Flood waters have rushed through Boulder, as well as 16 additional counties throughout Colorado, stretching about 200 miles from north to south, damaging nearly 18,000 homes, destroying more than 1,500 houses and contributing to the death of at least seven people. A visually impaired man walking in Denver with his service dog was swept into a drainage ditch and pulled out four blocks later by a police officer and paramedic. Because the waters obliterated many roads, authorities haven’t been able to ascertain exactly how many people might be stranded or missing. Small towns in the western mountains are completely isolated without road access, telephone information, power, water or sewer.
People are being taken to safety in inflatable rafts, as entire houses were submerged by rising floodwater. When the National Weather Service issues a flood watch, monitor potential flood hazards on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards or on the Internet.
Keep away from downed power lines and any other electrical wires—electrocution is often a major cause of death in floods. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there. Because standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. If you have recently sustained loss or damage due to the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides, you may be eligible for disaster aid.
In cases of extreme cold, consider letting faucets drip slightly since moving water takes longer to freeze than standing water. Squabbles among office workers about the temperature can cause tensions and lead to decreased productivity. Consider setting a standard office temperature and name one person whose job it is to adjust the thermostat. In addition to protecting the physical systems in your building, take a look at your emergency supplies. Fire is a frequent topic of safety discussions because it is a primal force that strikes fear in the heart of man and beast. A video about smoke alarm safety includes information about the benefits of interconnecting alarms, testing alarms, checking for expiration dates and regularly replacing batteries. Review your overall fire safety plan including evacuation routes, location of extinguishers, rules on stairwell and elevator usage, etc.
Fire Prevention Week is an opportunity for building owners to engage staff and employees in preventing the threat of fire.
Since the best way to deal with a hurricane is to prepare for one, you should acquaint yourself with websites and notification centers as well as the terminology used to distinguish between different storm warnings. Once you are set up to receive weather updates, the next step in hurricane preparedness is to be able to distinguish between the terminologies used to describe various storm systems. Tropical storm conditions (defined by sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within a specified coastal area within 48 hours.
Tropical storm conditions (defined by sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within a specified coastal area within 36 hours. Hurricane conditions (defined by sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within a specified coastal area.
An announcement that hurricane conditions (defined by sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within a specified coastal area.
Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside. Although there is no easy answer—or “silver bullet”—to solve every problem that can hamper the efforts of law enforcement, firefighting, rescue and emergency medical personnel before, during and after natural disasters, the surest way to reduce confusion and quickly restore order is to establish a Communications Plan before you need one. An Emergency Communications’ Plan outlines formal decision-making structures and clearly defined leadership roles necessary for coordinating emergency communications’ capabilities. To help you with the process, FEMA has put together free resources including a Family Emergency Plan as well as a Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Plan, which is posted online for easy-access to clients of the RJWestmore, Inc. USPS, which provides continuing mail service for those displaced by disasters through change of address forms. National Next of Kin Registry, an organization where the public can archive emergency point of contact information.
Community Voice Mail, which offers free personalized phone numbers with voicemail to people in crisis and transition for job search, housing, healthcare and family contact. Contact Loved Ones, which is a free voice message service, accessible from any phone, to reestablish contact between those affected by a disaster and their loved ones and friends.
Also, at the state and local level, you should be able to access additional information specific to your geographical location. With the recent earthquake in Haiti and hurricane in New Orleans, people are keenly aware that disasters can and will happen. So, in light of the Haitian earthquake and Hurricane Katrina, take time to review your disaster-related evacuation planning and tenant safety issues. The primary type of insurance for commercial property owners is commercial property insurance which covers the physical structure from various types of natural or manmade disasters. Make sure your building is current with regard to all safety codes before you apply for new coverage or try to renew an existing policy. Carefully review whether the policy allows for “actual cash value” or “replacement value?” Actual cash value factors in depreciation of the insured object, while replacement value reimburses policy-holders for the current cost of replacing the lost or damaged item. Consider other types of insurance such worker’s compensation, liability, and vehicle coverage. With the holiday season, some people experience anxiety about finding that one “perfect” gift for everyone on their list. If you give the gift of emergency preparedness, you will be encouraging the recipient to carefully consider whether he or she is prepared for emergencies. Read about the different types of extinguishers before purchasing, especially if you’re purchasing them for building occupants that store toxic chemicals or other substances. Other gifts mentioned on FEMA’s list include NOAA weather radios, foldable ladders, enrollment in a CPR class, smoke detectors, and car emergency kits. If you are a building owner or manager who is thinking about your building’s safety procedures, contact us to discuss our safety training services. After a disaster, you will need to make sure all of your family members are accounted for and healthy. Make sure costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or potential contact with flames.

Use non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup and small decorative hats as safe alternatives to toxic materials and large caps that could block vision. Before they head out, casually remind your children to “Stop-Drop-Roll” in the unlikely event that their clothes catch fire.
To prevent possible fire, use only battery-powered lanterns or chemical lightsticks in place of candles in decorations and costumes.
Look both ways before crossing the street, checking carefully for cars, trucks and low-flying brooms. To keep neighborhood children safe, eliminate potential tripping hazards on your porch and walkway.
Sharing simple safety rules with your child is just another great way RJ Westmore encourages folks to BE SAFE! Now an annual event, the ShakeOut will incorporate numerous exercises and drills designed to prepare adults and children to react quickly in the rather likely event of a California quake. At RJWestmore, Inc., we specialize in fire life safety and disaster preparedness training and education, so we can testify to the fact that behavior has to be learned and then drilled often in order to become automatic. We are proud to join thousands of emergency organizations, emergency responders, and Search and Rescue organizations in support of Drop, Cover, and Hold On education. Now is the perfect time to make sure you’re prepared, as September is National Preparedness Month.
One of the most important tings you can do for the health and safety of your family is create and maintain an emergency and disaster preparedness kit. Before you start putting your kits together, you’ll want to consider what you’ll store all of its important contents inside. It’s a good idea to watch for sales, bulk discounts, and online specials for these items since you can collect them over time and replace them as needed. As you shop for items to add to your kit, try to choose the brands and products that your family already uses. Try to create one kit in a waterproof 5-gallon bucket and one in an easy to carry backpack so that you’ll be prepared whether you need to stay or go! Staying prepared allows your family to rest assured that no matter what challenges life may bring, you have everything you need to stay safe, protected, and in control.
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To date, emergency management officials give a rough estimate that 658 people remain unaccounted for and 11,750 people have been evacuated as a result of the storms on the Front Range. In affected areas, people routinely plan for severe weather such as tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards. He became trapped when a bridge collapsed, sending his car into a creek, flipping it on its roof. Keep copies in your home and store originals in a secure place outside the home, such as a bank safe deposit box. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
A blower door uses a calibrated fan with a pressure-sensitive device to measure air pressure and identify leaks. Keeping the temperature at 64 degrees at night instead of turning it completely off does not save energy.
While salt is the most commonly used method for melting ice, there are new environmentally-friendly alternatives including sugar beet formulas. Although it might look like a scene from a cartoon or movie, a 20-pound block of ice from 30 stories up can be dangerous. Review codes which often mandate dry pipe sprinkler systems (water is not in the pipes until system operation) for temperatures under 40F. If they are allowed, make sure employees follow strict safety rules including proper storage of paper. Can your building accommodate every tenant overnight or for multiple days in case of a blizzard? Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features.
It is also a relatively common occurrence compared to other disasters, and can cause severe damage to people as well as structures.
October 3-9 is the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) official Fire Prevention Week.
In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire roared through Chicago, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless and 17,000 structures destroyed. To learn more about fire safety, review the many fire-related topics that we have covered in previous posts, including: fire evacuation procedures, flammable materials, extinguishers and sprinkler systems, and fire hazards. Another free weather notification system is available via the Emergency Email and Wireless Network, which provides breaking weather alerts and an information-packed National Weather Situation Page. Where hurricanes and tropical storms are concerned, the following definitions are critical.
Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds. For example, The American Red Cross has a Safe and Well Website to help families keep in touch after a disaster.
Emergency agencies access the system when there is a need to locate next of kin in urgent situations. One such resource is put out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And then, review and evaluate your insurance policy to make sure you have adequate coverage. If the insurance agent who reviews your property finds evidence of safety violations, he or she might fail to recommend the property to underwriters.
If your building is severely damaged, would you be able to offer temporary facilities for displaced workers?

Our e-based system offers the best emergency training available, with automated and integrated features. Maybe your gift will encourage them to develop a comprehensive emergency plan with exit routes, meeting locations, and an inventory of supplies and equipment.
And the holiday season provides a great opportunity to ensure that you and your loved ones are taking simple steps to be prepared,” said FEMA administrator, Craig Fugate.” Our friends at FEMA have put together a list of great gifts for the holidays, and, in this blog, we took a closer look at a few of them.
Get your children involved in preparedness to help them understand how important it is to be prepared and encourage them to remain calm under duress. Check every chest of drawers and other large furniture to make sure everything is well-secured to a wall. FEMA has a great online matching game that allows children to visualize the key components of an emergency kit. Provide multiple numbers including the addresses of relatives who live far away in case the emergency has knocked out local communications. Then, it’s time to contact agencies such as your local Red Cross and to keep watch on alerts from FEMA. We have compiled the following simple instructions to give kids a, safe, fun, exciting holiday experience, while providing parents with peace of mind. In much the same way kids across America have been taught to Stop, Drop and Roll in case of fire, this exercise will give us all the opportunity to practice how to Drop, Cover and Hold On.
If an earthquake hits, you may only have seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down, or causes something to fall onto you. If you wonder whether you are adequately prepared to deal with an earthquake, take this free interactive quiz, which was prepared by the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management. So check back often to learn about how to update your disaster plans and restock your disaster supplies kits.
These kits can be purchased online or in local stores – but you can also put them together on your own and save money in the process! Most people use waterproof 5-gallon buckets which can be sealed and stored in closets or basements spaces. You’ll want to keep track of which medications you have stored in your emergency disaster kit and make sure to exchange them well before they expire.
Sometimes something as simple as a familiar taste or smell can help soothe nerves and calm stress. If you would like to donate to relief efforts, contact the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army or Help Colorado Now. Choosing our service cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! The popular video of the Metrodome collapsing in Minneapolis is a vivid reminder of the potential hazards of winter weather.
Modern HVAC systems work quickly and can quickly bring room temperature to comfortable levels. Make sure you have plenty of warm blankets, portable heat sources and extra food in case you get snowed in.
The NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for nearly 90 years, and has made great strides in the area of fire safety for the public. While most people believe a cow started the fire, many historians note other possible culprits.
Organize an interactive event where employees and facility management can speak directly to firefighters. Although you can’t control when a hurricane or other emergency may happen, it’s imperative that you take personal responsibility to make sure you are ready.
Check back next week, when we will continue our series about hurricane safety and preparation. Assess the situation and use common sense and available resources to take care of yourself and your co-workers or family members and to manage the recovery of your family or organization. The business plan is designed to encourage you to gather emergency information and formalize plans for staying in business following a disaster, and includes information critical for coordinating with neighboring businesses, cooperating with emergency personnel and considering critical operations, staff and procedures.
If you have been affected by a disaster, this website provides a way for you to register yourself as “safe and well.” From a list of standard messages, you can select those that you want to communicate to your family members, letting them know of your well-being. Although people often groan about paying high insurance premiums, covering them beats the alternative of facing an uninsured disaster that could literally ruin your business as well as your reputation. Earthquakes are more regional, but remember; some places you wouldn’t think about have had earthquakes.
Horror stories about ghosts and goblins, and even scarier real-life tales of kidnappers and poisonend treats, are legitimate causes for fear on October 31.
You may also want to consider using a backpack since this can be easy to grab-and-go when needed, such as medications and immediate use items. Prescription medications as well as important over the counter medications are both great items to have on hand. Videos and still photographs of the recent flooding in Colorado are effectively demonstrating that flooding can wreak unimaginable horrors on large populations.
Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the fire, and marked the start of fire departments’ role in education and prevention, in addition to the physical acts of fighting fires. This week, in our final post in a series about preparing and recovering from tropical storms and hurricanes, we’ll examine where to turn to stay on top of forecasts and local emergency plans. There is a proven correlation between individual training and preparedness and life safety.
So make sure that your insurance is sufficient to cover construction and code-approval time. But you can also include some simple graphic designs, clip art or photos into the plan to make it easy for younger kids to understand. Personally, we feel that having a kit in a bucket and a kit in a bag will make sure that your family is ready for anything that may happen.
Vandalism coverage should also be considered since manmade damage can lead to costly repairs. So, if your home is located in a floodplain, be sure you establish emergency plans to share with your relatives and neighbors.

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Rubric: Emergency Preparedness Survival


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