Archive for the ‘Community Preparedness’ Category

Lennette joins Perilchute Response Planning Systems, LLC.

November 21, 2012

Perilchute Response Planning Systems, LLC. is a emergency planning and preparedness firm (www.perilchute.com)  dedicated to the creation of web-based tools that enable emergency planning and collaboration among organizations having a vital role in the response and recovery of local communities.

Perilchute Response Planning Systems, LLC has a number of products available and in development that can assist you in preparing your organization for anticipated and unexpected disaster events. Our suite of web-based tools includes:

· ChurchSAFE (www.churchsafeplan.com)

· SynagogueSAFE (www.synagoguesafe.com)

· CBOSafe – currently in development

· SmallBizSAFE – currently in development

The Perilchute Team includes Laurie Friedman, Doug LaMar and Lennette Dease

Our combined experience of more than 75 years in emergency response and emergency planning allow us to create effective and affordable plan writing tools.

With all this experience you can count on us to:

  • Know the importance of planning for emergencies.
  • Understand the value of thinking through what you need to do.
  • Know how to organize critical information and present it exactly the way you need it in an emergency.
  • Demonstrate that emergency planning can be a simple, interesting and engaging activity.

We will continue to provide innovative tools to promote readiness within your congregation. Soon, we will have a network of approved consultants and vendors. Right now, you can connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. We will be there to share ideas and expert advice.

Weeks after Sandy, churches continue to help lead relief effort

November 21, 2012

 Reblogged from CNN Belief Blog:

By Sarah Hoye, CNN Follow @SarahHoyeCNN

Coney Island, New York (CNN) – Pastor Connie Hulla heads down the street toward the setting sun, her cowboy boots clicking against the sidewalk.

“Don’t worry, we have plenty of food inside,” she calls out over the rumble of a commercial generator to a line of residents snaking around her Coney Island Gospel Assembly church.

Read more… 1,093 more words

Text, don’t call when natural disaster strikes

May 30, 2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It is better to send text messages than to call when natural disasters strike and networks get congested, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday, also urging people to add battery-powered cell phone chargers to their storm emergency kits.

Craig Fugate, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told reporters that forecasts for a “normal” Atlantic hurricane season should not keep those in potentially affected areas from getting ready for storms that could make landfall.

“There is no forecast yet that says where they are going to hit or not hit. So if you live along the Gulf Coast, the Atlantic, and as far inland as the folks in Vermont found out last year, you need to be prepared for this hurricane season,” Fugate said at a White House news briefing.

The U.S. government is working to extend its public alert warning system beyond radio and television to mobile networks, Fugate said, noting that most new and upgraded cell phones have the capacity to receive such emergency notices.

Households without fixed-line phones should be ready to charge cell phones during power cuts, the FEMA administrator said, also calling on families to make alternative communication plans for when wireless networks are congested.

“When there’s a big crisis, don’t try to call people on your phones – text message. It’s a lot faster and gets through. Use social media to update people … and also be prepared when power outages occur how you’re going to keep your electronic devices charged,” Fugate said. “Add to your evacuation kits your cell phone chargers.”

New National Preparedness Presidential Policy Focuses on Capabilities

May 12, 2011

The federal government is aiming to move preparedness activities away from overly burdensome requirements to a more streamlined approach with the release of a new policy. President Barack Obama signed a new presidential policy directive on national preparedness on March 30, which is the result of a comprehensive review of national preparedness policy and replaces Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8.

Brian Kamoie, senior director for preparedness policy on the White House National Security Staff, told a group of stakeholders at the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute on April 8 that many incidents were examined during the directive’s development, including the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 as well as Hurricane Katrina. The federal government included 24 national associations representing a range of stakeholders and disciplines in the review of the national preparedness policy.

The directive seeks to move away from burdensome requirements and instead build the key capabilities the nation needs to confront any challenge. “Capabilities defined by specific and measurable objectives are the cornerstone of preparedness,” Kamoie said. “Rather than rigid approaches that apply only in certain scenarios if specific assumptions come true, a focus on capabilities will enable integrated, flexible and agile all-hazards efforts tailored to what we know are unique circumstances of any given threat, hazard or actual event.”

As an example, he said, building flexible capabilities such as search and rescue and medical surge enable emergency staff to respond to a wide range of incidents regardless of what caused the emergency.

Stakeholders emphasized that the directive should not focus on one-size-fits-all standards because communities have different needs based on their risks. “This focus on capabilities will also drive the evolution of our planning efforts, which will seek to identify how we can most effectively mix and match our capabilities where needed to be the most agile and flexible in our approach,” Kamoie said.

The stakeholders also wanted the guidance and plans to be streamlined, Kamoie said, adding that at the local government level, the person who is tasked with developing plans, documents and grant application packages also must respond to daily events like fires or heart attacks. “So we want to move away from overly burdensome requirements,” he said.

All-of-Nation Approach

A key principle of the preparedness directive, Kamoie said, is focusing on an all-of-nation approach, which can already be seen in FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate’s whole community planning effort. “This approach relies on understanding and meeting the true needs of the entire affected community, engaging all aspects of that community — the private, the nonprofit, the public sectors — in both defining those needs and devising ways to meet them,” he said, “and strengthening the assets, institutions and social processes that work well in communities on a daily basis to improve resilience and emergency management outcomes.”

Kamoie cited three action items the directive calls for: First, is the establishment of an overarching preparedness goal that identifies the core capabilities necessary for the spectrum of preparedness, including prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery. Second, is the development of a national preparedness system, which will “guide activities that will enable the nation to meet the national preparedness goal, the specific planning, organization, equipment, training and exercises needed to build and maintain domestic capabilities.” He added that the capabilities will be defined in terms of risk and objectives. Third, a national preparedness report will be compiled annually.

The White House is also pursuing “more rigorous assessment systems,” Kamoie said. The systems will aid in measuring and tracking progress over time. “We simply need to do better in articulating our current level of preparedness and demonstrating what innovations have worked,” he said.

The U.S. also aims to learn from studying the response to the recent tsunami and magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan. And when asked about how well prepared the nation is for a nuclear event, Kamoie said efforts have been ongoing — National Level Exercise 2010 included radiological emergencies and planning guidance was released in June 2009 for improvised nuclear devices — but that is another area where the U.S. will learn from the events in Japan.

How to Include Diverse, Vulnerable Populations in Emergency Preparedness

May 12, 2011

The United States is home to more than 308 million people, comprising many cultures and subpopulations — such as diverse and vulnerable groups of people — who may interpret messages differently or distrust the government. Perhaps no disaster has illustrated the need for emergency planning and preparedness with these communities to the extent that

Hurricane Katrina did. Almost six years ago, the nation watched as more than 1,800 perished, 80 percent of New Orleans flooded and nearly 100,000 citizens remained in the water-ravaged city rather than evacuating.

A study of 1,089 people affected by the hurricane in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama found that 28 percent of those who didn’t evacuate couldn’t leave because of limited means, according to the nonprofit Fritz Institute. Of those who couldn’t evacuate for this reason, 71 percent said they had nowhere else to go, 37 percent didn’t have a car, and 36 percent couldn’t leave their homes without assistance. What’s more, 84 percent of those with limited means had household incomes of less than $50,000; 58 percent were African-American; 66 percent were women; 57 percent said their highest level of education was a high school diploma or less; and 32 percent had a physical disability.

When preparing residents for disasters, officials must think not only about the different cultures within their community, but also about the vulnerable populations — the disabled, very young, elderly, homeless and people who speak limited or no English. Emergency managers and public health officials have wrestled with developing relationships with these groups for decades, and it’s still a challenge for many.

Luckily there are resources for officials to use; examples of successful initiatives can assist state and local agencies with their plans, helping them to reach as many people as possible in ways that create positive relationships and changes.

Article Continuation…

For more on this dynamic article and examples that demonstrate how governments have worked with diverse and vulnerable populations and the organizations that serve them, please follow this link:  http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Diverse-Vulnerable-Populations-Preparedness-041111.html.  

This is a repost of an article by Ms. Elaine Pittman.