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Diocese of Davenport. Disaster Planning. May 2009. Diocesan Support Day. 8:30Registration 9:00Welcome and Prayer 9:15Introduction to Disaster Planning 9:30The Floods of 2008 - Glenn Leach, Office of Social Action, Diocese of Davenport

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Diocese of Davenport

Disaster Planning

May 2009

Diocesan Support Day


9:00Welcome and Prayer

9:15Introduction to Disaster Planning

9:30The Floods of 2008 - Glenn Leach,

Office of Social Action, Diocese of Davenport

10:00General Disaster Planning – part 1


10:45The Tornado of 2006: St. Patrick Church,

– Deacon Jerry Miller

11:15General Disaster Planning – part 2

11:45Lunch (provided)

Diocesan Support Day

12:30Demonstrations: disaster kits, Automatic External Defibrillators (AED),

Red Cross First Aid Training Information

1:00The Fire of 1997: Our Lady of Guadalupe,– Terry Eagle, Muscatine Fire Fighter, (Ret.)

1:30 Break

1:45 General Disaster Planning – part 3

2:30 Questions and Answers / Discussion

3:00 Closing


  • Overview and training for disaster planning using the new Diocesan Disaster Preparedness and Response Planning Guide

Diocese of Davenport

  • SE portion of Iowa

  • Population ~745,000

  • 110,000 Catholics in 81 parishes

  • 22 Counties; 11,438 sq mi

  • Mostly rural communities

We Have Experienced Disasters


Davenport – 1993

We Have Experienced Disasters


Iowa City –2008

We Have Experienced Disasters


Hwy 1 –2008

Floodspage 68

Flash flood = a flood that occurs within six hours of a rain event, or after a dam or levee failure, or following a sudden release of water held by ice or debris jams.

Flash flood watch issued when heavy rains may cause sudden flash flooding in specified areas are occurring or expected to occur. A flash flood often occurs without any visible sign of rainfall.

Flash flood warning means flash flooding is occurring or is imminent along certain streams and designated areas. Move to high ground immediately.

Floodspage 68

Flood Hazard Zones

  • FEMA: http://msc.fema.gov/

  • Flood warnings and cautions

  • Sandbagging

  • Flood safety checklists

Pandemic Planning - 2006

General Disaster Planning - 2008

Outline of the Planning Guide

  • Common Disaster Planning Elements

  • Getting Organized

  • Planning for People, Parishes and Plant

  • Planning for Specific Natural Disasters

  • Planning for Specific Unnatural Disasters (human made)

  • Where to Go For Help

  • Where to Go To Help

  • Forms

Outline of the Planning Guide

Common Disaster Planning Elements

Getting Organized

Planning for People, Parishes and Plant

Planning for Specific Natural Disasters

Planning for Specific Unnatural Disasters (human made)

Where to Go For Help

Where to Go To Help


Nature of Disasters

Disasters fall into one of two broad categories of disasters, natural and unnatural. Within these categories there is a general range that defines the scope of a disaster according to the area affected:

  • Family Emergencyindividual family(Example: home fire)

  • Local Disastercity(Example: tornadoes)

  • State Disasterstate(Example: storms)

  • Major Disasternational(Example: pandemic influenza)

Phases of a Disaster

Mitigation – Taking steps before a disaster occurs to minimize the effects

Preparedness - Planning how to respond

Response - Minimize the hazards created by a disaster

Recovery - Returning the community to normal

Incident Command System - ICS

ICS was developed in the 1970s in response to a series of major wildland fires in southern California. City, county, State, and Federal fire authorities collaborated to form the Firefighting Resources of California Organized for Potential Emergencies (FIRESCOPE).

FIRESCOPE identified several recurring problems involving multiagency responses, such as:· Nonstandard terminology among responding agencies.· Lack of capability to expand and contract as required by the situation.· Nonstandard and nonintegrated communications.· Lack of consolidated action plans.· Lack of designated facilities.

Incident Command System - ICS

People are assigned specific roles in an emergency:

Incident Command System - ICS

Incident Command System - ICS

Incident Commander: Sets the incident objectives, strategies, and priorities and has overall responsibility at the incident or event.

Command Staff:

Public Information Officer: Provides information to parishioners, parents, staff and the public, including the media or other organizations seeking information directly from the incident or event.

Safety Officer: Monitors safety conditions and develops measures for assuring the safety of all assigned personnel.

Liaison Officer: Primary contact for supporting agencies assisting at an incident.

Incident Command System - ICS

General Staff:

Operations Chief: Conducts the operations to carry out the plan. Develops the tactical objectives and directs all resources. This includes care to the individuals present during a crisis.

Planning Chief: Prepares and documents the plan to accomplish objectives; collects and evaluates information, maintains resource status, and maintains documentation for incident records.

Logistics Chief: Provides support, resources, and all other services needed to meet the operational objectives such as food, water, bathroom facilities and transportation.

Finance/Administration Chief: Monitors costs related to the incident, provides accounting, procurement, and time recording.

Incident Command System - ICS

  • The Incident Command System for the Chancery

  • Incident Commander: the Bishop of Davenport

  • Public Information Officer: Director of Communication

  • Safety Officer: Director of Liturgy

  • Liaison Officer: Director of Social Action

  • Operations Chief: Vicar General

  • Planning Chief: Chancellor

  • Logistics Chief: Maintenance and Security Supervisor

  • Finance / Administration Chief: Chief Financial Officer

  • :

  • Note: At least one alternate should be identified to perform the essential functions of each position.

Incident Command System - ICS

The Incident Command System for a Parish (only 1 of many)

Incident Commander: Pastor

Public Information Officer: Parish Council President

Safety Officer: Parish Nurse

Liaison Officer: Youth Minister

Operations Chief: DRE

Planning Chief: Liturgist

Logistics Chief: Maintenance

Finance / Administration Chief: Bookkeeper


Note: At least one alternate should be identified to perform the essential functions of each position.

Incident Command System - ICS

  • Transfer of Command - the process of moving the responsibility for incident command from one Incident Commander to another. This may take place for a number of reasons:

  • when a more qualified person assumes command

  • a legal requirement to change command, for example, to emergency services

  • there is normal turnover of personnel on long incidents

  • the incident response is concluded and responsibility is transferred back

  • The transfer of command process always includes a transfer of command briefing, which may be oral, written, or a combination of both.

  • :

Form the Disaster Planning Committee

  • Disaster Coordinator ; Parishioner - Retired or active firefighter, EMS, law enforcement

  • Incident Command Team

  • Other members with areas of expertise: doctors, nurses, crisis counselors, childcare workers, skilled contractors

  • Work through the Disaster Preparedness and Response Planning Guide

We Have Experienced Disasters


St. Patrick Church - 2006

We Have Experienced Disasters


St. Patrick Church - 2006

Tornadoespage 77

Tornado = a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.

Tornadoes may accompany severe thunderstorms, and while they can strike at any time of the year, they occur most frequently during April, May and June.

In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries.

The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.

Tornadoespage 77


Tornadoespage 77

Path of


Tornadoespage 77

National Weather Storm Spotter Training

  • Finished for the 2009 season; usually Feb - April

  • https://apps.weather.gov/outreach/IA.php

    A Tornado Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for tornados to develop. Often tornado watches are issued during severe thunderstorms. This does not mean that a tornado will occur, only that it is possible.

     A Tornado Warning means that a tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted on the ground.

Tornadoespage 77

  • Myth:Areas near rivers, lakes, and mountains are safe from tornados.

  • Fact:No place is safe from tornados.

  •  Myth:The low pressure with a tornado causes buildings to “explode” as the tornado passes overhead.

  •  Fact:Violent winds and debris slamming into buildings causes most structural damage.

  • Myth:Windows should be opened before a tornado approaches to equalize pressure and to minimize damage.

  •  Fact:Opening windows allow damaging winds to enter the structure. Leave windows alone; instead, immediately go to a safe place.

Purpose of the Diocesan Disaster and Crisis Management Committee

  • Assist parishes, schools, families and individuals in planning for disasters by providing criteria for local disaster plans and providing resource information

  • Assist the Diocese in building a system of early responders

  • Monitor the environment for potential disasters and provide advisories to the Diocese

  • Provide advice to the Diocese during disasters

  • Assist the chancery safety team in planning for disasters that affect the chancery staff

Examine Resources – Free Training

Incident Command System

Examine Resources – Free Training

Are You Ready? - FEMA

Training Volunteers and Staff - CERT

Working toward CERT teams in the parishes

CERT = Community Emergency Response Team

Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand

Factors as number of victims, communication failures, and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services

People will have to rely on each other for help

in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs.

Are You Ready? - FEMA

Training Volunteers and Staff - CERT

Began in 1985, now a nationwide program with connection to

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and

EMI - Emergency Management Institute

New curriculum this year; waiting for release to begin CERT training

But we aren’t going to wait!

Red Cross Training – Wed May 20: First Aid, CPR, AED training

Are You Ready? - FEMA

Start Preparing Now – Build Over Time

We Have Experienced Disasters


Our Lady of Guadalupe - 1997

Firespage 85

Major Causes of Fire

  • Careless Smoking – Enforce Iowa law that prohibits smoking indoors.

  •  Combustible Waste –Combustible waste should be placed in approved containers with tight fitting covers, so that any fire occurring will be confined within the container. Materials capable of spontaneous ignition should be kept in separate containers.

  •  Electrical Hazards – Circuit breakers are the safety devices in electrical wiring. All electrical appliances used in the building must be UL approved and be inspected.

Firespage 85

Fire Prevention

  • Do not permit the obstruction of hallways, doorways and ramps, or allow them to be used as storage areas.

  • The proper operation of interior doors is necessary to divide the parish into sections, thus providing some protection to other areas. Keep all such doors closed when not in use.

  • Working smoke detectors double your chance of surviving a fire. Experts advise that you clean smoke detectors regularly and replace batteries once a year.

  • Plan two escape routes wherever you are.

  • Windows should be easily opened, not nailed or painted shut. If you have security bars on windows, have a fire safety opening feature so they can be easily opened from inside.

Firespage 85

  • Procedures for Persons Discovering a Fire

  • Look for smoke/fire or smoke detectors with solid red lights on. Feel for heat.

  • When a fire is discovered, immediately call 911 and notify the staff person in charge.

  • Evacuate all personnel to a safe distance as soon as possible.

  • If the fire can be contained, obtain one of the correct fire extinguishers from the area nearest you and attempt to put out the fire. If the fire is too large to extinguish, try to confine it to one specific area by closing doors.

  • Report the actions you have taken and then await further instructions. 

  • If unable to extinguish the fire, prepare to remove records and the Eucharist if ordered to do so.

Other Potential Disasters


Southern Illinois –


Potential Disasters


Southern Illinois –


A full Range of Disasters – In One Day

Communicating with Parishioners/Staff

  • Radio / TV stations / Newspapers

  • NOAA Weather Radio / All Hazards

  • Community warning systems (sirens)

  • Emergency E-mail & Wireless Network

  • Parish group e-mail to cell phone text messaging

Radio / TV Stations / Newspapers

Frequent updates

Scrolling messages on local TV stations

Low cost

Simple monitoring

Radio / TV Stations / Newspapers

Sign up to receive

e-mail and cell phone text messages.

The Muscatine Journal uses the Quad-City Times program.


Cedar Rapids Gazette takes it further to include weather, news, even sports.

Be aware of limitations

NOAA Weather Radio / All Hazards

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

NWR is an "All Hazards" radio network, broadcasting warning and post-event information for all types of hazards – including natural (such as earthquakes or avalanches), environmental (such as chemical releases or oil spills),

and public safety (such as AMBER alerts or

911 Telephone outages).

NOAA Weather Radio / All Hazards

NOAA Weather Radio / All Hazards

NOAA Weather Radio / All Hazards


Whether you listen to the live streaming audio or download the static audio files, please remember that you should NOT rely on this Internet audio to receive watches or warnings. Instead, you should have a dedicated NOAA Weather Radio receiver which will alert you 24 hours a day to hazards in your area.

Community warning systems (sirens)

Usually based on National Weather Service reports and spotter reports.

Usually initiated by the city/county dispatcher using radio remote control.

Alerts are usually announced using set protocols to reduce delays.

Emergency Email & Wireless Network

4 Steps:

Customsystem at low cost

Parish group e-mail to cell phones

Most cell phone companies allow sending e-mail messages as text messages.

Add the 10 digit cell phone number to the carrier’s address.

Usually limited to 140 characters and spaces per message.

Parish group e-mail to cell phones

  • Make a chart of addresses with cell phone carriers.

  • Add to Microsoft Outlook as groups.

  • Copy the address book to other computers as needed or

  • Use web-based e-mail such as G-mail with multiple access by those authorized to send messages.

Contact information:

  • Deacon Frank Agnoli

    • [email protected]

  • Deacon David Montgomery

    • [email protected]

  • Website

    • Page dedicated to disaster planning / resources

    • http://www.davenportdiocese.org/disaster/


Implementation: Challenges

  • Disaster planning is not in peoples’ mindset…

  • No felt need or urgency…

  • Paralysis… fear or overwhelmed by tasks…

  • Finances

  • Theological presumptions…

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