BEFORE A DISASTER: HAVE A
PLAN(S), KIT(S), INFORMATION, AND INVOLVEMENT(S)
T Mike Smith, SN Ambassador At Large, 29 Jan 2021
WHY? Disaster history shows that those who have a Plan(s), Kit(s), Information, and Involvement(s) are safer in and recover better from disasters. These four preparedness doctrines are fundamental to our Nation’s Incident Management System (emergency management [EM] system).
HOW? Learning these four concepts from your local EM officials & their designated volunteer leaders, are the best ways to prepare. The Nation’s EM system is a highly coordinated, but locally tailored system. Our local variant is the S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods (SN) Disaster Response Plan. It is best you learn your local system and train with friends. When disaster strikes you will likely share the disaster with them. Our local system seeks to train local SN Volunteer Ambassadors (leaders) to serve as resources to their neighborhoods.
- The Plan Teaches Personal Safety
- Disasters create unsafe situations. Please learn how to be a safe volunteer responder.
- Be safe by making plans, building kits, gathering information, and having trusted involvements.
- There is safety in numbers. Avail yourself of these trusted groups.
- The SN Plan is a shared City & County plan that benefits our safety.
- The Salt Lake Crossroads Amateur Radio Club offers a SN training program.
- The Plan Asks You To Make A Plan(s)
- One should plan before they act.
- Planning for more than you expect to encounter increases your safety.
- Remember, others have previously planned, so use and tailor what they did to fit you.
- The Plan Asks You To Build A Kit(s)
- After planning what you need, you better know what items should go into your kit(s).
- Go-kits can be gifted, bought or built. Having one drastically improves your preparedness.
- Some kits are small go-kits. Others include supply caches used for sheltering-in-place, or auxiliary kits for a deployable responder, or equipment kits for CERT or Ham radio responses, etc.
- Once you have a kit(s), use and modify it (them) as needed to fit you.
- The Plan Asks You To Be Informed
- Becoming more interested in being informed is foundational.
- Disasters are complicated. We study them and simulate them, so we can better respond.
- Our EM officials, and their trained volunteers, are good people from which to learn.
- Most of us learn best by doing. Your volunteer participation will greatly inform you.
- The Plan Asks You To Get Involved
- To learn and remember we must do, and then periodically practice to continue skilled.
- Because disasters involve groups of people acting under stress, we benefit from group practice.
- To learn the S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods Plan you will need to get involved with your neighbors.
- Training is offered through the Salt Lake Crossroads Amateur Radio Club.
- Check Out: www.slcarc.org and www.slc.gov/em for more information.
THE S.A.F.E. NEIGHBORHOODS
AMBASSADORS TRAINING PROGRAM
The Schools Aid Families in Emergencies (S.A.F.E.) Neighborhoods Disaster Response Plan was developed in Salt Lake City (SLC). In 2017 it was slightly modified and adopted by Salt Lake County as our local governments’, citizens’ spontaneous response, disaster plan. In a disaster, citizens typically become first responders as agencies are initially overwhelmed. SLC occupants experiencing a disaster should respond using the S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods (SN) Plan.
Volunteers largely centered in the Salt Lake Crossroads Amateur Radio Club (SLCARC) and local SLC CERT groups, assisted Salt Lake City Emergency Management in the development of the plan and periodically practiced the plan. This SN Ambassadors Training Program grew from these volunteer response experiences.
SLC Emergency Management encourages those who may be in the city when a disaster strikes, to become familiar with this foundational, disaster volunteer response plan. In a disaster, SLCARC will coordinate SN response communications into the city’s Emergency Operations Center’s Ham Radio Room and staff many communications rooms at our designated elementary schools response hubs. Consequently SLCARC seeks to train local volunteers and Local Ambassadors from our neighborhoods to serve as important educational and disaster response leaders in their local communities. The training program offers a variety of online, classroom and field training experiences. Completing portions of these learning events will qualifying interested individuals in one of three levels of ambassadorships of record. Work with your trainer to ensure your instruction session attendance becomes a matter of SLCARC record. Normally there are no fees, but we do desire to record who was trained when.
S.A.F.E. NEIGHBORHOODS FOR EVERYONE
ANYONE who may find themselves in Salt Lake City when a disaster strikes is encouraged to take training Module 2: S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods Basics. It offers an overview of the plan in a little under an hour.
AMBASSADORS IN TRAINING
Individuals interested in becoming a Local Ambassador in their neighborhood, or just becoming more SN knowledgeable, should take Module 2, and then other training as able.
To qualify as a Local Ambassador of record, a person should complete modules 2,3 and 4 or 5, plus participate in two of the three field or table-top activities associated with those four modules, and check with SLCARC trainers when they have completed that training.
AMBASSADORS AT LARGE
Local Ambassadors who continue training can qualify as an Ambassador At Large when they have completed all six modules, participated in field experiences at the street, rally point, local Hub and Multiple Hub levels, have taken ICS 100, 200, 700, basic Red Cross Sheltering, CERT, hold at least a Technicians level amateur radio license, have been selected to volunteered at least once at the SLC EM HRR station, passed the background verification to do so, and familiarized themselves with the normal paperwork for all those activities.
S.A.F.E. NEIGHBORHOODS (SN) TRAINING CURRICULUM
Module 1. Personal & Family Preparedness
*Module 2. S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods Basics*
Module 3. Street & Block Preparedness
Module 4. Connect with School Hubs
Module 5. Practice with Hubs and SLC EM
Module 6. Salt Lake Crossroads Amateur Radio Club Emergency Communications
The above training modules will eventually be partially available online at the Salt Lake Crossroads Amateur Radio Club website: www.slcarc.org. Presently (2021 April), look under SAFE Neighborhoods category on the home page and in the upcoming events areas.
Table-top, Zoom events, & field drills and exercises are associated with module 3, 4, 5 & 6. To follow the availability of these non-online training events, consult the SLCARC SN Events posts online.
Opportunities for additional training are endless. Hopefully, we all are continuing to learn, practice, and build our individual and collective disaster response skills.
KM7TMS, tmsmith, SN Ambassador At Large, Feb 2021
AFTER A DISASTER IMPLEMENT
YOUR S.A.F. E. NEIGHBORHOODS DISASTER RESPONSE PERSONAL PLAN
(Place copies of this Plan where in be accessible in an emergency)
Your SN Hub was to be at: _____________________________
- Check yourself & things immediately around you
- Check yourself and family/friends and treat injuries as able.
- Check for gas, water, electrical problems and reduce hazards.
- Coordinate other home/office safety and response, enabling some to begin a neighborhood response.
- Tune a radio to 1160am/107.2 fm for Emergency Alert System (EAS) information (or similar EAS station), monitor local, pre-arranged FRS response as able.
- Use your training received in SN Training Module 1: (Personal & Family Preparedness) and Module 2: SN Basics as able.
- Coordinate a street search & report with your immediate neighbors.
- Use the training from your SN Module 2: SN Basics & Module 3: Street and Block Preparedness.
- Coordinate and support your developing rally point and Hub operations.
- If your home is uninhabitable, coordinate with street, local rally point and Hub operations for relocation as able.
- Anticipate that where you will be going may not have sheltering materials, so initially stay as close to home, as local and among friends as possible. Use your a 96hr., etc. kit(s), particularly if you cannot shelter in place or locally long-term.
- Continue as a volunteer responder as able.
- Use the training you will have receive in SN Modules 1-5.
- If you are a Ham Radio Operator, use your SN Module 6 training.
- Donate time and materials and request such with your Hub as able
- Your SN Hub must be staffed by local volunteers to coordinate all response for your Elementary School Hub’s geographic area.
- Your SN Hub will also be the line of communications to the city’s Emergency Operations Center via Ham Radio and your Hub Manager.
- Anticipate that your neighborhood will get very little help from the City/Etc., for at least the first 96 hrs.
- As disasters can injure and kill many people within that time, build your response ASAP to reducing suffering and casualties.
- Continue the SN response protocols until told to discontinue by agency people who eventually arrive and take charge of the response.
- Good Luck & Consult slcarc.org & safeneighborhoodsslc.gov/10-2/volunteer/