  I do not live in a flood plain (and I live on the 4th floor). I have mitigated what I can for earthquakes- live on solid ground, not too high, things tied down.
Do you live in a seismic area? If yes-
·         Is your heavy furniture bolted to the wall?
·         Catches on cabinets to keep doors closed?
·         No heavy things over your bed?
·         Is your hot water heater strapped to the wall?
Do you live in a flood area? If yes-
·         Is your home raised?
·         If you can’t keep the water out, can you help it pass through quickly?
·         Can you raise your valuables to a higher floor?

Is your hazard notice or no notice? That will make a difference as you move forward. Some things to think about...More to come

Disaster Dave

Monday, June 20, 2011


So lets get something out in the open!  Do you know why all the messaging is for three days, prepare, etc???? Because we in Emergency Management know that in a big disaster we can't be everywhere. There are not enough first responders in a big disaster.

Well that's what FEMA is for, right?  See any pictures of FEMA folks doing rescues?  Nope. They won't be here for two to three days in force. What you see is folks already there, neighbors, coworkers,etc.  FEMA is about recovery.

 Not trying to make you afraid or to rush out and call your councilperson, but I want to make sure we are all at the same point.  So what should you do next? Follow this Blog and others. Pay attention to what is going on in your community & take responsibility to prepare you, your family, neighbors, pets and business.

Disaster Dave

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Start Here

Okay don't get worried, I am not going to ask you to spend 300 bucks on something you may never need; but I am going to suggest (strongly at times) that you take steps toward protecting yourself, your family, pets and employees.

The Emergency Management community things of a disaster in 4 steps:
Mitigation: how can you set yourself up so the disaster will have less impact on you
Preparedness: How will you respond when it happens (hint: if you do some mitigation this step may not be so difficult).
Response: What do you do (culmination of the above two steps) hunker down, help others or run
Recovery: How do you get your life back to "normal" (more on normal later)
 I will try to focus on each of these steps as we discuss hazards.  Why? We need to have a common language as we work through this.  Also if you reach out to Your local emergency management for help and to ask questions, you gain credibility if you speak their language :)

Where to Start

 In a recent survey 30% of Americans said they hadn't prepared because they expected first responders to save them.  And 38% said they found it hard to get information.

So second one first - really?  There are a lot of websites and training out there to help you prepare.  But I do think that the fact that there is so much that it all becomes "noise".  So what to do? We will dissect that question over the next few weeks.
First question last- Are you kidding! Have you seen your governments (city, county, state) budget in this economy.  There are so few first responders and they will not be answering your phone calls or knocking on your door.
You have to take charge and get yourself ready, whether  for a ______(fill in your hazard) or a strike by grocery workers, truck drivers, gas prices hitting 7 bucks, or a good old snow storm.

I want to dissect the information and help you help yourself.  After all you know who you can count on... you!
Right ?

Disaster Dave