Knowledge is Power

On this September 11th, I have a request.

Since for so many of us, the biggest frustration and concern was based on fear and a lack of communication, I ask you to take the time to prepare a communications plan.

Whether it is a terror attack, or a hurricane, or simply a neighborhood evacuation for a gas leak – you need to have contingencies for connecting your family locally, and communicating your status long-distance.

American Red CrossFamiliarize yourself with the Red Cross Safe and Well website. Incorporate it into your plan.

Identify a “Hub” – a person of trust far away whom you can reach and can then contact the rest of your friends and loved ones.

Do it today.
[Tags]Ike Pigott, Occam’s RazR, American Red Cross, disaster preparedness, communications, disaster communications, Safe and Well[/tags]

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  1. A communication plan like this probably won’t work out well if something big happens, long distance suddenly tends to vanish completely.

    Phone lines either end up dead due to damage or overload so a long distance hub might not even be reachable at all.

    Many people will panic and not even remember such a plan, especially the ones which are located right in the danger zone.

    Rather than having a communication plan a better thing would be to have a good evacuation plan, something which should be organized on a city or state level. And that’s something which totally lacks in most cities, when it comes to terrorism many have something ready but if it would be a great flood suddenly hitting there’s nearly no big city with the slightest ready.

    If a hurricane would hit the east coast of the US in example and strike new york millions would most likely die within a couple of days without any solid plan of getting people out. Name any other cities located near by the ocean and the story is pretty much the same, especially those with millions of people living on a relatively small location are at great risk for natural disasters.

  2. Actually, Slevi – this is exactly the sort of communications plan that will work.

    I agree, you have to have more than a communication plan.

    Our recent experiences in disaster give us some fairly solid points:

    1. Those calling out of a disaster area have a much better time than those calling in.
    2. People in NYC who tip off a relative in Iowa don’t have to get in touch with everyone. Part of the plan is having all your friends know to call your friend in Iowa where there is no outage.
    3. Text messaging (SMS) is the most robust wireless tech we have. Even when voice goes out, SMS is the last to disappear and is the first to resume. Using SMS to reach someone on the outside who can enter your status on the Safe and Well network is a perfect use of technology and preparedness.
    4. People panic because they don’t know what to do. Those who have a preparedness plan (and have practiced it) do not panic.

    Coastal cities do have evacuation plans. For hurricanes, the evacuation preps now begin five days before landfall. Five days.

    As for your “tsunami” scenario, we (globally) are now far more attuned to seismic activity and its effect on surface waves. Tsunami warnings now go up in the Pacific, and there isn’t much seismic activity in the Gulf or the Atlantic.

    BOTTOM LINE: Everyplace is a risk for a disaster of one type or another. You should know your risks, and plan accordingly. I suggest you click on the graphic at the top left of my sidebar and take your first steps to becoming ready. Just make sure that communications is covered in your plan.

  3. Thanks for the reminder. There’s no one who couldn’t be affected by some calamity, so not being prepared seems incredibly foolish. Yet, we all think we’ll get prepared next month…

  4. Well, even though this is National Preparedness Month here in the States, we’ll be happy to allow you to get your stuff together in September with no penalty!


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