Sunday, October 30, 2011

Recovery...Do it now!

We often think of Recovery as something that comes AFTER!
But in order to recovery quickly and effectively, you need to do some planning during  your preparedness phase.
I have written in other blog posts about getting your password and important documents in the "cloud" or on a jump drive (secured with a password).  Because when its time to file the paperwork, does your spouse know your Social Security Number? Do you know your account numbers for banks, insurance, car's VIN#?
Think of all the things you can easily put your hands on by walking to your filing cabinet...What if its under the pile of rubble that was your home (from a quake, tornado or fire) you need to have all this info somewhere safe.
This weekend pull out an excel sheet and start listing all of the things you may need to file for help with the federal government, get it written down and then protect it with a password. Then put copies in several places. A jump drive in your car or at work. In the cloud by emailing it your Yahoo/Gmail/Hot mail account. And tell your better half the password too.
To find out what you need check out

Lets get ready to recover
disaster dave

Friday, October 28, 2011


I work in a preparedness section for Public Health and our manager periodically calls a meeting and hands out a scenario with multiple problems and has us talk through what we have in the way of being prepared for the scripted disaster.  All in a very low stress way.  He knows we spend a lot of time worrying about other people, and he wants to make sure we focus on our families.  Pretty cool.
Well this week he had one of those sessions and the subject of having a land-line phone in the house came up.
The reason to have one is simple. If you have an old fashion phone that plugs into the wall with out plugging into the power it will probably work when the power goes out and cell towers are down.  When the phone company runs that line into your house it carries its own power to run the phone.
When we went around the table it seemed that fewer than half of our section had land-line phones

A survey released in June by the FCC shows that 51% of Americans aged 25-29 do not own a land-line phone, I am sure the numbers for my age group are lower, but all are increasing as cells and Internet phones get more powerful.

So whats my point? Before you cut off that lifeline consider going to the cheapest plan and keeping it, it might be worth it for that one call for help during a moment when cells are down.

Something to think about
Disaster Dave

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Three Deep-updated

Yesterday I was talking with a friend/coworker about the windstorm in 06 here in the northwest (10's of thousands without power for days in 30 degree weather).  She was talking about where she and her husband got dry ice to protect the food in her freezer, and someone else at the table said "Fred Meyers has dry ice too." My friend said "yes but they have a big sign and will be out in no time."
This made me think about one of the planning assumptions we used at the Red Cross and that was "All suppliers should be three deep."
You too should be Three Deep for your supplies in a disaster. I got a couple of responses to this so am updating to make it clear you should have three suppliers for each category.
  • Where do you get your propane for cooking outdoors
  • Dry Ice for your freezer?
  • Gas for your car? 
  • Places to fill your subscriptions?
  • Hotels that allow pets?
  • Emergency care?
  • Veterinarian?
Consider looking in a circle of a couple of miles around you for suppliers who offer the above services.  
So your task today while you are watching your favorite football team win/lose is to search the Internet and find three deep in these areas and others that are important to you.
This is a list that will not only serve you in a disaster, but is also useful in everyday life.

Start Searching
Disaster Dave

Thanks for the inspiration Fran

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Do a little everyday to make you and your family more resilient

 In a recent report by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) this has been a record year for disasters, of course we all know that from the news.While you may not have been directly affected by one of the 86 declared disasters, it doesn't mean you should relax.
As the article points out, pretty much wherever you live you are in danger from some type of natural disaster.  The website in the link below is very informative for the homeowner, halfway down the page is a search engine, put in your zip-code and it pulls up the natural disasters you should focus on.  Granted it's a pretty wide ranging list but still useful (my zip-code lists wildfires, not likely as I live in the city).
Think about what you can easily prepare for and then work your way to the harder issues.

Record # of Disasters in 2011

Do a little everyday to make you and your family more resilient


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Escape Muscles II

Here in Seattle we are getting ready to watch the Viaduct begin to be taken down.  While this is great because it is a danger in a quake, it will cause traffic problems.  So a few weeks ago I talked about escape muscles.  And I am working on them, but these escape muscles are to escape the city.
If it snows, its a 6 mile walk home, better than sitting on a bus overnight
During the viaduct take down the commute home will be terrible as cars and my bus snake through the city.  So I am taking the water taxi across the bay to West Seattle and walking two miles home.  To prepare my "escape muscles" I have been walking/running (mostly walking) 6 miles on Sundays and the 2 miles from the West Seattle Ferry dock at least twice per week.
What are you doing to prepare for your "escape"?
This is a great FREE application I am using

Disaster Dave

Building a Resilient Organizational Culture at Home

Dr Everly is someone I am familiar with, he instructs at FEMA courses and is a thought leader in disaster stress, while this article is about corporate culture, there is much to take from it for the individual.  I want to focus on one of his thoughts for you to consider:  people learn while observing others.
Have we as individuals learned anything form watching the events of the last year, with major quakes in Haiti, New Zealand and Japan?  Have we made ourselves any more resilient? 
Well a recent (2009) survey by FEMA and the Citizen Corps shows that 57% of people surveyed have supplies set aside for a disaster! That means only 43% have not done anything.  Okay that means we are moving to a positive # of people ready.
42% said they would need help to evacuate or move to a shelter and 61% said they expected Police & Fire to help in the first 72 hours. 
Some positive some negative from the survey.  But one thing stands out; if 57% have supplies why do 61% say they expect the first responders to be there?  Maybe part of the 57% don't have faith in their supplies?  FEMA/Citizen Corps Survey

There are some interesting findings for those of us in Emergency Management and for those of us who will be waiting on the first responders who may not be at your door after a disaster.

Check your supplies
Disaster Dave

Sunday, October 2, 2011


  When we as homeowners or renters plan for disaster we can't afford to plan for the easy.  Planning for the small disaster will not protect your family in a major disaster; but planning for the big one (your local big one) will protect you from the small ones.  Having seven days of food and water will help get you through a hurricane landfall, a tornado strike on your community or the big quake we look at on the west coast. It will also help you during a 1 day power outage.
Just do a little everyday. Plan, store, think about how you will react.  But above all PLAN FOR THE BIG ONE

Disaster Dave

Think big