Friday, January 27, 2012


Good Morning,
 This falls in the preparedness category.  In the past few years we have told people of the importance of placing an ICE contact (In Case of Emergency) in your cell phone.This number keeps EMTs, or the hospital from trying to guess who to call if you are hurt and can't communicate.  Awesome idea, huh!

Now with the advent of Apple Phones and Androids which are much more than just phones, we have started locking our screens. So how does anyone get to your ICE contact?

By using this app ICE Standard - The Emergency Standard Card App for iPhone.  It works great, it shows up on your lock screen, and granted its not as cute as your puppies for wallpaper...but it might save your life. UPDATE now one for BlackBerry  and ANDROID phones.
The android model is being developed, but for all of us who are Apple owners download this (FREE) and set it up on your phone and more importantly, your kids, spouse/partners/ parents phone.
It could save your life; your puppies probably won't even if they are cute!

disaster dave

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I just spent a week working in our Public Health Emergency Operations Center.  As my first emergency operation in this sphere I got to hear and try to help lots of people who live their everyday lives with some need to support them:
Electricity for: Breathing, special medical beds, wheel chairs, warmth.
Containerized Oxygen for breathing

And while I am sympathetic and want to help, I am struck by how quickly some of these folks got to the point they were calling for help.  And don't get me wrong that is why we in Emergency Management are there to help; but first... So if you are one of these folks, or a care giver or family member, please start now to do a few things.
  1. Have a list at least three deep of multiple phone numbers and address for resupply of the needed item (medication, Oxygen, etc)
  2. Have your city emergency manager's office phone number on hand- they are there to help
  3. Know where your city's community centers are, even if you never go (a place to get warm and plug into electricity during the day)
  4. Make friends in your neighborhood, often the next block could have power when you don't
  5. Have your local Red Cross phone number available to see if they have disaster shelters open
  6. And of course if its life or death call 911
It is ALL about you...making local connections and building a plan


Call if you care II

On January 15th I posted a blog with the title above minus the II. On January 16th we began our slide into the worst weather to hit the Seattle area in while. I'm not prophetic, its just dumb luck on part to be so topical.  So now that we have come out the other side with over 200,000 customers having lost power I think I want to amend my blog. 

While the author of the book is studying disasters of great magnitude, even our little snow/ice/wind storm this last week caused a good bit of suffering.  So not only should you call if you care to save someones life, you can also call to provide warmth and comfort to friends, family and neighbors who may be without power.

Caring should not only extend to life saving but also just to plain helping others. So when the next ____ happens even if its not a killer event, be thoughtful and call if you care.

Disaster_ Dave

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Call if you Care

The book I am currently reading is Thomas Drabek's The Human Side of Disaster.  While he covers lots of stuff you probably won't be interested in and that's okay; that's my job. The author goes into great detail about two things that interested me very much, which means it’s something I think you should know about.

So in this blog post I want you to do something for someone else. Yes that is right, today no talk about what you should plan or pack for a disaster.

Evacuation by invitation - You are watching TV and see that an area where your friends/family live and it looks like they should probably leave because of a developing disaster- call them!  Even if you only have floor space, it could save their lives.  People do not want to evacuate to a Shelter (only a small percentage actually go to a shelter), having someplace to go will make the decision easier for the man in the family.  Which leads us to the next point

Evacuation by Compromise- Women tend to be convinced sooner to evacuate than men are.  But men will evacuate to keep the peace.  The author points out that we make decisions everyday and do things in a relationship because it’s about compromise.

Tie the two together:
" Marge you know we have space for you, come over and lets watch it on TV, if nothing happens you  and the family can go home in the morning"

While you may not want people sleeping on your living room floor you could make the difference in your family/friends survival...

But my family lives on the other coast
So what if they live far away? Call anyway and if it looks bad encourage them to evacuate, sometimes a push from afar makes the difference. "Well if Jethro on the other coast thinks we are in danger..."

disaster dave