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Emergency Preparedness at Home. Are you ready?. Work It’s part of our job We get paid for it Employer pays for necessary supplies needed to continue operation You may be asked to bring personal supplies if you are required to report to work during a disaster response

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Differences between preparing at work and at home


It’s part of our job

We get paid for it

Employer pays for necessary supplies needed to continue operation

You may be asked to bring personal supplies if you are required to report to work during a disaster response

Most of the preparation is done by someone else

We just have to show up with our personal supplies.


It is totally our responsibility

We have to do the planning and preparation

Cost of supplies is totally our responsibility

We have to set aside time, money and energy to come up with a plan and prepare for possible implementation

No one sends us a meeting planner and tells us to show up for the meeting

Differences between preparing at Work and at Home!

What happened at your house
What happened at your house? Hour!

  • Did you have tree damage?

  • Any structural damage to your home?

  • How about your electricity?

My house
My House Hour!

  • Well, the thunder and lightening woke me up.

  • I turned on the weather channel to see that the radar was mostly red right over Corpus Christi.

  • Then the lights went out!

  • Probably not the best course of action, but I just went to bed!

Waking up
Waking Up Hour!

  • Still no electricity!

  • No way that I could find my flashlight!

  • I did have candles so was able to get ready for work by candle light.

  • Totally surprised when I left the house to go to work.

  • Tree limbs, trees down all up and down my street.

Not amused

  • The next thing that I noticed that all of the houses across the street still had power!

  • I live in an “older neighborhood.”

  • Most of the worst tree damage was in the area of “established neighborhoods”.

Inconvenience Hour!

  • I don’t keep very much food on hand, well actually almost no food in my refrigerator or freezer!

  • But with the power gone, no way to get the chilled, filtered water from the through the door dispenser on the refrigerator.

  • Came home, talked with the neighbors. (we had a front yard get together) actually met some neighbors that I didn’t know.

  • Still difficult to take the fact that the neighbors across the street had power and air-conditioning!

  • Several of the neighbors decided it was time to go to a hotel for the evening.

Optimism revisited
Optimism Revisited! Hour!

  • I checked my refrigerator/freezer. Not much there, but everything was warm.

    • Note: If you have a frostless refrigerator or freezer, food will thaw in less than 24 hours. You either have to cook it or store it in an ice chest.

    • If you have only electric cooking appliances, cooking is not an option!

      • Very lucky!

        • All of the fast food places and convenience stores in my area have power!

Some recommendations
Some Recommendations Hour!

  • If you need an extended time to store food, water, drinks or ice for drinks:

    • You should store them in separate coolers.

      • Have one for the food

      • One for the canned and bottled drinks

      • One for ice for consumption.

        • Caveat: Ice was readily available, that is not always the case!

Power returns
Power Returns! Hour!

  • Saturday morning, I drove to the local convenience store for a much needed cup of coffee.

  • I was elated to see the power crews working at the end of my block!

  • Got my coffee, came home and was just ecstatic that I heard my neighbor’s air-conditioner, on my side of the street running!

Relief! Hour!

  • I was able to turn on the lights, ceiling fans, air-conditioner, and the refrigerator was running!

  • One thing that I had forgotten!

    • Notify the Home Alarm Company!

      • When the power goes off and returns, it sends an fire alarm notice to the alarm company.

      • The alarm company called me immediately and told me that they had dispatched CCFD to my address.

        • Thank GOD, there were probably alarms going off all over my neighborhood, so my buddies at CCFD did not show up!

Unprepared Hour!

  • Well, within 30 minutes of the power restoration I found my flashlight!

  • I found out that the power outage had affected over 70,000 customers in our area.

  • Imagine the impact if this had been a region wide power outage.

    • No stores open

    • No ice available for the coolers

    • Limited gasoline for cars.

Lessons learned
Lessons Learned Hour!

  • I am totally unprepared for a “disaster at home!”

    • For the past 18 years, I had always relied on the fact that if there was a major disaster, I would report to the hospital, and that most, if not all, preparations had been taken care of.

      • Power would be available, food/water would be available, even if I needed to bring my personal supplies with me.

This was different
This was different! Hour!

  • The “disaster” was limited to certain sections of our city, even though it was a large area.

    • But, it directly affected my part of town and my home.

Emergency vs disaster
Emergency Vs Disaster Hour!

  • I think that all of us were taught in Nursing School that an Emergency is declared by the patient when they have exhausted all of their resources and coping mechanisms.

  • I’m going to apply that definition to a Disaster!

    • I had gotten very close to exhausting all of my resources and coping mechanisms. It was a disaster for me!

Emergency at home
Emergency at Home Hour!

  • In our area we tend to define Emergencies and Disaster as it relates to Hurricanes.

  • Very limited view, and inadequate preparation.

  • Hurricane preparation is a great place to start!

  • Most of this preparation can be applied to any home emergency.

Types of home emergencies
Types of Home Emergencies Hour!

  • Weather Related

  • Power Failure

  • Major Appliance Failure

  • Injury at Home

Weather related
Weather Related Hour!

  • Do you have a plan for a Weather Related Emergency at home?

  • It is not always a Hurricane!

    • Think about our “Miracle Christmas Eve Snow!”

    • Beautiful, but many people were unable to show up for work!

      • That was probably a once in a lifetime experience for our area, but?

      • I spent last Christmas in Dallas, on Christmas Eve we had BLIZZARD warnings and received over 8 inches of snow on top of freezing rain!

      • That was the second measurable snow for the winter season in Dallas, and there was more to come!

    • What about flooding rains?

Hurricane threats to our area
Hurricane Threats to our area Hour!

  • Hurricane damage is not limited to wind damage!

  • Actually the worst damage is related to Storm Surge.

  • For those of you that may be new to the area, storm surge is not focused on the Island and Bay Front.

Resources for hurricane tracking
Resources for Hurricane Tracking Hour!

  • National Prediction Center

  • The Weather Channel

  • Spaghetti Models

  • Stormpulse

  • My Fox Hurricane Center



  • KZTV

Power failure
Power Failure Hour!

  • Is it for a short time or an extended time?

    • Do you rely on electricity to supply power for at home health care devices?

  • Do you have a generator?

    • Do you need a generator?

    • Whole house generators are very expensive and may require the storage of a large amount of fuel.

    • Smaller generators can supply power to selected appliances.

    • In the event of a major disaster, will fuel be available?

    • Remember if there is a major power disruption, gasoline, diesel pumps are powered by electricity.

Major appliance failure
Major Appliance Failure Hour!

  • OK! This may not qualify as an area wide disaster, but it can qualify as a a disaster for your home and for your budget!

    • A week after the power was restored, both of my central air-conditioners failed on the night before I was leaving for a vacation with the family.

    • I had the option of cancelling my trip and getting the repairs done, or wait until I came back.

      • Procrastination won out!

        • I left town!

Major appliance failure1
Major Appliance Failure Hour!

  • Another week without air-conditioning, but at least I had the ceiling fans! (Less than one week after the last Disaster)

  • Busy schedule at work, just couldn’t take off the time to get it to be at home to meet the repairmen.

  • This is the most important consideration

    • Do you have a financial plan to take care of major repairs that are not covered by insurance?

      • Do you have the financial back up to replace a major appliance or repair without having to rely on credit?

Injury at home
Injury at Home Hour!

  • Do you have a First Aid Kit at home?

  • How long has it been since you checked it for expiration dates?

  • If you live alone, is there some way that you can notify someone that you need help?

  • I’m not ready to get one of those things that you wear around your neck to summon emergency help, but I do have a panic button on my home alarm!

    • Just hope that I can get to the button!

Planning Hour!

  • If an evacuation order is issued, what are your plans?

    • Last minute flights may be limited and very expensive.

    • If you plan to drive

      • Leave early!

      • Know where you are going and be prepared to choose another route.

      • Have a place to stay before you leave!

        • During one evacuation scare, I spent nearly 4 hours trying to make reservations for my parents!

Communication Hour!

  • Cell phones are great, but have a limited battery life.

    • One thing that I learned is that I needed to take my battery charger with me to work to charge, no power at home.

    • In the event of a major disaster, phone lines and cell phone towers may not be available.

  • Computer communication

    • If you rely on Email, and the power goes out, do you have a power back up for your computer?

      • Laptop computer battery life is limited!

      • If you rely on phone lines or cable, that service may be disrupted.

    • Have you backed up your files, and are they accessable?

Communication continued
Communication Continued Hour!

  • OK! This is going to be foreign to most of you!

    • After Hurricane Celia

      • I had gone to visit my grandparents in East Texas, and was scheduled to return on August 3ed.

        • Well that didn’t happen

      • It took me three days to receive any news from my family in Corpus Christi and that was a brief 1 minute phone call.

Evacuation Hour!

  • What do I take?

    • Contact information!

      • Let them know who you are and where you are going!

      • Place ICE (In Case of Emergency) on your cell phone

    • Medications

    • Water and food for the evacuation

    • MONEY!

      • Have cash on hand in case ATM’s and Credit Card machines are offline.

    • Insurance Information

      • Contact information for your insurance company and your policies.

      • Have you thought about scanning important papers and placing them on a flash drive that you can take with you?

    • Possessions

      • What can’t be replaced?

      • What do you actually need?

      • What will fit in your vehicle?

Recovery Hour!

  • My experience from 40 years ago from Hurricane Celia.

    • Major damage to our home.

    • We had to move out.

    • Damage occurred during August and we were not able to move back in the house until November.

    • That is a long time to be away from “home” and having most of your belongings placed in storage.

Summary Hour!

  • We need to be prepared.

    • I found out in the last month, that I am not prepared! (Or maybe not smarter than a 5th grader!)

      • What I have done

        • I have a list of things that I need to get.

        • I am working on getting all of my records scanned and placed on a flash drive so that I don’t have to worry about finding the actual documents.

        • I have a plan to do some upkeep on my home!