most Americans having smartphones, it is easy to have preparedness information
right in your pocket. Ashley Sylvester, a prepared mother of two children and
survivor of the 2013 Oklahoma tornado, shares in the America’s PrepareAthon! disaster survivor
video she had emergency preparedness mobile applications
(apps) that were vital to her. When she received the alert about an
impending tornado via a tornado mobile app, she knew it was serious and was
able to quickly move her family to their safe room.
the FEMA app to access
disaster preparedness tips, get emergency meeting location information and
more. Take your preparedness measures to the next level with FEMA text messages.
Subscribe to receive regular safety tips for specific disaster types and search
for open shelters. In addition, the American Red Cross has
a host of weather-specific apps that will get you better prepared.
In the past few
months and weeks many across the United States have felt frozen from the impact
of severe winter storms and extreme cold. Just a few weeks ago, we heard many
stories of those in the southern United States who had to deal with being stuck
for hours in their car or without power due to extreme snow and icy conditions.
The importance of
planning for severe weather is invaluable. In December 2013, we learned about
James Glanton and Christine McIntee on cnn.com, as
they tackled winter weather conditions. This family survived in sub-zero
temperatures for two day in the Nevada wilderness after their car rolled off the
side of the road. How did the family survive? Here are 5 things that they did
to survive the harsh conditions:
They did not leave to go find
help. It’s better to stick with your vehicle than going out on your
They were planning to play in the
snow, so they were prepared for the elements. Include adequate clothing and
blankets in your car to stay warm, especially if you will be
They improvised to
stay warm by starting a fire outside the car, heating rocks and placing them
inside the spare tire to keep everyone warm at night; and
They had food and water. As part
of an emergency supplies
kit, Ready.gov recommends having a quantity of
food and water to last at least 72 hours.
Be a Force of Nature
National Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 2-8
During National Severe Weather
Preparedness Week March 2 to 8, the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) are calling
on individuals across the country to Be a Force of Nature: Take the Next Step
by preparing for severe weather and encouraging others to do the same.
Just one tornado can
cause catastrophic damage. Last year, the EF 5
tornado that struck Moore, Okla., on May 20 killed 24 people and caused more
than $2 billion in damage. In 2013, a total of
903 tornadoes were reported in the United States. Those
tornadoes occurred in 43 states on 152 days, resulting in 55 fatalities and
more than 500 injuries.
As more people move
to tornado-prone areas, knowing what to do when severe weather strikes could
“With the devastation of last year’s
tornadoes fresh in our minds and springtime almost here, I urge individuals to
become weather-ready now,” said NOAA National Weather Service Director Dr.
Louis Uccellini. “Make
sure you have multiple ways to access forecasts and warnings from NOAA’s
National Weather Service before severe weather strikes.”
“Being ready today can make a big
difference for you when disaster strikes,” said FEMA Administrator Craig
Fugate. “It only takes a few minutes. Talk with your family and
agree to a family plan. Learn easy steps on how to prepare at Ready.gov and find out how your community can take action
in America’s PrepareAthon through drills, group discussions
and community exercises.”
Our severe weather safety message is
simple: know your risk, take action, be an example.
• Know Your Risk: The first step to
becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can
affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your
family. Sign up for weather alerts and
check the weather forecast regularly.
• Take Action: Make sure you and your
family are prepared for severe weather. Your family may not be together when a storm strikes, so plan how you will
contact one another by developing your family communication plan. Make sure you put together an
emergency kit and store important papers and valuables in a safe place. Visit Ready.gov/severe-weather to
learn more about how to be better prepared and how you can protect your family
when severe weather strikes.
• Be an Example: Once you have taken
action, tell family, friends, and co-workers to do the same. Share the resources and alert systems
you discovered through your social media network. Technology today makes it
easier than ever to be a good example and share the steps you took to become
these new videos to help your friends and families to prepare.
• Get Weather Ready: Before a Tornado - http://youtu.be/uE66ganofF0
• Get Weather Ready: During a Tornado - http://youtu.be/_5TiTfuvotc
• Get Weather Ready: After a Tornado - http://youtu.be/UQ94ESZulA8
NOAA and FEMA’s involvement in the
innovative Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) project, a new text-like
message system, is part of a national effort to increase emergency preparedness
and build a Weather-Ready Nation. Last year millions of individuals
across the country received WEAs with life-saving weather warnings via their
cell phone. These geographically targeted
emergency alerts have allowed people to receive weather warnings they would not
have otherwise received, and many people took life-saving action. For more information, visit www.ready.gov/alerts.
Preparing for Spring Weather Webinar
Tuesday, March 11th, 2014, 1pm to 2pm CT
We have all witnessed the devastating effects Mother Nature can cause throughout the year. As we look ahead to Spring, now is the time to prepare for the threats posed by spring storms and floodwaters. Your organization is more than just a place of business to your customers, employees and stakeholders. Your organization is a key aspect of their lives, and one that must be protected. If your organization is affected by adverse weather conditions, how well will you be prepared to serve those who depend on you in their time of need?
Join the SBA and co-sponsor Agility Recovery as we welcome Agility CEO Bob Boyd who will share practical, applicable tips and best practices to mitigate the risks posed by spring weather conditions. These recommended steps and strategies are based on the thousands of successful business recoveries following weather disasters, including those related to flooding, tornadoes and severe storms. Registration Link: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/191715953
Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) and InfraGard Members Alliance in Minnesota partner to create the Public and Private Coordination and Action Team (P2CAT).
The State Emergency Operations Center has established a public hotline for Minnesotans with propane issues or questions. The Hotline will operate Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Minnesota residents with questions about the current propane situation or who are in danger of running out of heating fuel can call 651-297-1304 in the metro area or 1-800-657-3504 in greater Minnesota.
The hotline is staffed with experts from the Minnesota Department of Commerce who can provide information about Energy Assistance Programs, connect callers with resources in their home county, and provide other information.
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) continues to be partially activated so that the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management division (HSEM) can coordinate efforts of state agencies. HSEM is in contact with state, local and voluntary partners to coordinate any potential resource requests. There have been no such requests at this time.
Governor Dayton declared a State of Peacetime Emergency in Minnesota on Monday in response to the persistent cold weather and the increased risk that households may run out of heating fuel, a situation that would pose an immediate threat to public safety.
Critical Infrastructure Partners,
How can YOU use the NIPP 2013 in your organization? How can YOU work with government and private sector partners to implement innovations in risk management and achieve measurable outcomes for critical infrastructure security and resilience? How can WE work together to leverage existing partnerships and foster new ones?
Find out how and learn about NIPP supplemental tools and training programs for your organization, by joining us during your choice of two one-hour long Joint Critical Infrastructure Partnership (JCIP) Workshop Webinar sessions focused on the NIPP 2013 Call to Action on:
Tuesday February 4, 2014
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST
Wednesday February 5, 2014
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST
Find more details on the attached flyer below.
Robert Kolasky, Senior Advisor, Office of Infrastructure Protection
Director, Strategy and Policy, Office of Infrastructure Protection
Chris Anderson, Deputy Director, Strategy and Policy, Office of Infrastructure Protection
Register now for an engaging and interactive discussion on what the NIPP 2013 Call to Action means for you!
Download the National Infrastructure Protection Plan 2013: Partnering for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience at: http://www.dhs.gov/national-infrastructure-protection-plan
These webinars are open to everyone, and widest distribution is encouraged.
Emergencies, natural disasters and workplace violence can happen without warning: being prepared is more important than ever before. BERM features respected professionals who share knowledge and insight on the topics of emergency management, crisis communications, and strategic planning as it pertains to businesses and organizations.
Whether you are from a small or large business, please join us on March 12th for the 2nd Annual Business Emergency and Risk Management (BERM) Conference.
Business Emergency and Risk Management (BERM) Conference
March 12th, 2014
Hennepin Technical College (Brooklyn Park Campus) - 9000 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park, MN
Map, Directions and Parking
Check-in and Breakfast: 7:30am, Conference: 8:30am to 4:45pm
Cost: $49, To register call 763.488.2721 or visit hennepintech.edu/berm
· The Power of Trust and Teamwork: Michael Hingson, Best Selling Author and 9/11 Survivor, President of The Michael Hingson Group, Inc
· Shaping the Future of Emergency Management: Eric Waage, Director, Hennepin County Emergency Management
· Shots Fired…Now What?: Tracy Worsley, Emergency Preparedness and Security Specialist, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
· Managing the Aftermath Violence: The Sprint, The Marathon: Jonathan Bundt, President, Masa Consulting
· Getting Your Boss to Listen: James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, President, The Lukaszewski Group Division, Risdall Public Relations
· What the Heck Are You Doing on Twitter? The Building is on Fire! Crisis Communications and Social Media in an Emergency: Art Coulson, Communications Director, Ramsey County
· De-Escalating Techniques for Employees and Customers: Mike Colestock, Associate Dean, Public and Emergency Service Careers/Customized Training Hennepin Technical College
· Information Technology: More Than Just the Cloud: Patrick Hardy, President and CEO, Hytropy.com
· Minnesota Fusion Center and Minnesota Threat Update: Bill Chandler, Director, Minnesota Fusion Center at the BCA, Minnesota Department of Public Safety
· 5 Fatal Disaster Plan Blunders Small Businesses Make: Patrick Hardy, President and CEO, Hytropy.com
· Building a Workplace Violence Prevention and Management Program: Daniel Murphy, Founding Partner; Violence Prevention Strategies, Inc.
This event is proudly sponsored by Hytropy, MEMA, MN ASIS, InfraGard Minnesota Members Alliance and Hennepin Technical College's Customized Training Services.
We hope to see you there!
ICE (in case of emergency) is an acronym that can tell emergency responders whom they should contact on your behalf if you are unable to communicate.
ICE was originated and promoted by British paramedic Bob Brotchie, beginning in 2005. Based on his own experience of using patients’ cell phones to find contact information, Bob selected ICE as a consistent way for people to label – and responders to search for - primary points of contact in a medical emergency.
Simply label your primary emergency contacts with the ICE acronym; “ICE – Mom” or “ICE-Terry.” Emergency responders can then quickly search your phone contact lists for these numbers. Bob’s website, incaseofemergency.org, strongly recommends that you have a conversation with each person you have labeled as an ICE contact, so they are aware they could be contacted during a medical emergency.
As more people carry smartphones and more phones are locked to prevent unauthorized use, does the ICE program still have merit? App developers have created tools to make ICE information available even when the rest of your phone remains locked.
Typical ICE apps allow you to list information such as your name, date of birth, allergies and relevant medical information, as well as the names and telephone numbers of people you would want to be contacted.
We do not recommend a specific app, but these programs are available for iPhones and Android smartphones. Many are available without charge. Read the user reviews and carefully check the privacy settings of a specific app before you download one onto your phone.
Resources:In Case of Emergency Apps
More on ICE: In Case of Emergency on Wiki
Source: Minnesota Department of Health