Look at three sides

In the fire service officers like to see three sides of a building when they pull up on scene.  By seeing three sides of a building hey get a better picture (or understanding) of the situation.

Lets grab our emergency plans and look at what I believe are the three biggest factors of the plan.  And lets see if our plans have addressed them.  The first factor is that of who are you going to call.  We are social people and like to have regular contact with people – especially those that we hold dear.  Having a list with important and up to date contact information is an essential element of a plan.

The second is what is called a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).  This is the plan for leaving your normal living conditions and going some place.  This plan should cover your ability to carry on with “normal” activities.  The closer to normal activities this plan covers, the better it will be.

The third factor is the special needs we all have.  There are a number of special needs we can have.  Some of them are; child, elderly adults, pets, medical needs, etc.  By address these needs in the planning process they can be better manged during an event.

So today we saw three sides to our plan.  If you have addressed these issues – great your in a good position to handle the situation that may occur.

Spring is in the air.

Across the US the last of winter storms are giving us a little more moisture.  In many areas this years water numbers do not look all that fantastic.  Many of us are hoping for a wet spring.

This leads me to a planning issue.  What kind of water issues have you addressed in your plan?  Learning how to store water is a fine art.  You can not just dump it in a bucket and call it good.  The Ready Store has some great supplies for storing water.

Now where did I put that bucket?

Do we rely on electronics to much?

Today I had to drop my phone off due to some software issues it was having.   The tech took a quick look at my phone and said that it needed a diagnostic test run on it.  They told me it would be a least an hour.  I left the store with no phone.

I had some errands to run so it was not a big deal per se.  However during my phone separation I needed to find a location of something else – I reached for my “non existent” phone.  I that moment I had a thought about my reliance on my electronics.

I have a firm grasp on several skills that I have turned over to my phone to do.   Map reading is an excellent example.  I now have several apps that will guide me to a location, one for street maps and another for outdoor activities.  I do not believe that I have picked up a paper map for my outdoor activities in quite awhile.

This leads me to the question of reliance on electronics.  I believe that for our average day to day activities they are great.  In a disaster they may not work.  Do you have a backup plan for this in your emergency operations plan?

Bartering

Money is a great medium for trading.  The money system works off of some basic concepts.  In my opinion is we are trading our time and effort to someone (or an entity) for a paycheck.  We then take some of that paycheck (money) to trade for services or goods.

In a disaster this system may not work.  The normal mode of the exchange of money for goods and services may not be in place, especially with the modern use of electronic exchange.

This is why it is important to be ready to barter.  Bartering is the exchange of one good or service for another.  Having some extra supplies to barter with is an excellent idea to include in the planning process.  My suggestion is to store extra necessities (food, water, medical supplies) for this purpose.

Bartering may also work in non disaster situations.  Learn the art of bartering before it is a necessity.  Think outside the box in the next month or so, and see if you can barter with someone to get what you need, while providing something they need.

I personally have some consulting services I could trade for something.  Anyone?

Free Course

I have created a online course that covers Emergency Planning.  It is free until April 30 with the code “Kick off”.

Here is the link:

https://www.udemy.com/basic-emergency-planning/

New Endeavors

As I start a new endeavor in my life I would like to remind everyone that emergency planning is an ongoing process.  Because there is a change in my life my emergency plan needs to be reviewed and updated as needed.  Your emergency plan should be current and reflect the various parts of your life.

Happy Easter

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket when you are planning for emergencies.

More thoughts on Volunteers

Many agencies depend heavily on volunteers. The volunteers bring skills and man power to the organization that are needed.  Generally this occurs during a time of need.

If you are a volunteer I would like to personally thank you for the time that you give in what ever organization your are with. THANK YOU.

What kind of skills can I volunteer?

The quick answer is almost any skill is going to be needed during a disaster.  Additionally many skills are needed during the day to day operations of a volunteer agency.

You have skills that can be used.  These skill range from office work, to construction, to warehouse, to specialized skills.  The skills you would bring to a volunteer agency are very important.  The agency you choose to volunteer with would be happy to have someone with your skill set.

I challenge you to find an agency in the next couple of days and contact them.  Find out when their next meeting is and go volunteer some time and skills.

Volunteer time

Many people believe that there is a huge time commitment associated with volunteering.  The reality is that many volunteer organizations do not require a large amount of time.

Many volunteer agencies require 1 – 3 hours per month.  This is not that much time, it can be compared to watching a movie.  However if you want to be more involved you can spend a large amount of time helping out people.

Look at your time schedule and figure out when you can volunteer some time, and go do it.

When the moment of truth arrives, the time for prior planning has passed. Is there a plan?