Basic Disaster Prep: Developing a Home Preparedness Plan | Stephen Doerk | Skillshare

Basic Disaster Prep: Developing a Home Preparedness Plan

Stephen Doerk, Prepare for the worst in order to be your best!

Basic Disaster Prep: Developing a Home Preparedness Plan

Stephen Doerk, Prepare for the worst in order to be your best!

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5 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Introduction to Emergency Preparedness: Creating Your Readiness Plan

    • 2. Disasters you may encounter...

    • 3. Developing a basic plan

    • 4. Class project

    • 5. Conclusion

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About This Class

Do you know what you or your family will do if a major natural catastrophe hits your home?  Do you have a plan in place to rebuild after a significant event?  This course is the first in a series of courses designed around the need to have even a basic framework available for you and your family to survive a disaster and to rebuild with as little added stress as possible in an already extremely stressful event.  In this course, I will give you ideas on areas that you should focus on, or at the very least, think about so that you aren't at a complete loss if or when an event happens.

Meet Your Teacher

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Stephen Doerk

Prepare for the worst in order to be your best!


I am a U.S. Navy retired military police officer with an extensive hobby and volunteer background in computers, physical security and emergency management. I have been involved in emergency management and preparation for several years. While in the military I was certified as an instructor and taught courses to military members and have continued to teach civilian students both online, in a volunteer capacity and as a part time instructor at a local for profit educational institution.I currently work full-time as a cyber security analyst but continue to follow the trends of emergency preparedness as well as follow global disasters, both man-made and natural.

My purpose here is to teach people my knowledge of preparation and to learn from people as well. The bottom line is that... See full profile

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1. Introduction to Emergency Preparedness: Creating Your Readiness Plan: hello and welcome my class on emergency preparedness and developing Home Emergency plan. Ah, home emergency preparedness playing computer difference between starting from scratch when trying to survive and recover from the disaster or surviving disaster with confidence while significantly reducing your recovery time. We should all have some sort plan set up and put into practice in our homes and workplaces . Yet a significant portion of the population does not. So what type of emergencies are we likely to encounter? Well, really, that depends on your area of the country or the world, your climate, your living situation, etc. They're the normal, big taken emergencies, such as what you see on your screen. But emergencies can also include broken down vehicle, a broken pipe in your basement and other situations that might impact the day to day lives of you and your family. As I record this, my area of the country and western United States is dealing with high winds and major rains from the remnants of a typhoon in the Pacific. Even though we are a good hour plus away from the coast, we're still dealing with the impact of that. That's a situation we actually haven't dealt with to this degree in 60 years. So first off, who my Well, my name is Steven Dark, and I'm a 20 year retired military better in the United States Navy military police officer and first responder. I've been a volunteer firefighter. I've been FEMA train nationally and regionally in the state of Washington and Oregon. I've also been a volunteer and coordinator for different volunteer organizations within those states. I've been an instructor certified in the Navy and in civilian technical schools as well, but whom I really well on that guy. And to say that I know everything about everything when it comes to emergency preparedness and disasters is a fallacy, because I don't and I dare anybody else there to say that they are so really the bottom line is that disaster preparedness on emergency preparedness is not a one size fits all programs. There are likely multiple solutions to different problems, and not every solution that is presented works for everyone. So it in the course and instrumental to this project, we're gonna be discussing the importance of a plan. And that's what this courses specifically devoted to it's, uh, we're gonna discuss how even the simplest of plans is better than none at all. We'll discuss some of the important features with plan and how you will start to put together the most basic framework of plan as the class project. As you can see from the screen, they're numerous types of plants running from the very basic all the way up to full liners . How far you want to take your plan is up to you and your family. I hope you take a few minutes to focus on protecting yourself and your family and allow me to help you by enrolling in this course. 2. Disasters you may encounter...: all right, welcome to the class. So now, before we actually dive right into the prepared this plan, let's discuss some of the disasters. Some of these disasters are things that might occur in your area. Many of them may not, but you just never know depends on the type of disaster. Now, for instance, in my local area, I live on the coast off the western coast of the United States of America, in between the states, Washington and Oregon, and one of the disasters that we are expecting to occur that has not yet and we believe were anywhere from 50 to 100 years overdue is a major major earthquake. The reason that we have that is because we have what's called the Cascadia subduction zone and what this is is. It's a fault line that runs from Northern California on through Oregon, Washington and just up in to British Columbia, Canada. Well, the area long here is the weakest, some of the weakest parts of the fault, While the fault line itself is actually off the coast, as you can see from over here, there's the Pacific Plate, the one to Fuca plate, and then the North American plate. And the issue that we're seeing is that the Wonder Fuca plate is a fold plate, and it's subduction underneath the North American plate. So is the North American plate is pushing towards the ocean. The one Fuca plate is pulling away from the ocean and one is folding underneath the other, which causes a lot of instability and a lot of motion here. This is what is that causing in the simplest terms, this is the area that is going be causing the major earthquake that we're going to see and that runs again up and down the coast from California on a through British Columbia. Now understand that California is the state that sees most of the earthquakes that we see happening on the West Coast. They've got some very major fault lines that have all been recorded, and they're in constant flux. Ours, on the other hand, is still in slow movement, and because of that, we see some very deep quakes, maybe in the 2 to 3 to four magnitude Richter scale, which means that we're going to feel some motion, but they're very deep. So by the time it gets to the top of the crust up to us. We've actually seen a reduction in the amount of motion, but that is one that we have been or should be preparing for, whether it be structurally in the cities or in our own personal preparedness. So some of the other disasters that we may see and then again, it all depends on where you're located. For instance, hurricanes and tropical storms. No, we I don't necessarily see a lot of that on the Pacific Coast. We don't get a lot of those hurricanes, but on the Atlantic side, they tend to get a large number of hurricanes up and down the coast, especially in the Gulf of Mexico and along Florida and Cuba and the other islands in that area. But what we have seen on our side is that there has been a couple of tropical storms that have hit land, and we had one just recently that even though we're about an hour, you know, 50 60 miles away from the coast, we had a tropical storm that was strong enough that hit the coast actually caused a tely east. One tornado that we know, maybe a couple of tornadoes on the coastal towns and all the way an hour in England. We actually saw heavy rains and heavy wind, the likes of which were expected to be of a magnitude that we had not seen in about 60 years. I didn't quite get to that level, but we still had quite a few heavy heavy rains and, uh, pretty significant wind. A lot of trees down. We did have some power out things like that. So these thes kind disasters, even in varying degrees, could still cause issues and wreak havoc on infrastructure, hurricanes and tropical storms leads right into flooding. We have a tendency to get a lot of rain in the Pacific Northwest. And with that rain, our infrastructure doesn't always stand a chance of handling the amount of rain. October so far has been the wettest month in a very long time. And with that, the increased amount of rain and sometimes the inability for our system to not be able to handle that we do get some flooding now on the Washington side were high enough in elevation next to Portland that we don't see as much of the flooding that Portland, Oregon, does. Portland Oregon, on the other hand, has a number of areas that are right at or just above sea level. But the Portland International Airport is actually built on a possible floodplain. So those kind of events they have already planned for because they built in an area that while it was great for them to build their and that was the land that they needed to produce the or put the airport in, it also allows for that possible disaster event, tornadoes and severe storms. Again, we don't necessarily see the tornadoes, but actually, several years ago, while I was working a to company near the airport, I actually saw some major cloud cover in a severe storm come into the Vancouver Washington area. And we had a tornado that set down, were touched down and went across several blocks in town. Was very short, is very small, but still enough to cause some structural damage. Vehicular damage. Nobody was injured in the event, but there was no way of planning for that because we don't get tornadoes. That's a once in every 10 year type of storm, the point being that you don't always know if you're going to get certain types of disaster events. Wildfires again. Western coast, the United States. We have a lot of mountain mountain ranges. We have the Cascades. We have the Rocky Mountains. We have a lot of forested areas, and just through some of those storms and some of drying out in the summer, we tend to have a lot of wildfires throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho. So wildfires, while they affect large amounts of land, don't always affect us in cities. But that's not always the case. There have been several fires and the Reese in recent years that have actually come into habitat areas and have. There have been several fires that have actually been close enough to two towns that they've actually come in and burned down several houses on even entire neighborhoods. Landslides again, something that you deal with. If you have a lot of flooding and hilly areas in the Portland area, we have a number of small incorporated towns that are built on hillsides when we do see some of those landslides, especially when we've had extended periods of rain, so volcanic activity is another one. It's not one that you necessarily see all the time because volcanoes air not as prevalent. But we do see that some of the volcanic activity we've seen a Mount ST Helens back in the early eighties. We've seen volcanoes in northern Europe. We've seen ah, large amount of volcanic activity in the Pacific Rim, especially in Hawaii. You may not think that volcanic activity will affect you. The thing that you have to remember is that it depends on the force of the volcanic activity in Mount ST Helens blew it, took out the entire side off that mountain, blew it straight up into the atmosphere, which then was blown across eastern Washington into Idaho and into a large portion of Montana. And I was in elementary school in Montana when it hit, and I remember waking up the next morning and seeing 2 to 3 inches of volcanic ash throughout the area. On the ground, the skies were completely fogged in or blanketed in with the ash, and it was drifting throughout the air. So where several 1000 a couple of 1000 miles away from Mount ST Helens, but it affected us very much. So again, you have to remember that while the you may not have a volcano in your backyard. It's not something that you can necessarily discount. Doing your research. Understanding what kind of natural events could happen or it could affect you at any given point in time is a major part of disaster planning. Extreme temperatures. I was, ah, summer to ago that we saw upwards of 1000 people die in France from extremely high summer temperatures that people were not expecting. Those could lead into drought conditions. Those drought conditions can then cause major issues for your infrastructure in a number of ways. So you have to be able to plan for that possible eventuality. So beyond natural disasters, what else do we have? What we have man made disasters. Those could include industrial accidents. We've seen chemical factories burn and cause major disaster events down in India, we've seen gas storage depots burn and explode in parts of the United States because it can cause a widespread disaster. Trains carrying chemicals or carrying uh, gas or other flammable materials can cause major explosions, uh, or major events involving poisonous gas and toxins. Major vehicle accidents. There have been several times where we've seen, um, major highways that have been socked in with snow or major rain or fog, and people not paying attention have caused an accident. Semis or other bigger, larger vehicles that have much longer breaking distances have have gotten involved. And we've seen 2030 40 50 vehicle pile ups, a lot of injuries, possible deaths and a lot of carnage. Active shooter scenarios. We've seen that around the world as well. Those things do happen. Those could be tied in with terrorism. Not always, but in many cases, those air tight in with terrorism. But terrorism strikes and can strike anywhere. We've seen terrorism throughout Europe on a major scale. We've seen terrorism affect the United States and multiple areas. Along with that, we end up seeing disease epidemics. We see secondary disasters. Basically, an event happens. A major flood happens, and it causes Theseus our lines to back up When the sewer lines back up. That brings disease promoting bacteria and other things to the surface, and that can actually cause disease epidemics, extreme temperatures, drought. Any of these things could be a secondary cause for an extended disaster or create a secondary disaster. So these are all the things that you have to think about as you're developing your plan, Do any of these affect you? Do any of these that you don't think affect you affect you? Or could they now remember that our plan is based around where you are locally, Your home. Your business environment doesn't include those that travel for work or do a lot of extensive traveling. That requires a lot of pre planning as well. Because if you're going in your own vehicle, you're gonna wanna have a kit you're gonna have. You're gonna wanna have a plan for how you deal with things if you're in your vehicle away from your home base in case something happens. 3. Developing a basic plan: Okay, so we've looked at some of the disasters that you may or may not experience, at least giving you an idea of some of the things that you need to think about. Disaster wise As you're starting, develop your plan. So the plan that I'm using that I'm basing this class around is a very basic one, and it's called the Family Communication Plan. It's put out by ready dot gov, which is the, um, public facing side as the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That's the government agency that is around to assist individuals, businesses and other first responders in That's the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is the government agency that's there to assist individuals, businesses and other first responders in dealing with emergencies and events as they, um, the federal emergency manner gonna keep it. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is the American government agency that assists individuals, businesses not the first responders and dealing with large scale emergencies so unready dot gov they have a lot of basic information available to help you design your plan and give you some of those other things that you need to think about and you're designing that plan So what are the things that you really need to look at when you're designing a plan? Well, for a very basic plan, when the first things you need to think about has to do with who you're going to contact? Because face it, if there's a major emergency that happens, or a major event that happens in an area with lines, the phone lines communication lines were gonna be pretty well jammed up. So the first thing you want to be able to do, if at all possible once you've got everybody together in your family, whether it's just you or you have a whole family that you're working with is you need to have an out of town contact that you condone call so that if depending on the size family, for instance, do you have somebody that you can call to say, Hey, we're fine, we're good. We're together. Uh, this is what's going on hasn't affected us. It has affected us whatever you need or feel. You want to tell someone so that they could get ahold of other people that might be interested to know how you're doing. My particular families very small. I've got family in Montana got family in Colorado. I believe in Massachusetts, Florida. So I don't have a very extended family. But my mom, who still lives in Montana, obviously, if something happens here, would want to know what's going on and make sure that I'm good to go. Me and my kids, um, or extended family is going to need or should have a out of town contact and usually because of the fact that with communications infrastructure going down in a major event, you're gonna wanna have that one person that you can contact, who can then contact the rest of the family and say, Hey, this is what's going on your work information. Now this is good for not only you, but it's good for your family as well. Putting that work information down your workplace, the address phone number, any Facebook information, Twitter information or evacuation location, for instance, the place that I work at in downtown Portland has a very specific evacuation location, a very specific evacuation plan set in case off something that happens in that building or regionally. So by having that down, if I have family members over at the house, right, somebody else that looks at that family communication plan. They know where I'm going to be. Or if you have ah, spouse or significant other, you can find out where more than likely they're going to be other contact information for their business and stuff like that. It may seem trivial having to write some of this down, but when there's an event going on, it's a major event. Pretty much all common sense and ability goes out the window. And so having this there without you having to think about it is huge, huge thing and is going to be significant to help you be able to just cope with the situation as it's going as it's progressing, knowing that family members are fine so that you can move on and do the things that you need to dio. Okay, depending on where you're living, you may need a neighborhood meeting place. So, for instance, if I was living in a house in the neighborhood, maybe that whole neighborhood has a plan. A zey group of homeowners. They have a neighborhood plan set up. I'm in an apartment complex myself, and the apartment complex may have a specific area designated um, or you could have something designated. So, for instance, finding work and my kids were at the apartment. Then I know where in the neighborhood or in the apartment complex my kid should be. If there's a, uh, an event or disaster that happens and even a regional meeting place now my might ex wife and has family all up and down the I five corridor in Washington and Oregon. And if the major earthquake hits our region, having a regional meeting place where a couple of regional meeting places is a benefit to her family, because then she has a way of contacting people and know everybody knows where everybody is at or if they're not there, then they know that, you know, maybe people need to be searched for. So a neighborhood meeting place versus a regional meeting place these air. Two major things that should be looked at in a plan doesn't need necessarily mean that you need to have that. I beyond my kids who are in the same town as I am, don't necessarily need a regional meeting place because that doesn't affect me to that degree. School information. Now I've got two kids they're both going to the same high school, so that makes that information a little bit easier. But again, it's the same thing is with the work information, the out of town contact. It's better to have that stuff written down in front of you than having to sit there and think, Oh God, where is that information? What was that phone number? Who am I supposed to contact? Especially if you lose power? Everything is down. Google is down. All of that information your phone may not work. You may have misplaced your phone. Your phone may have become damaged and non workable. So having this stuff written down is of huge importance for that family information. Along with your work and school information. It's always best to have written down and in front of you so that you don't necessarily have to remember it on the fly. A lot of this stuff you may remember, because as a parent you remember these sort of things. But my daughter may not know any of the information for my son. My son may not know any of the information for his sister for the rest of family, so having this information down is really a good base for the whole family, not just a single individual medical contacts. I know for a fact that I forget the name of my kid's doctor on a frequent basis. So having that information written down is good not only for me on a day to day basis should I have a need for it, but again is good for everybody to be able to have now for their plan for the FEMA family communication plan, they list not only your doctors but pediatrician's. If you have a need. Dentists, any sort of specialists, pharmacists, they even have a listing for vet or kennel. The one thing that we haven't really talked about is pets and pets are as affected in a disaster as the rest of us, and even more so they get scared, they take off, and it becomes a stressful event on top of everything else. For everybody in the family. The last major piece listed on this particular plan is insurance information, and that insurance information is going to be the information you need at the end of the disaster event to be able to start to do your rebuild then you may have the insurance information tucked away. You may have it in a locked box at the bank or sitting somewhere tucked away in your house , but your house may not be in any sort of condition for you to get into it, or it may have been completely destroyed. If that's the case, you may or may not have that information readily available, so writing that down at least gives you something to work off of. In a Nair particular case, they list medical insurance and homeowner rental insurance. Now remember, this is a very basic plan. This gives you the absolute basics to work off of, but it gives you a good foundation to start with and to think about where you want to expand. For instance, it lists under medical contacts the veterinarian and kennel. But does that give you all the information that you want to have available? Doesn't have pictures of your pets, doesn't have any information on callers or any any information on medical chipping that they may have. So if they do get found, you have a way of finding them really way of of getting to them. Do they have any medical issues that need to be noted. All of these things can be added and expanded on in a family plan or family emergency binder. There's a lot of information out there on how other people have put together these things completely up to you, how you want to do it, regardless of how much information is out there. The one thing that you need to remember is that this is your plant. It needs to be tailored to you, and it needs to be fluid. Those medical contacts may change If you change jobs and change insurance, your family information may change. If people move out of the area, kids go to school or somebody develops another medical condition. Out of town contacts may change. Neighborhood meeting places may change as you move addresses. All of that information is fluid, and these need to be developed in a way that they allow for that change. Biggest thing is that once you develop a plan, you need to keep it up, revisited every few months, make sure that the information on there is current and relevant 4. Class project: so the project for this class is to actually start developing a home prepared in this plan . I'm gonna put a link in the class notes to the ready dot gov plan that I actually showed so that you can download that and start working with it now. I don't want to to necessarily take a picture of your communication plan and upload to the project section because it's gonna have proprietary information or family protected information, and we don't want to be passing that along. But if you have started a plan, I want you go ahead and tell me about it down the project section. If you have any questions or any other information that you're looking for, put that down there as well because there's a lot of us that have done these things before . And there's a lot of information that people have that you may not know. 1 may have an interest in finding out. If you have developed a plan, I want you to tell us about that as well. How much of a plan you've developed, or how small and what you did, or if there was another place that you pulled your plan information from to actually start with 5. Conclusion: Okay, everyone, I want to thank you for taking this class. If you felt that the class was beneficial, I would very much appreciate if you could take moment to give me a thumbs up. I would also love to see either in the review or down the class discussion section some information that you may have as to how I can do better in the class. Some other topics that you are interested in seeing that Aiken do down the road as I'm producing classes in this Siri's or any other information or questions that you may have again, I want to thank you for taking this class, and I hope to see you again soon.