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Are you Tornado Ready?

Are you Tornado Ready?

 Are you Tornado Ready?

by Peter Colt Van Ryder, Estate Management Solutions

Peter Van Ryder Headshot EMS When DEMA first approached me about writing an article for this month’s newsletter, fear was my initial reaction. After the terror subsided, however, only one subject came to mind. With the blaring news in the background reporting between 6-13 confirmed tornadoes that touched down in Dallas/Ft. Worth area, it seemed to be as good a time as any to discuss emergency preparedness. It’s simply one of those topics very few of us enjoy…it is time-consuming, tedious, and in no way exciting. Between inventories, product research, regular checks for expiration, and finding space to store everything, it’s a daunting task – and just try to explain the cost to your principals! Oh yes…I didn’t even mention the household inventory, and I won’t in this article. However, when the roof is gone, you will want to know what was lost and how to replace it. For this I would recommend Phillip Porter of Crystal Treasures, Inc.

Because we are professionals, we tackle the tasks that our principals have no desire to address, and we anticipate the items that do not even cross their minds. So with all of this in mind, I decided to focus on just the basics. I will share with you what my experience has taught me when it comes to a strong BASIC preparedness plan.

TornadoAny security professional will tell you that the best way to be prepared is to have a plan. This plan should be understood by all involved, and if at all possible, rehearsed. There are
a large number of principals who will say they do not have time for something as trivial as this. But in the unfortunate event that nature strikes, they will look to their private service professional and ask, “Why weren’t we prepared for this?” I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to sit there and say, “I told you so.” I would very much prefer to look at them and say, “We have enough food and water for two weeks in the basement. We are also prepared with shelter, as well as the ability to cook and care for any minor medical problems.” Which situation would you rather find yourself in?

Let’s start here: What is the first thing that goes through your mind when a disaster strikes? Is my family safe?! Work alongside your principals to define two rally points: one on the property and one outside of the neighborhood in the event of an evacuation. Also clarify with your principals who they will want to congregate there. This will help you identify the amount of supplies you will need.

Which leads us to the next step of being prepared: You will need to ensure there are enough supplies to accommodate the total amount of people you are expecting for a two-week period. I like to make accommodations for 5-10 additional people, as you never know who will already be on property or who else may show up. Even if water is still flowing from the faucets, you do not know if the source has been contaminated.

Here are a few essentials that should be on your list:
• Water and water purification tablets – a good rule of thumb is one gallon per person per day.
• Non-perishable, easy to prepare food. (The longer the shelf life, the less often it needs to be checked and replaced.)
• Sanitation and Personal Hygiene Supplies (Include a 7 day supply of needed medication.)
• Flashlights with back-up Batteries
• Hand Crank or Battery power Radio
• First Aid kitEMS
• Towels and Blankets
• 7-day supply of Medications
• A Multi-tool
• Cash
• Tent or another form of Shelter
• Sleeping bags
• Phone list of important numbers
• The ability to create fire

This is a simple and basic list. There are a myriad of other items that can be added to your preparedness package including generators, gasoline, maps, copies of personal documents, clothes, water filtration systems, firearms and so on.

As with all topics within our industry, there is a wide variety of differing opinions and options of what to do. Your main focus should be, “What will my employers need?” They key point to surviving any disaster is to HAVE A PLAN!

You can find links to more resource as well as additional ways this can affect your principals by visiting: www.vanryder.com




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