Hundreds of thousands of people’s and puppies’ lives were forever changed by natural and man-made disasters in 2011–from tornadoes to floods, wildfires to hurricanes, earthquakes to tsunamis to terrorist attacks and everything in between, across the world, preparation paid off and recovery response was remarkable.
In the United States alone, in 2011, the American Red Cross launched 137 domestic disaster relief operations in 46 states and territories in order to help people recover from the fires, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes that rocked the United States. Internationally, disaster recovery extended to the earthquake in Japan and continued to tsunami response in Thailand. You’ve got to hand it to those folks at the Red Cross. They even help pets after disasters.
“The disasters we faced in 2011 affected many lives,” said Regional Red Cross Director Tina Labellarte. “Red Cross workers across the country worked tirelessly to make sure people had a safe place to stay, food to eat and help getting their lives back on track.”
This year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that there were 99 Major Disaster Declarations, 29 Emergency Declarations and 114 Fire Management Assistance Declarations. We only had a few emergencies in our doghouse. My wife and I are still training JR. As one of the most active years for disasters in recent history comes to a close and Americans ring in a new year, FEMA is encouraging people to Resolve to be Ready in 2012 by making a resolution to be prepared for emergencies. And, as we recently reported, we encourage RJW Training System clients and friends to start the New Year off right by resolving to be ready.
But, apart from signing up with FEMA, how exactly can you as a building owner and or property manager, prepare for disasters in 2012? Here are our top 10 suggestions for a safe and sane 2012:
- Make an emergency kit. If you have yet to prepare a go-bag for your car, office and home, don’t let another month go by without putting one together. Make sure you remember to pack pet food in it if you have a dog. (If you’ve got a cat, I think it should be made to fend for itself. Most of the cats I know are loners anyway. But that’s just my opinion.)
- Protect your computer. Cyber threats are very real. Don’t take electronic safety for granted.
- Be aware of your surroundings. The threat of terrorism is a reality that cannot be ignored. Remain vigilant about suspicious behavior and report anything unusual to authorities. Or you can always rely on the Twilight Bark. It’s worked for centuries.
- Protect your property from threat of fire. Install fire sprinklers, alarms and extinguishers. Also, tour your property and make sure flammable products are out of harm’s way.
- Guard your kids against disease. Due diligence will reveal that boosters are beneficial. Make sure your children are inoculated. Make sure your canines are vaccinated, too.
- Go green. As members of the Green Building Council, we support efforts to create and protect a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. We are part of a community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation.
- Prepare for regional disasters. If you live in California, you should understand how to prepare for earthquake. In Kansas, learn about tornadoes. And in coastal communities, make sure you understand tsunamis and hurricanes. But wherever you are, take the time to learn about each and every disaster since this year has taught us that disasters of any kind can strike virtually anywhere.
- Stay Connected. Experts agree that social media will continue to play an important role in emergency management in the year ahead. In our continuing effort to lead the way where disaster communication is concerned, we have introduced a new interactive Facebook Fanpage. Check it often to learn about disasters and emergency management. Also, check out my Tweets. I try to keep friends, fans and followers posted about disasters around the world.
- Know your building. To be prepared in the event of any emergency, you should understand the ins and outs of your own building as well as the proper way to evacuate should disaster strike. The RJWestmore Training System Version 2. 5 helps commercial buildings with compliance to fire life safety codes. Our interactive, building-specific e-learning training system motivates and rewards tenants instantly! It’s a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s).
- Above all, in 2012 and beyond…BE SAFE!
When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJ Westmore, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit RJWestmore.com for more information.