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Any major disaster could temporarily overwhelm Police, Fire and Ambulance and First Responders.
There are many daily conveniences that we all take for granted; running water, electricity, gas, telephones, getting cash from an ATM machine, or even running to the grocery store to pick up milk and bread. All of us face the possibility of natural disasters, accidents, power outages or intentional acts to disrupt our daily lives.
Preparedness is a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluation and improvement activities to ensure effective coordination and the enhancement of capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.
In the preparedness phase, emergency managers develop plans of action to manage and counter their risks and take action to build the necessary capabilities needed to implement such plans. Proper maintenance and training of emergency services, including mass human resources such as Community Emergency Response Teams. Learn how to prepare for your family and at your workplace, explore many links to resources and see what to do for your pets. Tarleton State University's disaster preparedness simulation incorporated a coordinated response by Cross Timbers Emergency Response team, Stephenville and Erath County first responders, university law enforcement, CareFlite, Red Cross representatives, Tarleton’s nursing students, Engineering, Psychology, Social Work, Student Health Center, and the Counseling Center, following a simulated tornadic event that simulates widespread damage to the city and campus, including human casualties. STEPHENVILLE, Texas—In the event that a disaster happens on the Tarleton State University campus, communication between all local agencies is key to helping those at risk get to a place of safety or treating those with injuries.
Faculty and students from Tarleton’s Department of Nursing in cooperation with local first responders will host a disaster preparedness simulation on Sunday, Oct.
The mass casualty exercise will use several Tarleton facilities, including the university’s Nursing Building, intramural and practice football fields, Wisdom Gym and meeting space within the Barry B.
Students and others on campus are requested to refrain from entering the areas where the mass casualty exercise is being held, and motorists are asked to find alternate routes due to the inner-campus street closures.
Cheryl Hunter, nursing simulation lab supervisor at Tarleton said, “The scenario is a destructive tornado touch down in Stephenville, which affects a large portion of the city and makes a path through the Tarleton campus. During the drill, Tarleton students, faculty and staff will be alerted via a “test” Code Purple message, the university’s emergency warning system.
Following the exercise, participants will gather in the Tarleton Fine Arts Center Auditorium for a debriefing session.
Montgomery said the Tarleton MRC will be a valuable disaster relief asset to the region, if the designation is fulfilled.
Police will secure the disaster simulation area and limit access into Tarleton’s campus to provide passage for EMS and paramedics at a staging and transport area along Rome Street. An average of 20 typhoons and dangerous storms arrive in the Philippines from the Pacific Ocean over the eastern seaboard yearly. All governmental and private entities responsible for large segments of the population  should be prepared for these fateful natural disasters and put into force mitigation techniques to reduce potential risk and loss of life. Information, preparation and understanding of these massive natural disasters is critical for the effective reduction in loss of life and limb. Over 800 people were killed by the eruption, mostly by roofs collapsing under the weight of accumulated and saturated wet ash, a hazard that was largely exacerbated by the simultaneous arrival of Typhoon Yunya. At the writing of this paper, the Taal Volcano is currently exhibiting signs of another eruption.
Bad weather, especially during typhoon season, poor maintenance, overloading of vessels -- especially during the Christmas season as families return to their villages for reunions -- and lax enforcement of regulations has brought many tragedies.
The need for terrorism suppression and bomb analysis, search techniques and evacuation procedures are critical. The tsunami was a major critical incident of epic proportions, unexpected (scientists discounted a tsunami in the Indian Ocean region of the world), and unprepared for as a result. The Reason for PsyCorps In the weeks and months following major disasters, long after the initial stabilization of medical and social relief efforts are in place, and the media attention tapers off, there exists an emerging, long-term effort in dealing with the psychosocial effects of death, injury, grief and loss. The Reason for PsyCorps However, the global provision of mental health care varies in its organization and effectiveness from region to region, often being reactive rather than proactive. The Reason for PsyCorps We realize that Western psychology must be locally interpreted to be relevant or appropriate in many regions of the world. The Vision of PsyCorps The vision of PsyCorps is to create a global community of culturally indigenous psychological support teams that are inter-connected and prepared beforehand to respond to the acute and long-term psychological effects of disaster survivors, first responders and caregivers. Needs Assessment There is a general lack of organized psychological first aid provided to disaster responders. Needs Assessment Humanitarian assistance programs are often uncoordinated, resulting in an adverse effect on service recipients.
Problem Statement Many survivors, responders and caregivers of natural and man made critical incidents and disaster do not receive adequate attention to manage traumatic stress or compassion fatigue. Recommendations That the government, civic and business community and NGOs should support posttraumatic stress reduction services to survivors, first responders and caregivers. Project Goals The overall goal of PsyCorps is to ensure that culturally appropriate and accessible critical incident psychological support is available for the community at large.
Project Synopsis PsyCorps International will establish PsyCorps Psychological Support Teams. The PsyCorps Paradigm: Flexible Psychological First Aid (FPFA) The PsyCorps model offers a flexible, multimodal approach for the provision of psychological first aid and triage interventions. Flexible Psychological First Aid (FPFA) Following disaster, there are numerous complex mental health issues and situations that emerge. 1 Kansas All-Hazards Behavioral Health Training Core Competencies for Community Outreach Workers. Restoring Calm in Times of Crisis Critical Incident Response: Evolving Best Practices in the Workplace. Recovery Emergency Management for Schools training February 23, 2007, Philadelphia, PA Alex James Director, Office of School Facilities South Carolina.
Recovery Emergency Management for Schools Training Gregory Thomas Deputy Director of Planning and Response, National Center for Disaster Preparedness Mailman. Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days or even longer. The length of time you may be required to shelter indoors may be short, such as during a tornado warning, or long, such as during a winter storm. FOOD and WATER: In addition to the supplies in the TO GO Kit, you will want to make sure you have enough FOOD and WATER for at least 3 days. A: The safest and most reliable emergency supply of water is usually commercially bottled water. A: Yes, but only use plastic (such as soda liters bottles) as glass is too heavy and can break and cardboard cartons can leak.
Tools: Screwdrivers, crescent wrenches, wire cutters and duct tape are basic supplies to include in a toolkit. Identify escape routes from your home or building (ask your family or friends for assistance, if necessary).
Learn the locations and availability of more than one facility if you are dependent on a dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment.

Learn How to Use a Fire Extinguisher - Know how to use your fire extinguisher(s) and where it is kept. If a disaster strikes and you must evacuate immediately, make sure all of your documents are organized and ready to go in one place. Insurance: property owners and renters should fully explore their insurance needs and obtain adequate coverage before a disaster strikes. The Emergency Notification Service places a warning call to all landline telephone numbers within a County if there is a threat by a public hazard or emergency. Newer, Enhanced Emergency Notification Service allows you to register your cell phone numbers, Internet phones, pagers, fax machines,text message addresses, e-mail addresses and other telephone numbers and messaging addresses with the ENS Database. If you receive a call from an ENS or Enhanced ENS system, do not call 9-1-1 to confirm the message. In serious situations during extended power outages, those who depend on electrically-powered life support equipment may need to seek medical assistance or to relocate to a public shelter that has back-up power generation. If you require life support equipment, you may be able to register as a Life Support Designation Customer and have higher priority for power restoration.
The program consists of a vial (empty pill bottle or other container), labeled with a Vial of Life sticker. Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone. If you aren’t sure whether your property is at risk from disasters and natural hazards, check with your local building official, city engineer, or planning and zoning administrator or ask your landlord to do so if you are a renter. Meet with family, friends, and caregivers to discuss the dangers of natural disasters and other emergencies.
Pick one out-of-state and one local contact to call if separated during a disaster (it is often easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area). Show how your medical devices work: wheelchair, oxygen, ventilator, assistive communication, etc.
In your network, anticipate disability and access needs in advance, before a disaster or emergency strikes! Medical conditions: Should know the location of a facility that provides a dialysis machine or other lifesustaining equipment.
Pets with medical conditions: Pets who are diabetic, require medications or have other medical conditions, should be sheltered by someone who can appropriately care for their needs. The Colorado Division of Emergency Management (DEM) is responsible for the state's comprehensive emergency management program and supports local and state agencies.
The DEM offers financial and technical assistance to local governments as well as training and exercise support. The Colorado Division of Emergency Management (DEM) coordinates emergency and disaster Preparedness, Prevention, Response and Recovery efforts with local Law Enforcement, Fire Departments, First Responders and the Health Department.
If there is a flu epidemic or other public health emergency, the Health Department will take the lead.
With more adaptive technologies and progressive legislature, prospective college students with disabilities have countless resources available to make the transition to higher education less stressful. Created by Emily vonSwearingen, CCDC Director of Communications and Development with Kristin Castor, CCDC Southern Colorado Coordinator and George O’Brien, CCDC Advocate. Information received from CCDC’s employees or volunteers, or from this site, should NOT be considered a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. Both the Red Cross and FEMA recommend that you try to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours (3 days) following a disaster. Power outages can close grocery stores, put ATM machines out of order and prevent you from doing simple things like putting gasoline in your car. We cannot control the weather or prevent disasters from happening, but there are steps you can take to minimize risks from known hazards. Professional emergency workers are rapidly overwhelmed in mass emergencies so trained, organized, responsible volunteers are extremely valuable. The premise being, the hospital in Stephenville is overwhelmed with critically injured patients and the university’s Department of Nursing responds as a treatment center for disaster victims. This event will strengthen the lines of communication between the Department of Nursing, other Tarleton participants and community first responders, as well as foster interdisciplinary cooperation,” she said. 19 exercise, first responders will stage their EMS units and vehicles in a parking lot along Tarleton Street behind Big Lots and Big 5 Sports Goods. Members from a local HAMM radio operator’s club also will assist with communications in the likelihood an actual tornado were to disrupt telephone and internet connectivity. Ultimately, findings from the exercise will be used by the Tarleton Department of Nursing efforts to have its facility become a designated Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) to supplement existing community response capabilities in time of emergency.
Vehicle traffic will be prohibited from entering campus on Rome Street, south from Frey to Sloan Street. Without the involvement of community and university partners, an exercise of this scope would not be possible. These comprehensive and timely seminars provide the kind of training needed to better-prepare administrators and first responders.
Alert level two is currently in effect for Taal, which lies only 30 miles south of the Philippine capital city of Manila. Furthermore, to be effective, psychological first aid must be culturally sensitive and relevant. While other relief organizations seek to provide outside service to survivors of disaster, it is PsyCorps mission to help regions prone to natural or man made disaster create and develop their own teams to provide psychological first aid services directly to survivors, first responders and caregivers in the aftermath of critical incidents and disaster. A locale, region or countrys system of critical incident preparedness can only be as effective as the capacity for emergency, rescue and caregiver personnel to remain emotionally healthy and effective in dealing with their own stress and strain from interaction with the critical incident.
Crisis workers and caregivers often feel the cumulative effects of stress, including burn-out or compassion fatigue.
We recommend the development of Psychological Support Teams that are in place, trained and ready for effective and timely mobilization if and when major critical incidents occur. Mental health preparedness and aid has tended to be reactive and unorganized, rather than pre-planned and responsive. The Teams will be local volunteers, known as befrienders, trained in Flexible Psychological First Aid (FPFA) and Triage to provide trauma support services to survivors, first responders and caregivers involved in critical incidents and disaster.
We realize, based on clinical experience and accumulating research, that one model may be better suited than another for a given aspect of a critical incident.
Shridhar Sharma MD, DPM, FRCPsy (London) FRANZCP(Australia), DFAPA (USA), FAMS Emeritus Professor National Academy. Nurses can play an important role in disaster mitigation, but they receive very little training. Local officials and relief workers are sent to a scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. While it may seem overwhelming or cost prohibitive to do everything suggested, it is better to do something rather than nothing at all.

For your safety, it is important that you stay inside your shelter until local authorities say it is safe to leave. Select foods that are non-perishable and do not require refrigeration, can be easily prepared and cooked with little or no water. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters will not accept pets unless it is a service animal. If this is unavoidable, confine pets to a safe area inside - NEVER leave your pets chained outside!
Discuss your medical needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate any necessary equipment you depend on. A recorded message will be played, alerting residents to the hazard and instructing on what to do.
When the ENS system is activated, the service will send recorded or text messages to each of these numbers and addresses in addition to your home phone (if you have one). During a public emergency, the 9-1-1 Call Center(s) will be busy handling 9-1-1 calls, dispatching and coordinating First Responder activities. This provides dispatchers with advance warning of any special needs or disabilities you may have and passes this information on to first responders in the event of an emergency.
Vial of Life program materials are usually available for free and can be downloaded and produced by the individual. A medical form stating the health status of the individual and current medications, is folded inside and the vial is placed in the refrigerator, because refrigerator contents are usually preserved in the event of a fire. They can tell you whether you are in an area where floods, earthquakes, wildfires, or tornadoes are likely to occur and usually give advice on how to protect your property. Activities and services cover the four phases of emergency management for disasters like flooding, tornadoes, wildfire, hazardous materials spills, and acts of terrorism. Services are made available through local emergency managers supported by DEM staff assigned to specific areas of the state. Take the initiative to find out how prepared these individual departments are in working with the disabled community. CCDC’s mission is to promote social justice and create systems change that will benefit people with all types of disabilities. Responses you receive via electronic mail, phone, or in any other manner DO NOT create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC), or any employee of, or other person associated with, CCDC. Organizations like Community Emergency Response Teams and the Red Cross are ready sources of trained volunteers.
CareFlite also will participate in the drill and transport “patients” from the triage center.
Local EMS providers will not take all ambulances out of service during the exercise and will maintain a crew to respond to actual emergencies within the city and surrounding area. We received support from the North Central Texas EMS Regional Advisory Council and we have been able to work with local and county first responders to establish how we can fit in with existing emergency plans. Officers also will barricade Sloan at the Harbin Drive intersection, east towards Rome during the drill.
The international PsyCorps assessment suggests that there is a major need for additional resources and services dedicated to managing caregiver stress. Culturally indigenous, psychological support teams are rarely trained, organized and coordinated before a disaster strikes, affecting the timeliness of trauma response and quality of service. We suggest that these teams be comprised of locals to ensure culturally appropriate interventions. Mental health preparedness and aid, in particular, needs to reflect the culture and values of the region.
The FPFA model draws from a spectrum of crisis intervention approaches to implement the most efficacious and appropriate strategy for a given situation. Pick what information works for you and select preparedness items that fit within your budget. An emergency supplies kit is a collection of basic items that you may need in the event of a disaster. Avoid foods that will make you thirsty by choosing saltfree crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned foods with high liquid content. It is important to periodically check and maintain your vehicle, check that the spare tire is properly inflated, batteries are not discharged, first-aid supplies are current, water is fresh and food is dry. Find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate to who allow pets and include your local animal shelter number in your list of contact numbers.
The information you submit will be visible to the dispatcher when a 9-1-1 call is received. Stickers are placed in the front window of the home so that responding emergency personnel will know to look for the Vial.
If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write "EVACUATED" across the stickers. During an actual emergency or disaster, DEM coordinates the state response and recovery program to support local governments and maintains the state's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) where representatives from other state departments and agencies coordinate the state response to an emergency situation. The only way an attorney-client relationship is established is if you have a retainer agreement with one of the CCDC Legal Program attorneys. We support the World Health Organization recommendation that alleviating psychological distress and strengthen[ing] resiliency must be an integral part of humanitarian assistance, (January 2005).
Mental health resources need to be available to first responders and crisis workers as well as survivors.
Psychological support after disaster should emanate from a strengths based perspective with intervention and mental health assistance focusing on positive coping strategies. Preparing may take some time so working in sections may be helpful instead of tackling your emergency plan all at once. If you have questions or concerns regarding ENS services, please contact your local County Sheriff or Police Department.
To register, you will need to provide information about your disability, mobility issues, speech communication issues, medical devices you depend on, service animal details and emergency contact information. Annual membership is open to individuals and family members with a disability as well friends, co-workers and allies of the disability community. The information contained on this site is general information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation. By effectively integrating disaster mental health into broader humanitarian assistance programs, recipients will receive continuous care and greater service accessibility.

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