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
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.
Preparedness: How to prepare for Disaster
Posted on Tuesday, July 29 @ 17:36:59 PDT by editor
Those that have taken precautions and are prepared, have more options at their disposal when exposed to and faced with tragedy and/or uncomfortable situations.
With the 2008 hurricane season already under way, the east coast already suffering its effects and the specter of hurricanes past, we call on you the readers to take heed and begin to think how best you can prepare yourself, your family and your business to the real possibility of being in the path of one of these monsters, it's just a matter of time.
If a disaster occurs in your community things will not run as normal, services that you depend on may not be available, and communication may be impossible, first responders and disaster relief organizations may not be able to reach you as their efforts may be required elsewhere and it could be for a long undetermined period of time.
The forces of nature are always at work, from volcanoes to earthquakes and all kinds of extreme weather. Yet events like the September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina and the Tsunami in Southeast Asia etc. should encourage every citizen to question themselves:
What would I do if a disaster happened today in my community?
Would my family be safe if a catastrophe to the extent of Katrina would happen in the area where I live?
What would I do? where would I go?, How would I get there?
Will I and family be ready if an evacuation is ordered? What will I take with me?
Will my business be affected and will I be able to recover
Something to think about
The time to prepare is NOW. You and your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes and by all in the business or household, having a clear understanding that a disastrous event is possible and know how to respond.
Get informed about the potential risks and hazards and about emergencies that may affect the area where you live and/or where your business operates. Visit your Office of Emergency Management (OEM) you’ll get assistance in planning, education and to how to protect lives and property.
Develop a family emergency plan, include a communication and evacuation plan
Create an emergency supply kit. Decide what your family daily needs are including water, food, clothing, medicines, tools, battery radio etc. and plan to include supplies for five to seven days
If you have pets make provisions in advance for their care in an animal shelter or if you plan to take them with you. have food and water supply along with medicines (Some shelters do not accept pets)
Identify what are the important documents you need to preserve, make copies of them and store in more than one location away from home.
Plan on how to communicate if phone, internet and electric service is not available.
Take the necessary steps to get trained,
Become engaged in community preparedness and response efforts.
Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members
Keep a smaller version of the disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car
Keep items in airtight plastic bags
Replace batteries once a year
Update medications once a year
Businesses must develop emergency plans and get all personnel involved in the process,
Perform a risk assessment
Establish an organization identifying roles and responsibilities
Perform a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) to identify critical functions and establish recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs)
Determine staff, materials and equipment necessary to keep the business operating
Determine the strategies to develop the plan
Develop a business continuity plan (BCP) including communication plans with employees, and establish partnerships with local authorities and other businesses in the community.
Implement the plan
Test the plan – A plan without testing it is no plan at all
Your disaster plan should include instructions on what to do depending on the type of disaster or emergency you may be facing and the time you have to act. Your response will be different if facing a hurricane, fire, flood tornado or an earthquake. Never the less you will be in a better position to respond to the emergency by having planned in advance and enjoy better chances of control and survival for you and your family
Listen to radio or TV for information
Have a plan to shut down and secure you home and turn off utilities
Learn and identify where valves and switches are located to be able to turn off your gas, water and electricity on a short notice.
Consult with your utility company and ask for instructions on proper procedures to follow. You may need to execute this plan if directed to evacuate the area.
Be sure to follow their instructions
First response to a disaster is the responsibility of local authorities, emergency services and a myriad of state and federal agencies and volunteering organizations that get activated and mobilized depending on the event and particular needs.
A major disaster could result in state and federal disaster declaration which puts into motion recovery programs designed to help disaster victims, businesses and public entities.
Individual assistance to residents and business owners requires registration for assistance follows the declaration.
Aid could be obtained for:
Grants for expenses not covered by insurance,
Low interest loans,
Other aid programs like: crisis counseling, legal, unemployment, income tax, social security and veterans benefits
Applications are subject to specific deadlines for filing and audits to ensure only those eligible receive assistance.
Public assistance is also available to state and local governments to pay part of the cost rebuilding communities damaged infrastructures through loans and grants for public schools.
Staying informed and knowing how to get assistance are key to make the process less stressful and get back your life back to normal faster.
Returning to your home can be a challenge and precautions should be taken before you enter. Power, water and gas lines may have been damaged and trained personnel could be required to fix it.
To learn more visit:
FEMA at www.fema.gov/plan/index.shtm