September: National Preparedness Month

During September, National Preparedness Month, we all need to take action to ready ourselves for whatever the future may bring.  Whether natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes or other situations, disaster can hit at any time.  This is a perfect month to  take proactive steps to prepare which could include signing up for local alerts, assembling supplies, checking insurance coverage, planning for emergency communications, reviewing the security of your data, or even conducting drills.  September 30 is America's PrepareAthon!, a day for action planning for emergencies.  If you have more to do to ensure a robust emergency plan take steps on the 30th.  www.ready.gov and https://community.fema.gov/about are just two of the many sites full of helpful resources and ideas. Earthquakes are the natural disaster we prepare for.  10:20 am on Oct 20 is the Great ShakeOut.  Visit shakeout.org if you are in an earthquake prone area to learn more about the event and related resources.

Disasters - are you ready?

September was National Preparedness Month and October has the Great American Shakeout, both of which makes companies like ours both in earthquake territory and with an El Nino winter on the way, think about disaster preparedness.   Unfortunately only a small percent of small businesses have a plan. Just a few of the things we have in place include: fire extinguishers in each room, first aid kits, and a trained emergency responder on staff. We do regular back ups and have off site access to the majority of the information we work with on a regular basis. The building itself is robust, having very recently gone through a series of inspections and improvements.   We also have various insurance policies, a generator at an off site alternate work location, and cell phones as back up to our in office phone system.

According to the Small Business Association ninety percent of companies fail within a year of a disaster unless they can resume operations within five days. While there is even more we can do to be prepared for disasters, we know we can be back in business very quickly no matter what comes our way.

Earthquake Drill!

We participated in the Great American Shakeout again this year. Our drill wasn’t quite at 10:16, as it was a drill we decided to wait until everyone was off the phone  Of course we know an earthquake wouldn’t be as considerate! “Pretend it’s an earthquake, now!” was shouted and everyone stopped, dropped, and took cover under their desks. Only a few of us knew the drill was coming so it was good to see everyone knew immediately what to do.  This is critical as our location in California is crossed by major earthquake faults.

We also had a general safety discussion. In a major quake we know our exterior stairway is more at risk than the interior one.  The back end of our office is also more at risk.  We’re on the second floor and the back end has parking spaces, rather than building, beneath.

We are prepared. Multiple fire extinguishers, a portable emergency ladder, first aid kit, and several team members have CPR certifications.  Let’s hope we don’t have to put all our safety precautions into use!

Join the ShakeOut 10:16 on October 16, Be Prepared

The Great ShakeOut is a day of special events featuring the largest earthquake drill ever, organized to inspire everyone to get ready for big earthquakes, and to prevent disasters from becoming catastrophes. What we do now, before a big earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like afterwards. The ShakeOut drill will occur in houses, businesses, and public spaces alike throughout the country at 10:16 a.m. on October 16, 2014

  • If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, then Drop, Cover and Hold On:
    • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
    • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
    • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops. Stay indoors till the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit.
  • If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, you should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold On. Stay there until the shaking stops.
  • If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.

Free registration at www.ShakeOut.org/california/register will pledge an individual’s or group’s participation in this important preparedness event. We’ve registered, have you?

Emergency Prepardeness - Join In!

Last year we were part of the Great Shakeout and will participate again this year.  The big drill is planned for 10:16 am on Oct 16.  Through our participation in that event we’ve joined America’s PrepareAthon! which is a national campaign to increase emergency preparedness and resilience.  It takes a village to prepare for, respond to, and then recover from emergencies and natural disasters.  America’s PrepareAthon!  has four building blocks of preparedness -  be informed, make a plan, build a kit, and get involved.  Their first National Day of Action is April 30 and will revolve around taking actions to prepare for tornadoes, wildfires, floods, and hurricanes.  America’s PrepareAthon! is modeled on the success of The Great ShakeOut earthquake drills, which have moved millions of people to practice what to do during an earthquake and improve preparedness. The Great ShakeOut will continue to be a day of action for earthquake preparedness associated with America’s PrepareAthon! Register and find helpful resources:  America's PrepareAthon!  and The Great Shakeout

The Great ShakeOut - Earthquake Drills

10:17 on 10/17 - the Great ShakeOut! We participated, did you? Over 18 million people will participate in ShakeOut drills, beginning last week. In our drill we used audio from the ShakeOut website for even more realism. Drop, cover, and hold on for safety. We all practice firedrills, or should, and this is a chance to practice for earthquakes. Check out their main site for really helpful information http://www.shakeout.org, with details by region, in English and Spanish. Everyone should know how to protect themselves in an earthquake. Even if they are rare where you live, they may happen where you or your family travel.

Great ShakeOut Drills are annual and an opportunity for homes, schools, and businesses to practice and improve preparedness. If you didn't participate this year pledge to do so next. Having been in the Loma Prieta earthquake, those of you outside of Northern California may think of it as the World Series Earthquake, I know how scary they can be. Just a little thougt ahead can make the next one easier to get through and recover from. Be safe!

Beat the Quake!

We're part of the great ShakeOut coming on October 17.  Leading up to the event all sorts of info about being well prepared is coming our way.  Today's email from the Earthquake Country Alliance focused on securing the environment.  Have you been in a quake?  If so you know how things can move around, tip over, break...   A fun way to practice is to play the Beat the Quake game.  I was able to 'secure' 11 of the 14 items before the quake hit, how will you do?   Maybe living in California made me a bit jaded, I admit I'm unlikely to secure my TV remote, though if it ends up banging someone on the head, even my dog, I'll be sorry!   Try the Beat the Quake game here: http://dropcoverholdon.org/beatthequake/game/

A little shaking and inspecting going on!

We had a small earthquake here in northern California earlier this week. 3.4, centered south of here. We didn’t all feel it, but it’s still a good reminder for earthquake preparedness. We registered to participate in the Great California Shakeout (Oct 17) some time ago. We already have fire extinguishers, a first aid kit, and basic tools. Adding a little food and water wouldn't hurt. The Shakeout website has great resources for emergency drills. Love the audio you can play during your drill to provide more realism, though the sounds of creaking buildings are a bit ominous! Coincidentally we had building inspectors through here yesterday. Our office building has been for sale for only a short time, who knows we might have new owners soon! The inspection was quick, there were some improvements done before we moved in. We did get questions about all the folks sitting on balls, rather than chairs, at their desks. But more on that, plus a photo, is for another day.