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The devastating tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma recently reminds all of us how important it is to have an emergency preparedness plan in place before disaster strikes.
The Maryland Emergency Management Agency also has a website filled with useful information. If you take advantage of the calm before any storm to plan for the worse, you may be surprised that the best actually happens. East Tennessee State University is continually preparing for the possibility of disaster on campus. All students, faculty, staff should familiarize themselves with the university's general emergency procedures. Register for approved East Tennessee State University emergency communications and other important information via text message and email, hosted by Rave Mobile Safety.
Citizens, local governments and the federal government alike were not prepared for the devastation because they used history as a template for future events. The mantra leading up to a natural disaster, from local authorities and even from many experts is to stock up on candles, food, water and batteries and have enough for at least three days.
The manual has not been updated to account for an antiquated infrastructure and power grids and it does not consider the financial conditions of cities and the country as a whole. Emergency shelters are not stocked with food, water or other essentials while large generators sit idle due to maintenance problems.
There is currently a debate in Washington DC as to whether or not to allocate funds for the cities and citizens affected by super storm sandy, this is months after the storm.
The following is a list of recommended supplies, tools and materials and it is not a comprehensive list.
Store and operate your generator where it is protected from rising waters, rain, snow and other damaging conditions.
Never operate a generator in an enclosed area to include crawlspaces, garages, and carports or near any openings into the home.
It is recommended you have a generator capable of handling up to 7,000 watts of surge to ensure you can operate a refrigerator, heater or water pump at the same time.
Have all-important documentation concerning your house or apartment packed protecting them from water and other damage and where they can be can be carried with you even if you have to evacuate to a shelter. Know where all emergency shelters are located in your area and know the evacuation routes out of your area.
Follow all mandatory evacuation orders because if you fail to leave you may be trapped and emergency responders may not be able to reach you. You disaster plan should include insurance, which will protect your equipment, furniture, and office space.
Here’s a link to a great list of 6 tools for preparing your law firm for a disaster (and here).
Because of being raised in this culture of preparedness, I adapted fairly well to life in Tornado Alley. Just this last shopping trip I finally marked the last item off my list (thanks Dollar Tree!). That might be how long you are without utilities or how long it takes emergency response workers to reach your area. If we want to learn more about helping first-responders, I encourage every able-bodied Oklahoman to join the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps.


Here’s a list of disaster preparedness quotes to inspire action today so that you can be prepared for whatever the future holds. Rather than panic and be afraid, Harris says that preparation is the key to easing your mind and saving lives. For instance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s website addresses everything from preparation in case of trouble to safety tips during a disaster to resources available if they are needed. Among the varied topics are how to come up with a disaster plan for your family, what supplies you should already have in your home, and where you can find out about alerts, warnings and power outages specifically for residents in our state. As an ETSU student, faculty member, or staff member, personal preparedness is necessary at the individual level. They are posted in all ETSU buildings. These procedures give students, faculty, and staff specific information about what to do in the event of fire, severe weather, power outages, and hazardous material releases. The most recent super storm that ripped along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States left death and destruction in its wake.
Many cities and communities are struggling financially and this plays a role in recovery efforts. The ad hoc repairs always seem to be just enough to get a city or community to the next disaster. The number of items you might possibly need would fill several garages so you have to prioritize and realize that if you currently live in an apartment or house you will already have many of the essentials needed.
Obviously if your area is susceptible to a storm surge or heavy flooding it is assumed you will evacuate but otherwise rivers and streams may cause a few inches or feet of water to be present and equipment must be above the floodwaters.
Use the proper gauge extension cords and if you have a standby automatic generator make sure, the local power company is aware you have one. Remember that law enforcement will be stretched thin and response times will be prolonged so consider home defense when preparing for an emergency. With cloud computing services and cloud storage, there is no excuse for not having adequate data backup methods.
Many law firms and insurance companies offer help to members in creating their disaster plans.
Because when you’re 11 years old and go to bed without a care in the world and are jolted from sleep by a violently shaking world – you tend to a get a little gun-shy about when the next disaster will strike (thanks 1994 Northridge quake). We know what to do with our animals, and ourselves, if we are in a severe weather situation or other potential disaster situation. And it also happens that FEMA has designated April 22-28 as National Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
What is important following a disaster is that we stay calm, and not add to the chaos by venturing out to locate food, water, and supplies.
Created after the Oklahoma City bombing, it is a group of medical and non-medical volunteers working together to supplement first-responder emergency systems. During National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, please take the time to make a plan, prepare a kit, and stay informed.
The actual decisions an individual makes in regards to preparation or a real emergency is the sole responsibility of that person. The posting also provides specific procedures to follow for building evacuation and response to the GoldAlert emergency notification system. The storm has also shown that politics and bureaucracy played a role in the reaction time and recovery efforts of the government.


In other words, the government assumes they will have boots on the ground within three days of a disaster. The super storm was not categorized as a hurricane because it was not considered hurricane strength. Clio, a cloud-based law practice management provider, is hosting a disaster preparedness webinar.
And living in Oklahoma, the land of tornadoes, I always get asked which I prefer – earthquakes or tornadoes?
And you always wanted to be the kid who was selected to have the “broken arm” or was slipped a note by the principal and told to “go crazy.” The alarm went off, we did our duck-and-cover routine, and when the all-clear sounded – we got to spend the entire day in the school’s wide-open field. According to the American Red Cross and FEMA, your disaster supplies should include enough essential food, water, and other supplies to last your family 3 days (and don’t forget your fur-family too!). This is also why they tell you NOT to self-deploy to a disaster area in order to help others.
The take away from all this is that you as a citizen may very well be on your own for days, weeks or even longer in the event of a natural disaster. This of course is no longer true and has been proven such from recent and not so recent events. The items are not disaster specific because you will need most of the supplies, tools and materials during any crisis. You may very well be at work when disaster strikes and you need to know where your children will be located and how to pick them up. A weatherman doesn’t stand for hours in front of a green screen telling you about the latest rotation that may or may not cause the right conditions for a funnel cloud. DUCK AND COVER!”), to parent meetings dedicated to how the school would respond in a disaster situation, and my mom painstakingly preparing a Disaster Preparedness Kit for our home – we knew what to do. I’m sure the teachers didn’t have as much fun as we did – what with practicing releasing students to parents, administering first-aid, clearing classrooms, and managing the chaos of several hundred students roaming the grounds (or trying to coax the “go crazy” kid out of tree).
I compiled a list using resources I found online through the American Red Cross, FEMA, or reading someone’s blog about their own family’s plan. LifeBridge Health is working with the #americanheartassociation to bring healthy cooking sessions to people in our communities. Even a simple water break, roof leak, or break-in, could have catastrophic effects on your own law practice.
You’ll need to register online for the event, but this should be a great way to get started. First-responders need to establish order, and we can help them do their jobs by staying put and taking care of ourselves to the best of our abilities.
I hesitated signing up for another marketing gimmick, but after the recent tornadoes, I’m attending. Hundreds of people came together with NICU #caregivers last weekend to enjoy face painting, leis, food and toys.
Thank you to all who participated and to the fantastic #doctors, #nurses and other caregivers who attend to Sinai's littlest #patients day in and day out!



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