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Did You Know That...


1948 years ago in AD 63 an earthquake in southern Italy by the gulf of Naples seriously damaged the ancient city of Pompeii causing an undetermined number of deaths and spread out destruction, but the locals went to work rebuilding in the same spot until they were buried by the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano 16 years later in AD 79.



Galveston TX Hurricanes

Average Brushed or hit every 2.94 years
Average Direct hit every 8.63 years

The Great Storm of 1900 - Sep 8th 1900 - Pop: 42,000 residents
Category 4 @ 135 mph -Great loss of life between 6,000 and 12,000 individuals – officially 8,000

The 1915 Storm, August 17th, Category 4 @ 135 mph
42    people dead in the Galveston area
$60 - 1915 million dollars in damage

Ike Sep 13th 2008 - The third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States
Final landfall in Galveston Texas as a strong cat 2 with cat 5 equivalent storm surge winds extended 120 miles from the center.

Blamed for at least 195 deaths – 74 in Haiti and 112 in the USA 300 still missing. - Damages estimated at 24 billion (2008) US Dollars

Resulted in the largest evacuation in the state of Texas history and the largest search and rescue operation in US history


Nuclear Issues

Chernobyl, An Experiment Gone Wrong

On Saturday, April 26th, 1986 at 1:23 am, one of the reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded.
Ironically, the experiment consisted in testing how the power plant would respond in the event of an accident. The operators at the plant wanted to bring down the power output of the reactor to 25%, but over-confidence, poor training and poor knowledge of how a reactor works caused them to overdo it, and they ended up bringing down the power output to 1%. When they then tried to bring it up to 25%, the reactor overheated and exploded causing the worst nuclear accident in history.

Five U.S. nuclear reactors in earthquake zones
usatoday.com


Status of the Nuclear Reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant
NYTimes.com


How a Reactor Shuts Down and What Happens in a Meltdown
NYTimes.com


Hazards of Storing Spent Fuel
NYTimes.com


Timeline: Nuclear Plant Accidents
BBCNews.com


Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl
independent.co.uk


In graphics: Fukushima nuclear alert
bbc.co.uk


Fukushima victims: homeless, desperate & angry
reuters.com


Japan Panel: Fukushima nuclear disaster "man-made"
bbc.co.uk.com






More, Did You Know That


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Human Concerns: Your Family Disaster Plan
Posted on Tuesday, February 06 @ 08:14:12 PST by admin


Your Family Disaster Plan


By: Roberto O. Ramirez

Those that have taken precautions and are prepared to protect their loved ones have more options at their disposal when exposed to and faced with disaster situations or tragedy.

Disaster can strike fast and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home for an undetermined length of time. Are you ready? Or will it come as a surprise to you?
What would you do if basic services such as water, gas, electricity or telephones were cut off or unavailable?

Families can--and do--cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team.

If not prepared, the response to emergency situations is always the same - “PANIC,” and in a panic situation your decision making capabilities are reduced or impaired as you try to cope with the situation.

Knowing what to do in advance is your best protection, indeed your responsibility. Where will your family be when disaster strikes? They could be anywhere--at work, at school or traveling. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children are safe?

We rest with the belief that it is the first responders, police, school principals and fire department’s responsibility to imagine the worst kind of disaster that can happen in our communities and plan for continuous service and operations.

Think again. You cannot assume that an incident/failure in your community will mean only a day off, and schools and supermarkets will be open, mail delivered, garbage collected and businesses will perform as usual. Consider the risks to your business and effects to you and your family if your community loses electric power, phones don’t work and/or communication lines (voice and data) are not be operational for 5 days or longer.

Dire Projections? Get you thinking, now your schedule may be affected, on the fly decisions have to be made to address for your family, kids at school, senior parents with disabilities, pets, transportation, work and vacation schedules have to be postponed .etc. etc. etc.

What do I Do? Is a question you may answer depending on whether you are a business owner or working for one, head of a household, working or retired, one thing is for sure, affected you will be.

Educating ourselves, families and community to include basic disaster preparedness is not only wise but essential. To avoid a potential tragedy, trauma or inconvenience of a disaster affecting our immediate family and community one must have viable options rather than improvisation as your only alternative when the damn breaks.

Protecting your family, property and small business may not have been a priority for some but after seeing the devastation that natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina delivered to the Louisiana coast and the city of New Orleans in 2005 and violent tragedies in our schools, (e.g. Columbine, Virginia Tech etc.), one must reflect as to what can be done to prevent being caught in a situation of tragic consequences.

Larger enterprises have been addressing these issues for some time and some have tested plans ready to be executed as soon as a disaster declaration is made. Many people have participated in the testing of large business continuity plans addressing the recovery of technology and/or business areas.

Protect Your Family and Property

• Get informed
Contacting your local emergency management office may be the first step in learning what plans and resources are available in your community. (See resources in your area) In addition it is important to know what plans are in place for your children’s school or day care center and to discuss them with those responsible for the security of your child. Does your workplace have any policies regarding disasters and/or emergencies? Do you know if plans exist, have they been tested and know what to do in an emergency situation?

• Get Involved
Get yourself involved with community preparedness and the development of your own family plan. Getting your family involved and prepared for disasters may be the difference for survival or between a calm assured response and chaotic disarray.

• Develop a Plan
Being prepared to take control of your actions during disasters takes planning. Family members should learn basic emergency responses to situations at home and while away from home, where to meet (like a neighbor’s or a relative’s house outside your neighborhood) should you be ordered to evacuate. Phone numbers and contact information of relatives out of state should be carried with you to communicate if you become separated from your family during a disaster. Make individual copies of vital contact information for each member of the family to keep in their wallets and backpacks.

Learn about warning systems in your community, evacuation plans, sheltering, school emergency and work plans and incorporate them into your family plan.

Evacuations occur for many reasons and are more common than many people realize. People along the east coast evacuate every year in the face of approaching hurricanes and thousands are forced to leave their homes every day due to transportation, industrial accidents or fire.

You may have to take additional steps to prepare if you or a member of your family has a disability or special needs. Include emergency services and caregivers in developing your plan and familiarize yourself with your homecare agency’s emergency plan and community emergency evacuation plans. Determine if you will need assistance including how you will get to a safe place or shelter if evacuation is required.
Plan to be self-sufficient for several days without help or emergency services.

• Prepare a Disaster Kit
Disasters have the tendency to come unannounced, without warning at the worst possible moment and do not provide you with enough time to go shopping or remove valuables from your home. They also impact the capability of local officials and relief workers to respond after a disaster. You may not get the help that you expect and it might take days before assistance arrives. You may need to survive on your own after a disaster.

Preparing your own supply of water, food, first aid kit, tools, clothing, personal supplies and protecting important family files, documents etc., is advisable and must be prepared in advance to evacuate on a moment’s notice. You will have what is necessary to survive should you be forced to evacuate or to remain at home on your own for long periods of time.

Be prepared to keep a kit along with a copy of your plan stored at home, and one in your car with all family members knowing about it. Replace and update expired items once a year.

Ensure Your Safety


Having developed a plan may not be sufficient if you have not tested the plan Involve every member in your family and make provisions to keep it up to date.
Spending an hour reviewing the plan with all involved, should be a yearly ritual to “kick the tires” so to speak and make sure everyone is up to date with the plan. Practice dealing with different circumstances and unforeseen situations making sure each and every member knows how to deal with unexpected events.

Like yearly changing batteries for your smoke detectors, your plan should be reviewed to adjust it to changing situations at home. Expired medicines, food, equipment and supplies should be replaced and important documents updated. If you use medical equipment that requires electric power, make sure that backup batteries and power generating equipment are working properly. Follow manufactures directions for safe operation. If you rely on oxygen ask your supplier for emergency replacement.

By planning ahead, you will feel more confident about protecting yourself and your family following any emergency situation, whether it is a house fire, power outage, hurricane, or terrorist attack.

Roberto O. Ramirez
President of Survival Insights LLC
Has over 25 years experience in Continuity Management, Crisis/Emergency Management and Information Technology

 
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