Tuesday, August 20, 2019

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Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.
Tag » Disaster Preparedness

This past week I had the opportunity to attend a webinar on emergency communications. They stressed the importance of having redundant communication systems. In emergency preparedness planning, it is very easy to overlook the communication aspect.

We know that we are supposed to:

  • Have a contact outside of the area for family members to call and “report in” to in case we aren’t able to reach our loved ones directly.
  • Have an extra battery for our cell phone.
  • Pre-determine a place to meet if communications go down and we are all in the same area.

But what does this mean for your business? Your church? What if you are across town from your family in an emergency?

Whether it is the Milwaukee shooting this past week or the 5- 10 churches who may be affected by a fire incident this month nationwide, no Christian organization or church is immune from a potential incident that has never occurred before.

Having good strong relationships with your local law enforcement is key to a quick effective preparedness plan and response.

ReadyCity and ReadyChurch Security officers will find these few tips helpful with building relationships with local law enforcement.

In an article done by Assist News regarding the shooting that took place last Friday, Michael Ireland, a Senior International Correspondent, shared the story of a lady who was at the showing with her 2 teenage children. She made a statement that I believe resonates the truth that needs to be remembered in this time. She stated:

Yes, there was one evil act, but it is being covered by thousands, possibly millions of acts of kindness.

It’s hard to wrap our minds around how people can do such evil…especially when it is directed towards our fellow man.  While there is no easy way to understand, if we ever truly can understand at all, the article also provided an answer. In a statement by Dr. Ted Baehr, a media expert, he explains:

Storm CloudIn the past few weeks we have seen multiple disasters across the nation. We had fires in the West, flooding in the South, and mass power outages coupled with record heat in the East. Each of these events caused death.

I personally lived through the Derecho in the east that caused the power outages. I was fortunate to not have experienced a power outage, but everyone experienced the Derecho (a fast moving storm).  One of the common statements I heard by my friends in the days that followed was, “I had no idea a storm was even coming!” Now, I will admit I am a bit of an extreme weather junky. I blame my job in emergency preparedness and my degree in emergency management! But even before the past few years when I gained more insight into this field, I was the kid who thought it would be “cool” to live through every known natural disaster so long as I knew I would survive…but I digress.

“I had no idea a storm was even coming!”

 

 

TornadoIn a 24 hour period this past weekend, over 100 tornadoes touched down in the Plains states, most of them in Kansas. Most of the deaths and injuries that occurred happened in one rural community. While their loss is in no way inconsequential, the minimal amount of lives lost attests to the success of preparedness and early warning systems.

This particular storm cell, allowed an increase of warning time from a couple hours to a couple days. And, more importantly, people listened! Part of the reasoning given for this is that the alert language used was stronger and more direct in that these tornadoes could be life-threatening. Given the heightened language, the tests seem to be positive that there is a correlation between language used and the response that people give.

Interestingly, the number of storms that occurred so far this tornado season (according to a NY Times article), “the data did not indicate any significant increase in the number or the severity of storms in recent years.” What does seem to have changed is that people are beginning to pay more attention to the “smaller storms” that may have once gone unrecorded. This latest storm developed 122 confirmed tornadoes, 99 of which were in Kansas.