Posted in BE SAFE, Biological Warfare, Disaster Preparedness, High-Rise Buildings, Resolve to Be Ready in 2012

National Preparedness Month September 2012

Based on all of the natural and man-made disasters that have been taking place lately, it seems particularly fitting that September is National Preparedness Month. This year marks the ninth annual National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Here is a sampling of significant world events over just the past seven days, in case you aren’t convinced that it is worth your time to prepare for disaster: (By the way…my run-in with Felix the Cat isn’t even listed. I’ll spare you the details. But suffice to say it was definitely a disaster for him.)


Bomb Threats:

USA North Dakota

USA Texas










Costa Rica






Papua New Guinea


USA Alaska

USA Maine



Fires & Wildfires(These just happen to be my specialty.)






USA California

USA Oklahoma

USA Oregon

USA Washington

USA West Virginia

USA Wyoming


Flash Flood & Landslides:


Costa Rica






USA California

USA Louisiana

USA Utah

West Africa


Hazardous Materials:

USA New Mexico


Terrorist Attacks:

British Embassy in Sudan

German Embassy in Sudan

US Embassy in Egypt
US Embassy in Libya

US Embassy in Sudan

US Embassy in Tunis

US Embassy in Yemen
Tornadoes: (I think we should have included Toto’s trip to Oz in this category, even though it didn’t happen within the past 7 days.)

USA Florida

USA New York

USA Texas


Transportation Incident:

USA Nebraska






Obviously, the above list is far from comprehensive. Disasters of all kinds occur virtually everywhere, every second of every hour of every day. Not to be Debbie Downer. If you would like to check out up-to-the minute disasters, you can download apps for your phone or mobile device, or check out free online resources from the CDC, FEMA and Ready.Gov. To receive free monthly preparedness tips from FEMA, text PREPARE to 43362.  More important than learning about every single disaster is to prepare for any and every kind of disaster.

The RJWestmore Online Training System provides emergency preparedness to tenants of high rise commercial buildings across the country. Online modules such as fire, earthquakes and bomb threats equip building occupants so they know how to quickly and safely respond to virtually any disaster…be it manmade or natural. So, if you own or manage commercial property, you can take advantage of the RJW system and enjoy peace of mind about emergency preparation and recovery for everyone who lives or works in your building.

To make sure you and your family are prepared for disasters; heed the advice of FEMA, whose new campaign is: “Today is the day before. Are you ready for tomorrow?” In other words, we don’t know what type disaster might occur tomorrow. But the best we can do is to prepare for it today. Would you be ready for a disaster? In short:

  1. Make sure you are informed about what to do before, during and after a disaster.
  2. Make a plan. Prepare, plan and stay informed about emergencies.
  3. Build a kit for disasters so you are prepared. Make sure the kit includes lots of dog treats and food for Fido.
  4. Get involved—find opportunities to support community preparedness.
  5. Plan to protect your business. Maybe Man’s Best Friend could help you here.

Over the years, we have devoted 169 RJ the Firedog blog posts to the topic of disaster preparation. To celebrate National Preparedness Month, why not read through a few to refresh your memory and motivate you to take action? 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 RJWestmore, Inc. Our new Version 3.0 system offers the best emergency training system.

Posted in Disaster Preparedness, Resolve to Be Ready in 2012, Version 2.5

A Humble Firedog’s Disaster Recap 2011

2011 Had Disasters A-Plenty

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:

  1. 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.)
  2. Protect your computer. Cyber threats are very real. Don’t take electronic safety for granted.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. 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 for more information.

Posted in BE SAFE, Disaster Preparedness, Resolve to Be Ready in 2012, Uncategorized, Version 2.5

RJ the Firedog Wants You to Resolve to be Ready in 2012

With wildfires, droughts, historic flooding and several other disasters, 2011 proved to be quite a year for emergency managers. It was also quite a year for me. I rolled in a pile of something and carried the odor around for days. To help with what is expected to be a turbulent 2012, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently announced the Resolve to be Ready in 2012 campaign. The purpose is to promote individual and business preparedness in the face of disasters.

Before we go any further, I want to disclose my resolutions for 2012:

  1. Gain between 10 and 12 pounds.
  2. Exercise less and conserve strength by napping in the sun.
  3. Chase various animals more frequently (despite the fact this contradicts resolution #2).
  4. Ask the guys at the station to cook things that will make my coat nice and shiny.

The good folks at FEMA are encouraging the private sector to be more self-sufficient in its management of disasters. After such a busy year as 2011, the reserves of FEMA and other organizations are sparse. The private sector can help itself by limiting losses incurred following disasters or by preventing damage altogether through proper planning and safeguards. I’ve been planning ahead for months. Our doghouse is prepared for anything and everything.

Many training materials and tips for improving readiness can be found through the site

  • Multi-language communication materials are available in several languages including Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, and Hindi, among others. Why can’t somebody invent a dog-bark translator?
  • Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Programs are intended to help organizations to follow proven standards for optimal safety. Followed standards come from three sources— the American Society for Industrial Security, the British Standards Institution, and the National Fire Protection Association.
  • Voluntary certifications through Ready.Gov are the result of a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector and are designed to promote self-sufficiency and a decreased reliance on government aid.
  • Disaster kit contents are detailed on the site, including the importance of following the rule of storing one gallon of water per person per day. I’m on the 1.5-gallons-of-gravy per-day rule.
  • Pledges can be taken at www.Ready.Gov/Resolve, which certifies an individual or business entity is taking necessary steps to be ready to act during a disaster.
  • Free materials including the publication Ready Business are available through the site. I offer a stellar tome called How to Succeed at the Dog Park without Even Trying.
  • Business Continuity Plans that will allow companies to resume business operations quickly are fully explained on Companies are encouraged to consider work-at-home arrangements, backup data storage, and other safeguards that will prevent delays in business.
  • Disaster Planning Exercise training materials can be downloaded from the site and used to run real-world drills. Personally, I don’t like drills. “Sit!” “Stay!” Those are no fun. I have some commands for you people. “Get the leash!” “Drop that salami!”

Business owners and facility managers are encouraged to offer readiness tips, including:

  • Incorporate readiness information and products into any holiday parties. Perhaps you can provide a NOAA radio as a party gift. Or maybe a gift card to the local pet store?
  • Need a theme for your party? While “disaster preparedness” might not sound too exciting, you could build a fun volcano or rent a fake snow machine to bring some lightness to the party while raising awareness.
  • Perform fire drills during the holiday season to ensure tenants don’t forget about safety.
  • Hang up various print and electronic banners available for free from My wife had me hang a bunch of posters in our doghouse including some of Lassie and Rin Tin Tin.

Resolving to be ready does not mean you have to live a constant state of paranoia or fear of disaster. Stop following me you crazy squirrels! It simply means implementing the right practices, products, or facilities that limit your building’s exposure to harm. Your tenants and their employees will have confidence in your safety features, which can prove invaluable in an emergency situation.

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 for more information and remember to BE SAFE.