Fedhealth                  BE AWARE... BE PREPARED... and HAVE A PLAN!
Your Subtitle text
IT’S A DISASTER! e-news Feb 2012
Our opt-in e-newsletter shares ideas and stories, program and product announcements, and other resources we hope you find of interest. (Note: Most links open a new window or tab.) 

IAD e-news is also available in PDF now in case you'd like to download and share!

This month's topics:

 SPOTLIGHT: Faith-based role in Preparedness
   Some tools, articles and resources for faith-based organizations

   FEMA’s IS-660: Introduction to Public-Private Partnerships
   National Guidance for Healthcare System Preparedness

   Ready or Not? Protecting the public... (paper by TFAH) 
   Formidable Footprint + Depiction Hurricane exercise/tabletop
   FEMA’s School and Campus Awareness & Preparedness page
National Summit on Youth Preparedness webinar + YS materials
   Social Media 4 Emergency Management (SM4EM) 
   Twitter hashtags
    Using Twylah to enhance your tweets




THE SPOTLIGHT:  Faith-based communities' role in Preparedness

Faith based organizations have a unique role in society as well as in the preparedness world. Every day or week they reach out to people from all walks of life – from the homeless to the very wealthy and to young and old alike.

Photo by Caroline Price - Christianchronicle.orgMost faith-based organizations get very involved during response efforts during local, national or international incidents. Houses of worship are often used as shelters, feeding stations, donation drives, or launching points for teams of volunteers to assist First Responders with response and recovery.

Plus many religious organizations have preparedness and resiliency programs built into their teachings, but there are some that don’t take advantage of the opportunity presented them week after week

Now we’re not saying Pastors, Priests, Rabbis and others should preach about 72-hour kits from the pulpit (although that could be interesting), but there are ways to incorporate mitigation, preparedness and response messages through activities, demonstrations, classes, school or youth group fundraisers and more.

photo courtesy of FEMAMany faith-based groups rose to prominence in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Even though many of these groups had little or no prior experience with disaster relief planning, they were able to respond surprisingly effectively in meeting the challenges presented by the storm.

In particular, faith-based organizations were instrumental in addressing issues that traditional responders, focused on physical reconstruction and material aid, were less equipped to manage, according to a December 2008 study conducted by the nonprofit and nonpartisan Urban Institute. 

Faith-based organizations could play a crucial role in tapping into “the broader universe of expertise and service delivery that might provide appropriate and sustained interventions,” the report concluded. In addition, faith-based communities often have a more detailed understanding of local disaster-planning needs than traditional relief organizations.

For some time now Chasing4Life Founder Eddy Weiss and his team have been training churches and church teams on how to respond in disasters. The original programming has been "revived" this year as 2012 has brought new programs for faith-based organizations and a new series called "Blind Faith".

As Weiss describes in the Blind Faith series introduction ... “I want to look at why we don’t, why we should, and the need to start taking a closer look at disaster planning in the church.”

In Part 1, Weiss breaks down some numbers of people that churches have the ability to reach, and he shares a scenario that could happen during a worship service of a church with no plan. Read Blind Faith – part 1 

Part 2 explains why a church (and thus its' employees and volunteers) must be ready and trained to respond to emergencies in the church. Just like any other organization or business, the church should take seriously their responsibility to ensure that the health, safety and welfare of their congregation is first and foremost. Read Blind Faith – part 2 

In Part 3 Eddy looks at drills, training volunteers and establishing protocols and procedures, and shares a heart-wrenching story from Pastor Charlie Burnett at Harmony Heights Baptist Church in Joplin, Missouri. Read Blind Faith – part 3

Some ideas and resources for faith-based groups, schools and youth:

If your faith-based group is not already registered or involved with your State/Territory Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), visit the National VOAD State Directory to find your local NVOAD contact. 

Chasing4Life (in partnership with FedHealth) is pleased to offer their custom "Disaster Bible" as a downloadable ebook in PDF in support of their faith-based programs. As C4L founder Eddy Weiss explains, “I believe that the church is to be a place of hope, comfort and rescue in its community and this is not possible without its members having a grasp of preparedness issues along with a plan for how it will minister in times of disaster. It is with this belief that our group presses on to reach the faith-based population of America in order to create beacons of light throughout the nation’s landscape.” Learn more

School and Youth group Fundraising overview: This 18-page PDF has several examples and overviews of our fundraiser ideas for K-12 schools, youth groups and others using our IT'S A DISASTER! books. View PDF in color or in black & white (b&w cheaper to copy/print)

Ad Sales / Sponsorship overview: Our 10-page overview explains how volunteers, schools, youth groups, civic clubs, faith-based organizations, nonprofits and bloggers can earn 100% profits! View PDF

Find more resources and tools below .. and learn more about FEMA’s “Whole Community Approach” and “Public-Private Partnerships” in our Jan 2012 enews .


FEMA recently announced the release of a free, web-based training course that will help the entire team continue to build and strengthen public-private partnerships in emergency management – FEMA IS-660: Introduction to Public-Private Partnerships. What makes this course particularly exciting is that it was designed in collaboration with both the public and private sector, and anyone can enroll in the course – for free! The target audience for this training includes emergency management and community planners, senior-level personnel from response agencies, representatives from private-sector organizations, and federal, state, local, tribal and territorial government agencies that may participate in collaborative continuity planning efforts. http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/is660.asp

The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has released The Healthcare Preparedness Capabilities: National Guidance for Healthcare System Preparedness to help state and local health care and public health preparedness planners identify gaps in preparedness, determine specific priorities, and develop plans for building and sustaining health care specific capabilities.

The guidance is based on new national capabilities for the Hospital Preparedness Program beginning in fiscal year 2012, which align HPP and Public Health Emergency Preparedness program capabilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued similar guidance for the PHEP program.

Trauma Centers, Hospitals, and Healthcare Systems face multiple challenges daily in addition to the growing list of man-made and natural threats. Emergency department overcrowding, the rising uninsured, and an aging population all inhibit the healthcare system’s ability to respond effectively. Regardless of the threat, an effective medical surge response begins with robust hospital-based systems and effective Healthcare Coalitions to facilitate preparedness planning and response at the local level. Simply put, strong and resilient Healthcare Coalitions are the key to an effective state and local ESF #8 response to an event-driven medical surge. State, local, Healthcare Coalition, and ESF #8 planners can download ASPR’s new HPP Guide (72-pg PDF issued Jan 2012) and CDC’s PHEP guide (153-page PDF issued Mar 2011) … or visit PHE HPP Guidance and Reports site for more information.

On December 20, 2011 the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) released the ninth annual Ready or Not? Protecting the Public from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism, which finds key programs that detect and respond to bioterrorism, new disease outbreaks and natural or accidental disasters are at risk due to federal and state budget cuts. According to the report, federal funds for state and local public health preparedness declined by 38 percent from fiscal year 2005 to 2012, with many core preparedness activities and programs at further risk of declining funds or elimination.

The decline in public health preparedness funds will likely result in the erosion of the field's ability to respond to all kinds of threats, said Scott Becker, Executive Director at the Association of Public Health Laboratories. For labs, in particular, TFAH reported that all 10 state labs with "level 1" chemical testing status are at risk for losing top-level capabilities, which would leave CDC with the nation's only public health lab with the full ability to test for chemical terrorism and accidents. If multiple chemical events did happen at one time, it could overwhelm CDC and force the agency to prioritize one region over another, Becker said. Like most public health efforts, he said, the "local response is crucial."

Download Ready or Not?: Protecting the Public from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism (92-pg PDF) or visit www.tfah.org to learn more.  Hat tip to The Pump Handle on ScienceBlog

Formidable Footprint - A National Neighborhood Exercise Series - Members of CERTs, Neighborhood Associations, Faith-based groups and local Citizen Corps can join the Formidable Footprint tabletop exercise on Hurricanes on Saturday Feb 25, 2012 from 9:00AM - 4:00PM EDT. Note: It is only a 3-hour exercise so your group can be scheduled within the 9a-4p timeline as needed. For more information and to register for the 2012 exercises visit www.formidablefootprint.org

Also... join Depiction on Thursday, Feb 23 at 4p Eastern for the required pre-exercise webinar where valuable information and guidelines regarding exercise participation will be provided. www.depiction.com/webinars/formidable-footprint-feb



Our January enews included several funding ideas and links to assist with youth preparedness, but we found a few more resources…

FEMA’s School and Campus Awareness & Preparedness page

National Summit on Youth Preparedness webinar archives, Powerpoint presentations and Youth Summit materials from Sept 2010 Citizen Corps Community Preparedness Webinar www.citizencorps.fema.gov/news/webcasts/youthpreparedness.shtm   



This is a new topic where we’ll share tools and tips for the public and private sectors – esp as it relates to the EM world. If you have a tip or tool to share, please email it to info@itsadisaster.net
As many of you know FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate has been a strong proponent of social media. FEMA has increasingly turned to Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools to gather information about natural disasters or to relay data about emergency shelters and services to the public.

In a recent article in NextGov, Fugate warned, though, that emergency managers should impose the same measurement standards on social media information as they do on other parts of their mission. "If you don't know what outcome you're trying to change, it's not going to help, because technology isn't magic," he said. "It's just a tool."

Some tools and tips for navigating through all these options include:

EM officials new to Social Media should consider visiting Social Media 4 Emergency Management at www.sm4em.org/getting-started/ .

SM4EM has tips, videos, wikis and samples about social media in general, strategies, policy examples and tools for you and your employees. They also have a Twitter Chat every Friday – see below to learn how to join in on the discussions.

If your agency, nonprofit or businesses uses Twitter, you are probably familiar with using hashtags (the “#” sign). If not, SM4EM has an explanation of hashtags at www.sm4em.org/active-hashtags/ . Some active hashtags used in the preparedness world include #FEMA, #smem, #smemchat (see below), #EM, #WX (weather specific tweets) and #preppertalk to name a few.

Hashtags can also be used during specific times of the day or week (or during an incident) to bring fellow tweeps (a.k.a twitter users) together for online discussions. For example, SM4EM has #SMEMChat on Fridays on Twitter from 12:30p-1:30p EST. Each week has a different topic and anyone is welcome to share their opinions. You can search any hashtag phrase on Twitter and see current and archived tweets between the various users.

Also, during an emergency or incident, key words are used with hashtags for everyone to follow. For example, when Irene was barreling down on the east coast last fall, #Irene was used ... and #tornado, #earthquake, #Joplin, #response, #DRC or any other buzz word can be used and searched on Twitter.

Some fellow tweeps you might want to consider following or monitoring on Twitter to see how they use tweets to disseminate alerts, articles and more are … @CraigatFEMA, @CertLAFD, @northlandfox, @yonkersoem40, @FiskCG … but there are many, many others.    
A very creative and eye-catching system that can help you significantly leverage your Twitter efforts is Twylah. Currently, individuals and brands (including nonprofit groups) are spending a lot of time on Twitter, and not necessarily seeing direct returns on their investment. Twylah does this by creating engaging, navigable websites of your tweets called “Twitter Brand Pages”.

But Twylah more than just a visual tool. Twylah pages are search engine optimized and give your tweets a longer life and more exposure on search engines like Google and Bing. Your page is updated automatically each day by adding your latest tweets and images as well as reanalyzing and updating your trending topics. There's even a way to create a custom domain for your page (as we did).

Eric Kim, Twylah Founder and CEO, demonstrates and explains Twylah in more detail in the below video.  And learn more at www.twylah.com




... Tatyana Deryugina from UI’s College of Business says one way to limit the amount of money the federal government doles out to repair damage would be to mandate disaster-prone areas pay "FEMA premiums”. Between 1983 and 2008, the U.S. spent a little more than $80 billion (in 2008 dollars) on disaster aid, an average of $3 billion per year. While spending on defense and entitlements dwarfs that number, not only is the distribution of those funds unequal, it’s also money that could probably be better spent elsewhere, Deryugina says. “In 2008 dollars, the disaster aid received between 1983 and 2008 ranged from $74 per capita in Washington, D.C., to about $217,000 per capita in Louisiana, for a person who lived there for the entire 25 years,” she said. “Clearly, there is a difference in the amount of money going to different states and locations, and a lot of disasters are not so unpredictable that you can’t make states account for them in advance.” Source: University of Illinois News

... although Professor Paul Keim, the chairman of the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity recommended censoring portions of controversial H5N1 avian flu research, Keim recently acknowledged that the information would eventually become accessible to those actively seeking it. Source: BioPrepWatch  (Also see “Pause on avian flu transmission studies” paper by Ron A. M. Fouchier, Adolfo García-Sastre, Yoshihiro Kawaoka & 36 co-authors)

... a bombshell documentary aired in December by Univision, the largest Spanish language television network in the U.S., exposed Iran is conducting anti-U.S. operations from Latin America. The Univision documentary says “Latin America has become the new frontline in the Secret War” against America and the West. The report also notes, as did the A Line of Sight series, the increasingly strong alliance between Hugo Chavez and the Iranian regime, the Iranian military training camps working out of mosques in Venezuela, and the intricately organized money laundering and drug cartel operations used to funds and support radical Islam’s terrorism agenda aimed at the U.S. Sources: Gateway Pundit and The Foundry   



Scientists from the United States, Mexico and China working with the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping flew over the area struck by the magnitude-7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake in northern Mexico on April 4, 2010. The quake produced a 74-mile-long (120 kilometer) rupture through Baja California, Mexico. This earthquake did not happen on a major fault, like the San Andreas, but ran through a series of smaller faults in the Earth's crust. Over the past century, most of the damaging earthquakes on continents have arisen from such multiple-fault ruptures. The research team scanned the area with LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, which bounces a stream of laser pulses off the ground. New, airborne LIDAR equipment can measure surface features to within a few inches. The scientists finished a detailed scan over about 140 square miles (360 square km) in less than three days. With this data they were able to discover and map the several faults, including a previously unknown one. Since the Mexican government scanned this area with LIDAR back in 2006, they were also able to compare the old and new data to identify just how the many faults in the area reacted. Read more and see some photos on MSNBC.com .. and visit UC Davis KeckCAVES site to learn more about the creation of photos and data models.

The Disaster Resource GUIDE (published by Emergency Lifeline Corporation) is the most comprehensive source for crisis/emergency management and business continuity information. The GUIDE is about helping companies, institutions, communities, and families preserve and protect those things that are most important– people, property, jobs, business assets and community. There are four media vehicles available: Annual Disaster Resource GUIDE, Quarterly Mini-GUIDEs, Weekly Continuity eGUIDE and the 24/7 Online GUIDE. www.disaster-resource.com

The Disaster Recovery Hour with Chris Plunkett is a weekly radio show covering disaster (and other unexpected interruptions) that effect normal operations for homeowners, neighborhoods, businesses and governments. Topics covered include lessons learned from past events, current disasters and potential interruptions which can significantly affect our lives. Chris explains procedures to achieve preparedness, recovery and restoration in plain language, citing examples from actual events. The format includes live interviews with representatives from government agencies, continuity professionals, legal and financial experts, contractors and specialists who have firsthand experience in handling various emergencies. The Disaster Recovery Hour is broadcast live from the studio on WVNJ 1160 AM to the New York Metropolitan area including Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland and Orange Counties; and Bergen and Union Counties in New Jersey on Tuesdays from 1PM to 2PM. The program streams live on the Internet (or anytime via podcast) at www.drhradio.net

Got a cool link or idea? Email it to Janet at info@itsadisaster.net


Please help us spread the word about our customizable products and fundraising programs by sharing this with others. New readers are invited to join our mailing list and receive a FREE mini ebook version of IT’S A DISASTER! Be assured we do NOT share the list or your id with anyone.

We’re always looking for input, stories, news, products or services from agencies, volunteer groups, schools and others so feel free to email
info@itsadisaster.net anytime.

p.s. If you know an agency, nonprofit, school, church, Scout troop, or volunteer group (like a CERT, MRC, Radio Club, Rotary, etc) who could benefit from our preparedness book and/or funding ideas, please have them call 1-888-999-4325 or 
email us for a FREE information kit!

Stay safe out there, j & B

Bill & Janet Liebsch
7739 E Broadway Blvd # 416
Tucson, AZ 85710-3947 USA
1-888-999-4325 7a-4p Pacific M-F
Twitter: @itsadisaster  FB: www.facebook.com/fedhealth

Back to 2012 e-news (and view archives)