Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What about your parents (grand parents)

I recently came across this article and thought that it would be worth a read.  Now first I want to point out that there are many systemic changes going on both in the Red Cross and your local government to answer this question, but the question still stands. 
Who will care for your elders in a disaster? What will they do if their power is out for a few days and it is too hot or too cold? How will they cook for themselves, or take care of themselves? What if their drop in caregiver can't make it to check up on them? What if they don't want to go to the shelter?

Give some thought to how you will care for them? From a distance? They need a plan too!
Get involved locally and find out how you can help locally.

Disaster Dave

Friday, November 25, 2011

Do we have a culture of survival in America?

I watched an online story of survival of one region of Japan during the Tsunami, and it made me really stop and think. (If you have the time, please watch the film; it has many points that will help you) Do we have a culture of survival?
A recent story of people at a concert in Indiana who watched a storm approach and did not leave suggests maybe not.
As pointed out in the film, in Japan, their sense of family is so strong; families die together because they are so worried they put their lives and their family’s lives in danger.  However, in one region the schools taught a different way of surviving a Tsunami called “Tendenko”.  A code that says the highest order is to think for yourself and survive so you can help.
If we do not survive who will care of our family members? Who will help them recover and move forward?
Do you have a muster point for your family to meet at after a disaster? Do you have a secondary? Do you have a communications plan? If the phones do not work, what is the next communications method? If that doesn’t work, then what?
·         Plan for each member of your family to know the plan
·         Plan for each member of your family to think for themselves and make decisions
·         Plan a communications method that doesn’t depend on your current phone
·         Plan to meet somewhere (you do it when you go to the mall J)
·         Plan for a second meeting place
Plan to survive!

Disaster Dave

The Name of the Game

It is the holiday weekend, a time I usually take to reflect on the things I do.  I have been looking at my blog to see how I am doing in my mission to simplify and get people to take steps to survive the next disaster.  I seem to be fairly heavy in preparedness tags...
As I think through the steps we use in Emergency Management (Preparedness, Response, Recovery, Mitigation) it is apparent to me as an individual you have less to do during the last three steps; not that you have nothing to contribute but your power is in Preparedness.
Your biggest impact in helping your family and community make it through a disaster is by making sure you are prepared! While I want you think about the other steps your government takes during a disaster, I need to continue to guide you through becoming more prepared for the hazards you may encounter.
So I think I' am writing about the right things to guide you. Happy holiday- lets get prepared one step at a time.
Disaster dave

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

“We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.” -Winston Churchill

Why wait for for suffering to learn a lesson we can see before it happens?   Why wait?
You know your car will quit running without gas; so you put gas in it.
So if we know that when it rains/snow/blows the power may go out what have you done to plan for that?
  • Bought a generator? (and understand how to operate it safely)
  • Identified "Day places" to go to warm up? Library, community centers,malls, etc.
  • Extra Blankets?
  • Have a gas fire place?
  • A friend or hotel that has power?
So that's an easy "disaster" to deal with, do the work. Then look at something more serious that may affect your family.

Disaster Dave

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Technology marches on!

Recently I was issued a new cell phone at work and after learning the basics, I just began using it. One feature I have learned and used over the years is texting. I have answered a few texts on the new glass phone and during the Emergency Managers Conference I was attending, I turned on the phone to send a text and man was I stumped; where was it?
So I did what any 50 year old would do I found a 20 something and had them help me find the text program (buried with 100 other program preloaded on my phone.  I put it on my “desktop” and now I can text.
The lesson, getting a new phone every couple of years, old habits don’t transfer to the new phone; take the time to find the program and test it.
While we are on the subject…texting that is; learning to text, during a disaster it will get through when a phone might not.

Disaster Dave

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Winterize now

In Seattle we have been blessed with a week of 50-60 degree days this week, and thoughts of winter were far away; until last night. Dark clouds, wind and sleet fell in West Seattle right at rush hour.  This heralds that winter in the northwest has arrived. Which begs the question is your car ready for winter?
Now I am lucky that during a winter storm even in the worst circumstances I could walk home from work in a couple of hours , but my wife is another story, often she is as far away as 40 miles from home. And in the Northwest that might as well be 1,000 miles during snow. So we make sure she is prepared for anything
 Things you need in your car to take care of you:
Extra clothes( jeans, sweatshirt or fleece, socks)
First Aid kit
Flares or reflector triangles
Shoes to walk in the snow in (high heels not so much)
Charger for your phone
Small shovel like an entrenching tool to move snow (beats using your hands) 
Snacks/bottled water
Cash (keep it in an envelope in the spare tire well)
Friends phone numbers who may live near your route of travel (beats sleeping in your car)
A couple gallon bags of sand or cat litter (to help you gain traction)

Did I forget anything?
Disaster Dave