Sandy Hook Elementary School Added Security and Emergency Preparedness

BY VANESSA REMMERS (STAFF WRITER)

DINWIDDIE – Just days after a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six staff members at a Connecticut elementary school, security measures and emergency preparedness climbed higher on the Board of Supervisors’ priority list for the new year.

Supervisors on Tuesday looked to the broadened focus of the Dinwiddie Local Emergency Planning Committee as one way to prevent incidences like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting from happening in Dinwiddie.

A 1984 chemical disaster in Bhopal, India, that resulted in 8,000 deaths over two days prompted LEPC establishment throughout the country. The primary goal of the LEPC became educating residents about potential chemical hazards and developing emergency response plans.

But after years of natural disasters, fire, terrorism threats and school shootings, Dinwiddie’s LEPC has taken on additional roles. Since its establishment in 2007, Dinwiddie’s LEPC membership has also grown to include 22 state and local organizations, all members of the Board of Supervisors and the county administrator.

“The law says each locality has to have an LEPC, but there is nothing that’s prescribed or legislated as far as how far a local planning committee can go in terms of some emergency preparedness and the like,” said LEPC Chairman Ray Spicer.

This year, the LEPC has set their most ambitious goal yet for reaching out to the community with 30 presentations completed by June 2013.

“The premise was chemical hazards, and it has kind of evolved from there. They voted to be more inclusive of all those disasters. And why not … let’s face it, the incidences of major significance are happening more frequently,” Spicer said.

The LEPC presentation stresses knowledge of emergency plans for different local facilities as well as creating a disaster kit to help be prepared for a minimum of five days.

“We do want to get the message out that there is some amount of personal responsibility,” said County Administrator Kevin Massengill. “In thinking about the incident in Connecticut, parents need to know plans for their home, but also the school’s emergency plans.”

School Board Chairman William Haney said that school emergency plans will not see change, but there may be tightening of school security in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

“We are doing a survey and seeing what we can afford to do and what is cost-effective,” Haney said.

A security review several years ago implemented some remote cameras and increased lighting, but the School Board could not afford other desired changes. In the next year, Haney said that the School Board is looking at controlling school access and increasing security systems within the school’s physical facilities.

“I was in California, and a lot of the schools were open campuses. And I was thinking, oh my goodness, at least we don’t have that. They need a fence, some kind of physical barrier to keep outsiders out,” Haney said. “We are probably going to take steps in the fairly new future … to implement some kind of security system without being too restrictive.”

The Dinwiddie school system is not the only one of its kind that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting will effect. According to a statement, Prince George Police Chief Ed Frankenstein, School Superintendent Dr. Bobby Browder and County Administrator Percy Ashcraft are planning to incorporate additional training exercises for school personnel and public safety first responders. Officials are also in the process of re-evaluating existing school crisis policies.

On a legislative level, Dinwiddie Board members wondered what could be done to prevent incidences like the Sandy Hook shooting.

“With the young man in question, mental health and illness is a big issue. We know that there is a lot of mental illness within the jails, but there are so many walking the streets that we still don’t know about,” said Supervisor Brenda Ebron-Bonner.

Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Elementary School gunman, has been reported to suffer from Asperger’s Syndrome. Supervisor Daniel Lee felt that more than mental health awareness was needed to combat such shootings.

“We need to look at both gun control and mental health, and that comes from someone who owns guns,” Lee said.

 

Sandy Hook Elementary – The Voice – Tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School

Hurricane Checklist

Hurricane Checklist: What to do BEFORE, DURING and AFTER a Disaster

  1. Know Your Risk. Understand your hurricane checklist and check your hurricane evacuation level and FEMA flood maps to determine if your business location is vulnerable to storm surge or freshwater flooding. Have your building(s) inspected by a licensed professional to find out if your workplace is vulnerable to hurricane force winds and what is recommended to retrofit.
  2. Take the Necessary Precautions. If a storm threatens, secure your building. Cover windows. Cover and move equipment/ furniture to a secured area.
  3. Always Protect Your Data With Backup Files. If dependent on data processing, consider an alternate site. Make provisions for alternate communications and power.
  4. Make Plans To Work With Limited Cash, No Water, Sewer or Power For Two Weeks. Store emergency supplies at the office.
  5. Protect Your Employees. Employee safety comes first! Prepare, distribute and discuss your business hurricane plan for recovery. Consider providing shelter to employees and their families and helping employees with supplies after the storm. Establish a rendezvous point and time for employees in case damage is severe and communications are disrupted. Establish a call-down procedure for warning and post-storm communications. Provide photo ID’s and a letter of authorization to enter the building.
  6. Contact Your Customers & Suppliers and share your communications and recovery plan in advance. Prepare a list of vendors to provide disaster recovery services.
  7. Review Your Insurance Coverage. Have your business appraised at least every five years. Inventory, document and photograph equipment, supplies and workplace. Have copies of insurance policies and customer service/home numbers. Obtain Business Interruption Insurance. Consider “Accounts Receivable” and “Valuable Papers” coverage and “Income Destruction” insurance. If you have a Business Owners Protection Package (BOPP), check the co-insurance provisions. Remember: Flood damage requires separate coverage and is NOT covered under other insurance programs.
  8. After the Storm. Use caution before entering your business. Check for power lines, gas leaks and structural damage. If any electrical equipment is wet, contact an electrician. Prepare loss information for insurance claims and get independent estimates of damages. Take pictures before cleanup. Minimize additional damage.

Hurricane Checklist:  As the Storm Approaches

  1. Listen For Weather Updates on local stations and on NOAA Weather Radio. Don’t trust rumors and stay turned to the latest information.
  2. Check Your Disaster Supplies Kit at work. Obtain any needed items. Contact employees and instruct them to do the same.
  3. Instruct Employees To Refill Prescriptions and to maintain at least a two week supply during hurricane season.
  4. Clear Property or tie down any items that could become flying missiles in high winds such as lawn furniture, potted plants, and trashcans.
  5. Protect Windows and Glass Doors. If you do not have impact resistant windows, install shutters or plywood to cover glass. Brace double entry and garage doors at the top and bottom.
  6. Fill Fleet Cars and Equipment Gas Tanks and check oil, water and tires. Gas pumps don’t operate without electricity.
  7. Secure Your Boat Early. Drawbridges will be closed to boat traffic after an evacuation order is issued.
  8. Obtain Sufficient Cash for business operations recognizing that banks and ATMs won’t be in operation without electricity and few stores will be able to accept credit cards or personal checks.
  9. Discuss the Business Recovery Plan With Employees to ensure that communications are up-to-date and employees are aware of their responsibilities after the storm.
  10. Back Up All Computer Data and ensure that back up is stored in a safe place off-site.
  11. Close The Office in sufficient time to allow employees to secure their homes, obtain needed supplies and evacuate if necessary.

Hurricane Checklist:  No Evacuation

If your facility is outside the evacuation area and NOT a work trailer, your facility
may be able to remain open or serve as shelter for employees.

  1. Protect Windows and Doors and secure the facility.
  2. Clean Containers For Drinking Water and sinks for storing cleaning water. Plan on three gallons per person, per day for all uses.
  3. Offering Your Facility As Shelter To Employees and their families who live in vulnerable areas or mobile homes will have benefits to your operations but may also have some liability. Check first with legal representation.
  4. Check the Disaster Supplies Kit. Make sure to have at least a two-week supply of non-perishable foods. Don’t forget a non-electric can opener. Instruct any employees to augment the supply with a kit of their own.
  5. During the Storm, everyone should stay inside and away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Find a safe area in the facility (an interior reinforced room, closet or bathroom on the lower floor) if the storm becomes severe.
  6. Wait For Official Word That The Danger Is Over. Don’t be fooled by the storm’s calm “eye.”
  7. If Flooding Threatens Your Facility, electricity should be turned off at the main breaker.
  8. If Your Facility Loses Power, turn off major appliances, such as the air conditioner and water heater to reduce damage.

Hurricane Checklist: Securing Your Facility

Stay tuned to the local radio and television stations for emergency broadcasts. If
ordered to evacuate, do so immediately.

  1. Ensure Important Documents, files, back up tapes, emergency contact information, etc., are taken to a safe location. See “GO BOX.”
  2. Let Employees, Customers and Vendors know your continuity plans. Make sure your employees have a safe ride.
  3. Turn Off electricity, water and gas.
  4. Lock windows and doors.

Hurricane Checklist: After the Storm

After a disaster, the business may be without power, water, food or any of the services we rely on. Immediate response may not be possible, so residents and businesses must be prepared to be self-reliant for several weeks.

RE-ENTRY

  1. Be Patient. Access to affected areas will be controlled. You won’t be able to return to your facility until search and rescue operations are complete and safety hazards, such as downed trees and power lines are cleared. It may take up to three days for emergency crews to reach your area. It may take 2-4 weeks before utilities are restored. On barrier islands, it could take much longer.
  2. Stay Tuned To Local Radio stations for advice and instructions about emergency medical aid, food and other forms of assistance.
  3. Security Operations Will Include Checkpoints. It will be critical for you and your employees to have valid identification with your current local address as well as something to prove your employment and need to get back into the area. It is recommended that businesses contact the county emergency management agency and local jurisdiction to determine what specifically would be required.
  4. Avoid Driving. Roads will have debris that will puncture tires. Don’t add to the congestion of relief workers, supply trucks, law enforcement, etc.
SAFETY CHECKLIST
  1. Avoid Downed or Dangling Utility Wires. Metal fences may have been “energized” by fallen wires. Be especially careful when cutting or clearing fallen trees. They may have power lines tangled in them.
  2. Beware of Snakes, insects or animals driven to higher ground by floods.
  3. Enter Your Facility With Caution. Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry the building.
  4. If There Has Been Flooding, have an electrician inspect the office before turning on the breaker.
  5. Be Careful With Fire. Do not strike a match until you are sure there are no breaks in gas lines. Avoid candles. Use battery-operated flashlights and lanterns instead.
  6. Use Your Telephone Only For Emergencies to keep lines open for emergency communications.

 

Hurricane Sandy Statistics

By 

Hurricane Sandy obliterated many records along the East Coast, from its extraordinarily low air pressure to the storm surge. In some ways it was even worse than a worst-case scenario.

Here is a roundup of some of the staggering statistics.

Hurricane Sandy StatisticsAir Pressure Records:

– Sandy had a minimum central pressure of 946 mb when it made landfall, which was the second-lowest pressure of any storm to come ashore north of Cape Hatteras, N.C. Only the Hurricane of 1938 had a lower air pressure reading at landfall that far north, which was 941 mb. In general, the lower the air pressure, the stronger the storm.

– Atlantic City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Trenton, N.J., all set records for the lowest air pressure reading ever recorded. At Atlantic City, which was close to the storm’s landfall location, the pressure fell to 945.6 mb, smashing the record of 961 mb, set in 1932. In Philadelphia, the pressure dropped to 953 mb, which broke the old record of 963 mb set during the “Superstorm of 1993.”

What’s noteworthy about these air pressure records is that they show that the storm was even more intense than aworst-case scenario studied by MIT’s Kerry Emanuel and Princeton’s Michael Oppenheimer. They published a study in June that warned of New York City’s vulnerability to storm surge flooding, but the storm they modeled had a minimum central pressure of about 960 mb at landfall. In other words, their worst-case scenario storm wasn’t as intense as Hurricane Sandy turned out to be.

Storm Surge

As expected, the extremely powerful storm surge proved to be Hurricane Sandy’s fiercest weapon, as water overwhelmed defenses throughout coastal New Jersey, New York City, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Here are some of Sandy’s most significant storm surges – measured as feet above the average low tide:

14.38 feet – Kings Point, N.Y.

13.88 feet –  The Battery, Lower Manhattan, which included a storm surge component of 9.23 feet. (Put another way, the water level at The Battery rose to 9.15 feet above the average high-tide line.)

13.31 feet – Sandy Hook, N.J. (Put another way, the water level at Sandy Hook rose to 8.1 feet above the average high-tide line.)

The storm surge at The Battery broke the old record, which was recorded during Hurricane Donna in 1960. It also broke the record of 11.2 ft. from a powerful hurricane that struck the region in 1821. Note that the Sandy Hook gauge stopped recording at 13.31 feet, so the actual highest water level was very likely higher than that.

Winds:

High winds affected the entire eastern third of the country, creating whitecaps on the surface of Lake Michigan at the same time that the Atlantic Ocean was still inundating coastal communities in the Mid-Atlantic states. Here are some of the strongest gusts:

90 mph – Islip, N.Y.
90 mph – Tompkinsville, N.J.
86 mph – Westerly, R.I.
83 mph – Cuttyhunk, Mass.
81 mph – Allentown, Pa.
80 mph – Newark, N.J.
79 mph – JFK Airport, N.Y.

Rain and Snow:

Unlike Hurricane Irene in 2011, Sandy did not produce devastating inland flooding, in part because it dropped less rain, and also because the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic had been quite dry leading up to the event. Still, there were some formidable rainfall totals, such as 12.55 inches in Easton, Md., and 11.91 inches in Wildwood, NJ.

One of the most unusual aspects of this enormous storm was the crippling amount of heavy, wet snow it produced in the higher elevations of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia. Snow also fell in parts of Ohio. During a media conference call as Sandy was nearing landfall, Louis Uccellini, a leading expert on snowstorms and the director of the National Center for Environmental Prediction in College Park, Md., said he knows of no previous hurricane that also dropped such heavy snow.

Here are some of the highest snow totals:

34.0 in. – Gatlinburg, Tenn.
33.0 in. – Clayton, W. Va.
29.0 in. – Redhouse, Md.
24.0 in. – Norton, Va.

New York Stories in the Wake of Sandy

Editor’s note: This was originally posted on the U.S. Dept. of Labor Blog.

No television image or news report can prepare you for this.

Families without power—unable to shower or wash their clothes for days—huddled together in churches serving as “warming centers” to provide refuge from the stinging cold outside…

Secretary Solis toured a hard hit area of Queens where flood waters and sand took their toll on the neighborhood.

Mounds of displaced sand plowed two stories high in residential neighborhoods, so homeowners could finally get through their front door to survey the damage inside…

Mothers with shopping baskets, and dads holding plastic bags, sifting through donation boxes at makeshift relief centers to find food and clothing to keep their children nourished and warm….

Wine sellers, florists, glass etchers, caterers, printers and other merchants surveying the wreckage of their small businesses, navigating knee-high dirty water to strip off drywall before dangerous mold forms, spreads and creates a health risk….

I spent yesterday in Brooklyn and Queens because the federal government has a responsibility here. It’s not enough to just send our thoughts and prayers.

Secretary Solis chats with a small child while his family collects needed food and clothing supplies.

President Obama told every member of his cabinet to work quickly to deliver critical aid wherever it’s needed. That’s why I exercised my discretion and approved $27.8 million under our National Emergency Grant program to fund 1,400 temporary jobs for New Yorkers to assist with clean-up efforts in the five boroughs. We cut the red tape and approved the funding less than 24 hours after it was requested.

I also approved $15.6 million for cleanup crews in New Jersey and $1.5 million for Rhode Island. As additional requests for assistance come in to the Department of Labor, they will be handled immediately. We also are providing emergency disaster unemployment insurance to affected workers who may not normally qualify, such as part-time and new workers.

During a visit at the Queens Workforce 1 Career Center (One Stop), Secretary Solis met with community leaders and Congressman Gregory W. Meeks to discuss grants to hire workers for clean up efforts.

There has been enough suffering, so we’re communicating the safety precautions for clean-up workers to take as they rebuild. They should assume all power lines are live, and act with appropriate caution. And they should wear hard hats, shoes and reflective vests, and follow proper safety procedures when using ladders, cutting down trees and working near other hazards. The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials are on the ground in all of the affected areas, providing training and educational materials so crews stay safe as they restore electricity, demolish structures, clear debris and repair infrastructure.

Even in the face of so much adversity, I also saw many scenes yesterday that left me inspired. I saw that rough-and-tumble New Yorker stereotype give way to countless demonstrations of kindness and sacrifice. I saw people more concerned about their neighbors than themselves.  They were standing elbow to elbow in food lines. They knew there was a finite amount of food, but they waited patiently. No one pushed or jostled. In fact, I saw people at the front of the line passing sandwiches back to the people behind them.

Make the Road New York, one of the groups visited by Secretary Solis has been collecting and distributing donations.

As always, the faith community sprang into action: At Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Brooklyn, a priest who looked like he hadn’t slept in days delivered comfort to people of every race, religion and background. “I’m going to pray for your strength,” I heard him say. St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Queens welcomed Jewish congregants so they could hold Sabbath services Friday night after their temple had been damaged in the storm.

I saw FEMA crews working side by side with state and local officials. Instead of turf wars or acrimony, there was a clear sense of shared purpose. I saw businesses like Lowe’s on sight with hundreds of buckets to help with debris removal. Relief workers brought canned goods. Local grocers supplied fresh fruit and sandwiches. As I was leaving, I saw the Army Corps of Engineers bringing in generators to provide power and warmth.

I will never forget the people I met or the unlikely scenes of hope that transpired in the midst of so much hardship and loss.  Long after the camera crews are gone, the rebuilding will continue. This government—and this department—will be there until the work is complete. In times like this, we are one.

Hurricane Sandy Recovery Efforts

Author: Craig Fugate

One week ago today, millions of Americans from North Carolina to Maine braced for Hurricane Sandy.  That evening for over 12 hours, hurricane and tropical storm force winds, storm surge, and flooding impacted 12 states, with over eight million people losing power. Transportation systems in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington, DC came to a halt, and more than 12,000 commercial flights were grounded.  And for the first time since 1888, the New York Stock Exchange was closed for two consecutive days because of a natural disaster.

Days before the storm stuck, at the direction of President Obama, the entire federal government was mobilizing to support the anticipated state and local response to the storm.  The President declared an emergency in over a dozen states, and resources and commodities like food, water and blankets were pre-positioned.  FEMA staff was deployed to work side-by-side with their state and local counterparts to ensure coordination in response to the impacts of the storm, and urban search and rescue teams were deployed to prepare to support state and local efforts.  First responders up and down the east coast knocked on doors to urge those in danger to get out of harm’s way.

Before the tropical storm force winds stopped blowing on Tuesday, President Obama had declared a major disaster declaration for the states of New York and New Jersey, immediately making federal financial assistance available to individuals in the impacted regions.  As of this afternoon, over 230,000 individuals in the impacted areas have registered for financial assistance, and over $210 million has been provided to survivors.

We know that the human and economic toll of Hurricane Sandy will be severe and long-lasting.  More than 100 people lost their lives and were victims of this storm – they will not be forgotten.  In addition, there were billions in losses to small businesses and personal property.  But out of this tragedy, there are stories of survivors pulling together, neighbors helping neighbors, and communities beginning to rebuild.

We know that there are many challenges ahead and that recovery will not happen overnight.  Many survivors remain without power, and many are finding themselves without shelter.  FEMA will remain in support of our state, tribal and local partners, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Even as television cameras turn to other stories, we will be on the ground to support the survivors.

If you are a survivor, it’s important to take that the first step is to register with FEMA, by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or going online to www.disasterassistance.gov on your computer or mobile device.

As we have seen in the past few days, a disaster can happen to any of us, but by working together as one team, we can recover and we can rebuild.

Sandy Update 6: Registering for Assistance, Over $100 million Already Approved for Disaster Survivors

Author: Lars Anderson

As many people across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic continue to recover from Hurricane Sandy, members of the entire emergency management team, including the federal, state, tribal, and local governments, the faith based and non-profit communities, and the public, are working tirelessly to support those across the impacted area.  As of this morning, more than 122,000 people have registered for disaster assistance and more than $107 million in assistance has already been approved.  Here’s a breakdown of disaster assistance by state:

  • New York: over  69,000 registered; more than $75 million in assistance approved
  • New Jersey:  over  49,000 registered; more than $31 million in assistance approved
  • Connecticut:  over 2,400 registered; more than $368,000 in assistance approved

These numbers continue to increase as residential power is being restored and those affected are able to register for assistance with FEMA online, as well as through the 800 number.  If you’ve live in an eligible county and have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, we encourage you to apply for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) TTY 1-800-462-7585 or if you have access to the internet, applying online atwww.disasterassistance.gov.

Additionally, as many people have been without power for several days, fuel continues to be a top priority for FEMA. Under direction of President Obama, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) purchased up to 12 million gallons of unleaded fuel and up to 10 million gallons of diesel fuel for distribution in areas impacted by the storm to supplement ongoing private sector efforts.  Tanker trucks have distributed fuel throughout New York, New Jersey and other communities impacted by the storm. There are currently 10 fuel sites throughout New York and New Jersey where residents can refuel their cars and get gas for generators and other necessities.  We are committed to continuing our support in Hurricane Sandy response and recovery efforts.

Here are some photos highlighting our ongoing response and recovery efforts as we work to assist those residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Pleasantville, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012 -- At the Red Cross shelter at Pleasantville High School, FEMA Community Relations team member Sandy Hendrix talks with evacuee Lee Davidson about his immediate needs.

Pleasantville, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012 — At the Red Cross shelter at Pleasantville High School, FEMA Community Relations team member Sandy Hendrix talks with evacuee Lee Davidson about his immediate needs.

Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 31, 2012 -- Through distribution centers in Atlanta, Ga. and Frederick, Md., FEMA maintains commodities, including millions of liters of water, millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of blankets. As of last evening, more than 305,000 liters of water and more than 185,000 meals in staging at Incident Support Bases in Westover, MA and Lakehurst, NJ, have been transferred to states to supplement their existing inventory. The Incident Support Bases continue to be restocked in anticipation of additional requests for assistance from affected states.

Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 31, 2012 — Through distribution centers in Atlanta, Ga. and Frederick, Md., FEMA maintains commodities, including millions of liters of water, millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of blankets. As of last evening, more than 305,000 liters of water and more than 185,000 meals in staging at Incident Support Bases in Westover, MA and Lakehurst, NJ, have been transferred to states to supplement their existing inventory. The Incident Support Bases continue to be restocked in anticipation of additional requests for assistance from affected states.

Riverside, Calif., Nov. 1, 2012 -- A fleet of more than 70 Southern California Edison utility trucks is being prepared for transport to the East Coast to help restore power in areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The U.S. Air Force will use six C-5 and eight C-17 aircraft to transport the vehicles from March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County.

Riverside, Calif., Nov. 1, 2012 — A fleet of more than 70 Southern California Edison utility trucks is being prepared for transport to the East Coast to help restore power in areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The U.S. Air Force will use six C-5 and eight C-17 aircraft to transport the vehicles from March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County.

Hoboken, N.J., Nov. 1, 2012 -- FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino is shown damaged businesses in Hoboken, New Jersey by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. Hurricane Sandy damaged hundreds of businesses and left most of the town under water.

Hoboken, N.J., Nov. 1, 2012 — FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino is shown damaged businesses in Hoboken, New Jersey by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. Hurricane Sandy damaged hundreds of businesses and left most of the town under water.

Hoboken, N.J., Nov. 1, 2012 -- FEMA Community Relations team member Nancy Evans talks with a cleanup volunteer from Hoboken Grace Church. FEMA is working with many partners and organizations to provide assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Hoboken, N.J., Nov. 1, 2012 — FEMA Community Relations team member Nancy Evans talks with a cleanup volunteer from Hoboken Grace Church. FEMA is working with many partners and organizations to provide assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Hoboken, N.J., Nov. 1, 2012 -- FEMA Community Relations team member Joanne Doaring talks with residents Teresa Brenda and Chris Skarantonakis about meeting their immediate needs for food and safe shelter. FEMA is working with many partners and organizations to provide assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Hoboken, N.J., Nov. 1, 2012 — FEMA Community Relations team member Joanne Doaring talks with residents Teresa Brenda and Chris Skarantonakis about meeting their immediate needs for food and safe shelter. FEMA is working with many partners and organizations to provide assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Hoboken, N.J., Nov. 1, 2012 -- FEMA Community Relations team member Ray Vees talks with residents John and Debra Veloce about registering with FEMA after Hurricane Sandy flooded their apartment. FEMA is working with many partners and organizations to provide assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Hoboken, N.J., Nov. 1, 2012 — FEMA Community Relations team member Ray Vees talks with residents John and Debra Veloce about registering with FEMA after Hurricane Sandy flooded their apartment. FEMA is working with many partners and organizations to provide assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Queens, N.Y., Nov. 1, 2012 -- FEMA Community Relations (CR) team members moved through Breezy Point and Rockaway, NY, after Hurricane Sandy. The CR members talked with disaster survivors about FEMA assistance and assessed the situation on the ground.

Queens, N.Y., Nov. 1, 2012 — FEMA Community Relations (CR) team members moved through Breezy Point and Rockaway, NY, after Hurricane Sandy. The CR members talked with disaster survivors about FEMA assistance and assessed the situation on the ground.

Staten Island, N.Y., Nov. 2, 2012 -- FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino, left, and DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary William Bryan, participate on a conference call with NRCC operations from FEMA headquarters to discuss operations for Hurricane Sandy.

Staten Island, N.Y., Nov. 2, 2012 — FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino, left, and DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary William Bryan, participate on a conference call with NRCC operations from FEMA headquarters to discuss operations for Hurricane Sandy.

Charleston, W.Va., Nov. 2, 2012 -- Members of the West Virginia Air National Guard unload food supplies shipped into the state by FEMA effort to support residents impacted by the storm that brought deep snow, heavy rain and high winds to the area. The supplies are moved from the staging area at Charleston's Yeager Airport to distribution points around the state.

Charleston, W.Va., Nov. 2, 2012 — Members of the West Virginia Air National Guard unload food supplies shipped into the state by FEMA effort to support residents impacted by the storm that brought deep snow, heavy rain and high winds to the area. The supplies are moved from the staging area at Charleston’s Yeager Airport to distribution points around the state.

Staten Island, N.Y., Nov. 2, 2012 -- FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino, left, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, speak to local residents at a shelter set up at Susan Wagner high school. The shelter is set up to assist residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Staten Island, N.Y., Nov. 2, 2012 — FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino, left, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, speak to local residents at a shelter set up at Susan Wagner high school. The shelter is set up to assist residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Cape May, N.J., Nov. 2, 2012 -- Jane Menear talks with FEMA employee Lois Bridges at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center. People affected by Hurricane Sandy can come in and talk to various federal, state and local representatives about questions they have during the recovery process.

Cape May, N.J., Nov. 2, 2012 — Jane Menear talks with FEMA employee Lois Bridges at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center. People affected by Hurricane Sandy can come in and talk to various federal, state and local representatives about questions they have during the recovery process.

Charleston, W.Va., Nov. 2, 2012 -- Pallets of meals brought by to West Virginia by FEMA for state residents impacted by snow, rain and high winds are prepared for distribution at the Air National Guard Base here. State and local officials are selecting sites to distribute the commodities to residents

Charleston, W.Va., Nov. 2, 2012 — Pallets of meals brought by to West Virginia by FEMA for state residents impacted by snow, rain and high winds are prepared for distribution at the Air National Guard Base here. State and local officials are selecting sites to distribute the commodities to residents.

Staten Island, N.Y., Nov. 3, 2012 -- Tanker trucks distribute fuel to residents in New York who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) purchased up to 12 million gallons of unleaded fuel and up to 10 million gallons of diesel fuel for distribution in areas impacted by the storm to supplement ongoing private sector efforts.

Staten Island, N.Y., Nov. 3, 2012 — Tanker trucks distribute fuel to residents in New York who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) purchased up to 12 million gallons of unleaded fuel and up to 10 million gallons of diesel fuel for distribution in areas impacted by the storm to supplement ongoing private sector efforts.

Freehold, N.J., Nov. 3, 2012 -- Tanker trucks distribute fuel throughout New York, New Jersey and other communities impacted by the storm. FEMA is working with many partners and organizations to assist residents affected by the storm.

Freehold, N.J., Nov. 3, 2012 — Tanker trucks distribute fuel throughout New York, New Jersey and other communities impacted by the storm. FEMA is working with many partners and organizations to assist residents affected by the storm.

For more photos on our response and recovery efforts, visit our Photo Library and for more information on Hurricane Sandy, visit the Hurricane Sandy page.

Sandy Update 5: The Next Step After You Register for Disaster Assistance

Author:

Hoboken, N.J., Nov. 1, 2012 -- FEMA Inspector Richard Martin inspects a basement apartment in Hoboken two days after the residents applied for FEMA assistance. FEMA is working with many partners and organizations to provide assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Hoboken, N.J., Nov. 1, 2012 — FEMA Inspector Richard Martin inspects a basement apartment in Hoboken two days after the residents applied for FEMA assistance. FEMA is working with many partners and organizations to provide assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

We understand the mixed range of emotions survivors may be experiencing after going through a catastrophic and life changing disaster.  Many people are returning home to find that everything they’ve ever known is completely destroyed.  During these difficult times, it’s hard to even process everything that has occurred over the past several days, let alone think about the next steps — but we’re here to help you through the disaster registration process and make it as easy as possible.

If you’re a survivor in one of the declared counties you should call to apply for federal assistance.  If you have access to the Internet, you can apply online and on your mobile device too.  If you don’t have access to the Internet, please call 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) TTY 1-800-462-7585.  Our online application is an easier and faster way to apply for assistance, visit at www.disasterassistance.gov to complete your application. You should also be aware that FEMA often opens Disaster Recovery Centers  in disaster areas, once they are established in your area, you can visit the location to speak to someone in person about available disaster programs.

Once you’ve applied for federal assistance, here’s what you can expect next:

  1. Applicants who register with FEMA will be given a personal application number. This number will be used to provide later to a FEMA Housing Inspector. So it’s important that you write this number down, and keep it secure and handy for future use.
  2.  A FEMA Housing Inspector will contact you to make an appointment to visit your property within 14 days after you apply. The inspector will assess disaster related damage for your real and personal property.

    Important notes:

  • There is no fee for the inspection.
  • Inspectors are contractors, not FEMA employees, but your inspector will have picture identification.
  • It is important to understand that you or someone 18 years of age who lived in the household prior to the disaster must be present for your scheduled appointment. This inspection generally takes 30-40 minutes but can be shorter, and consists of a general inspection of damaged areas of your home and a review of your records.It’s also important to understand what the inspector will be asking of you.

    The inspector will ask to see:

  • Picture Identification
  • Proof of Ownership/Occupancy of damaged residence (Structural Insurance, Tax Bill, Mortgage Payment Book/Utility Bill)
  • Insurance documents: Home and/or Auto (Structural Insurance/Auto Declaration Sheet)
  • List of household occupants living in residence at time of disaster
  • All disaster related damages to both real and personal property
  1. Once the inspection process is complete, your case will be reviewed by FEMA and you will receive a letter, or email if you signed up for E-Correspondence, outlining the decision.
  2. If you qualify for a FEMA grant, FEMA will send you a check by mail or deposit it directly into your bank account. You will also receive a letter describing how you are to use the money.  You should only use the money given to you as explained in the letter and save receipts on how you spent the money.
  3. If you do not qualify for a FEMA grant, you will receive a letter explaining why you were turned down and will be given a chance to appeal the decision. Your appeal rights will be described in this letter. Appeals must be in writing and mailed within 60 days of FEMA’s decision.
  4. If you’re referred to the Small Business Administration (SBA), you will receive a SBA application. The application must be completed and returned in order to be considered for a loan as well as certain types of grant assistance. SBA representatives are available to help you with the application at localDisaster Recovery Centers. Completing and returning the loan application does not mean that you must accept the loan.

As with all disasters, FEMA is just part of the team that supports disaster response and recovery efforts.  That team is comprised of tribal, territorial, state, and local governments, faith-based and community organizations as well as the private sector and voluntary organizations.  Together we are working to help survivors through this difficult time in their lives.

If you know someone who lives in an eligible county and has suffered damages from Hurricane Sandy or if you have suffered damages yourself, we encourage you to register for federal disaster assistance as soon as possible.  The sooner you apply, the faster you will receive a reply and can move forward in the recovery process.

And if you were not affected by Hurricane Sandy but know survivors, please help us spread the message and encourage them to apply for assistance.

Here are some other ways everyone can help Hurricane Sandy survivors:

  • Cash is the most efficient method of donating – Cash offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover.

Also, please review our page with info on volunteering and donating responsibly.

We are committed in continuing to provide support to the governors, tribal leaders and communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  As response efforts continue, FEMA and our federal partners have been in close contact with emergency officials to assess the unmet needs of survivors. Visit our Hurricane Sandy page for updates and other resources related to response and recovery efforts.

Planning for Disaster

Nothing can sink your small business faster than an unexpected disaster, so you need to be prepared. And disaster recovery preparation is easier than you think.

Planning For DisasterHurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, sprinkler malfunctions, burst pipes, electrical fires, power outages, a failed hard drive – big or small, a disaster could knock your company offline long enough to put you out of business. But it doesn’t take much preparation to make sure you can get back online quickly.

John Motazedi, CEO of SNC Squared – a business that was saved after a tornado thanks to its disaster recovery plan – recommends starting with a few things that would make it difficult to run your business if they were suddenly gone. Once you’ve figured out where you’re vulnerable, it should be pretty clear what you need to do to protect those assets and processes.

Planning for Disaster Records

Keep detailed records of all your business contacts so you can reach them in event of emergency. You may need backup office space, an emergency credit line, a cloud backup copy of your critical data – it might not take much to keep you going.

So take the time to think about what you absolutely need for your business to survive. It should tell you valuable things about your business regardless of whether you ever need that disaster recovery plan.

Adapted from How a Disaster Recovery Plan Can Save Your Business at Small Business Computing.

Read more on Planning for Disasterhttp://business.time.com/2012/10/22/planning-for-disaster/#ixzz2A99YeXMW

Disaster Recovery Plan Sample

The objective of a disaster recovery plan is to ensure that you can respond to a disaster or other emergency that affects information systems and minimize the effect on the operation of the business. When you have prepared the information described in this topic collection, store your document in a safe, accessible location off site.

You can download this Disaster Recovery Plan Sample for free using the links below:

Microsoft Word 97-2003: Click Here

Microsoft Word 2010: Click Here

Adobe PDF:  Click Here

Disaster Recovery Plan Sample

Section 1. Example: Major goals of a disaster recovery plan sample

 Here are the major goals of a disaster recovery plan.
  • To minimize interruptions to the normal operations.
  • To limit the extent of disruption and damage.
  • To minimize the economic impact of the interruption.
  • To establish alternative means of operation in advance.
  • To train personnel with emergency procedures.
  • To provide for smooth and rapid restoration of service.

Section 2. Example: Personnel

You can use the tables in this topic to record your data processing personnel. You can include a copy of the organization chart with your plan.
Data processing personnel
Name Position Address Telephone
Data processing personnel
Name Position Address Telephone
Data processing personnel
Name Position Address Telephone

Section 3. Example: Application profile

You can use the Display Software Resources (DSPSFWRSC) command to complete the table in this topic.
Application profile
Application name Critical Yes / No Fixed asset Yes / No Manufacturer Comments
Comment legend:

1.
Runs daily.
2.
Runs weekly on ____________.
3.
Runs monthly on ____________.

Section 4. Example: Inventory profile

You can use the Work with Hardware Products (WRKHDWPRD) command to complete the table in this topic.
Application profile
Manufacturer Description Model Serial number Own or leased Cost
Notes:

1.
This list should be audited every ____________ months.
2.
This list should include the following items:Processing units                        System printer
Disk units                                 Tape and optical devices
Models                                     Controllers
Workstation controllers              I/O Processors
Personal computers                   General data communication
Spare workstations                    Spare displays
Telephones                               Racks
Air conditioner or heater            Humidifier or dehumidifier
Miscellaneous inventory
Description Quantity Comments
Note: This list should include the following items:

Tapes                                                    CDs and DVDs
PC software                                          Emulation packages
File cabinet contents or documentation     Language software (such as COBOL and RPG)
Tape vault contents                                Printer supplies (such as paper and forms)
Optical media

Section 5. Information services backup procedures

Use these procedures for information services backup.
    • System i® environment
      • Daily, journals receivers are changed at ____________ and at ____________.
      • Daily, a saving of changed objects in the following libraries and directories is done at ____________:
        • ____________
        • ____________
        • ____________
        • ____________
        • ____________
        • ____________
        • ____________
        • ____________

        The preceding procedure also saves the journals and journal receivers.

      • On ____________ at ____________ a complete save of the system is done.
      • All save media is stored off-site in a vault at ____________ location.
    • Personal Computer
      • It is suggested that all personal computers be backed up. Copies of the personal computer files should be uploaded to the System i environment on ____________ (date) at ____________ (time), just before a complete save of the system is done. It is then saved with the normal system save procedure. This provides for a more secure backup of personal computer-related systems where a local area disaster can wipe out important personal computer systems.

Section 6. Disaster recovery procedures

For any disaster recovery plan, these three elements should be addressed.
  • Emergency response procedures
    • To document the appropriate emergency response to a fire, natural disaster, or any other activity in order to protect lives and limit damage.
  • Backup operations procedures
    To ensure that essential data processing operational tasks can be conducted after the disruption.
  • Recovery actions procedures

Section 7. Recovery plan for mobile site

This topic provides information about how to plan your recovery task at a mobile site.
    • Notify ____________ of the nature of the disaster and the need to select the mobile site plan.
    1. Confirm in writing the substance of the telephone notification to ____________ within 48 hours of the telephone notification.
    2. Confirm all needed backup media are available to load the backup machine.
    3. Prepare a purchase order to cover the use of backup equipment.
    4. Notify ____________ of plans for a trailer and its placement (on ____________ side of ____________).
    5. Depending on communication needs, notify telephone company (____________) of possible emergency line changes.
    6. Begin setting up power and communications at ____________.
      1. Power and communications are prearranged to hook into when trailer arrives.
      2. At the point where telephone lines come into the building (____________), break the current linkage to the administration controllers (____________). These lines are rerouted to lines going to the mobile site. They are linked to modems at the mobile site.The lines currently going from ____________ to ____________ would then be linked to the mobile unit via modems.
      3. This can conceivably require ____________ to redirect lines at ____________ complex to a more secure area in case of disaster.
    7. When the trailer arrives, plug into power and do necessary checks.
    8. Plug into the communications lines and do necessary checks.
    9. Begin loading system from backups.
    10. Begin normal operations as soon as possible:
      1. Daily jobs
      2. Daily saves
      3. Weekly saves
    11. Plan a schedule to back up the system in order to restore on a home-base computer when a site is available. (Use regular system backup procedures).
    12. Secure mobile site and distribute keys as required.
    13. Keep a maintenance log on mobile equipment.

Section 8. Recovery plan for hot site

An alternate hot site plan should provide for an alternative (backup) site. The alternate site has a backup system for temporary use while the home site is being reestablished.
    1. Notify ____________ of the nature of the disaster and of its desire for a hot site.
    2. Request air shipment of modems to ____________ for communications. (See ____________ for communications for the hot site.)
    3. Confirm in writing the telephone notification to ____________ within 48 hours of the telephone notification.
    4. Begin making necessary travel arrangements to the site for the operations team.
    5. Confirm that you have enough save media and that it is packed for shipment to restore on the backup system.
    6. Prepare a purchase order to cover the use of the backup system.
    7. Review the checklist for all necessary materials before departing to the hot site.
    8. Make sure that the disaster recovery team at the disaster site has the necessary information to begin restoring the site.
    9. Provide for travel expenses (cash advance).
    10. After arriving at the hot site, contact home base to establish communications procedures.
    11. Review materials brought to the hot site for completeness.
    12. Start to load the system from the save media.
    13. Begin normal operations as soon as possible:
      1. Daily jobs
      2. Daily saves
      3. Weekly saves
    14. Plan the schedule to back up the hot-site system in order to restore on the home-base computer.

Section 9. Restoring the entire system

You can learn how to restore the entire system.
  • To get your system back to the way it was before the disaster, use the procedures in Checklist 20: Recovering your entire system after a complete system loss.

    Before you begin: Find the following save media, equipment, and information from the on-site tape vault or the offsite storage location:

    • If you install from the alternate installation device, you need both your save media and the CD-ROM media containing the Licensed Internal Code.
    • All save media from the most recent complete save operation
    • The most recent save media from saving security data (SAVSECDTA or SAVSYS)
    • The most recent save media from saving your configuration, if necessary
    • All save media that contains journals and journal receivers that you saved since the most recent daily save operation
    • All save media from the most recent daily save operation
    • PTF list (stored with the most recent complete save media, weekly save media, or both)
    • Save media list from most recent complete save operation
    • Save media list from most recent weekly save operation
    • Save media list from daily saves
    • History log from the most recent complete save operation
    • History log from the most recent weekly save operation
    • History log from the daily save operations
    • The Installing, upgrading, or deleting i5/OS and related software PDF. You can order a printed version of this PDF (SC41-5120; feature code 8006) with i5/OS software upgrade orders or new hardware orders.
    • The Recovering your system PDF. You can order a printed version of this PDF (SC41-5304; feature code 8007) with i5/OS software upgrade orders or new hardware orders.
    • Telephone directory
    • Modem manual
    • Tool kit

Section 10. Rebuilding process

The management team must assess the damage and begin the reconstruction of a new data center.
  • If the original site must be restored or replaced, the following questions are some of the factors to consider:

    • What is the projected availability of all needed computer equipment?
    • Will it be more effective and efficient to upgrade the computer systems with newer equipment?
    • What is the estimated time needed for repairs or construction of the data site?
    • Is there an alternative site that more readily can be upgraded for computer purposes?

    After the decision to rebuild the data center has been made, go to Section 12. Disaster site rebuilding.

Section 11. Testing the disaster recovery plan

In successful contingency planning, it is important to test and evaluate the plan regularly.
  • Data processing operations are volatile in nature, resulting in frequent changes to equipment, programs, and documentation. These actions make it critical to consider the plan as a changing document.

    Table 1 should be helpful for conducting a recovery test.

    Table 1. Checklist for testing the disaster recovery plan
    Item Yes No Applicable Not applicable Comments
    Conducting a Recovery Test
    1. Select the purpose of the test. What aspects of the plan are being evaluated?
    2. Describe the objectives of the test. How will you measure successful achievement of the objectives?
    3. Meet with management and explain the test and objectives. Gain their agreement and support.
    4. Have management announce the test and the expected completion time.
    5. Collect test results at the end of the test period.
    6. Evaluate results. Was recovery successful? Why or why not?
    7. Determine the implications of the test results. Does successful recovery in a simple case imply successful recovery for all critical jobs in the tolerable outage period?
    8. Make suggestions for changes. Call for responses by a given date.
    9. Notify other areas of results. Include users and auditors.
    10. Change the disaster recovery plan manual as necessary.
    Areas to be tested
    1. Recovery of individual application systems by using files and documentation stored off-site.
    2. Reloading of system save media and performing an initial program load (IPL) by using files and documentation stored off-site.
    3. Ability to process on a different computer.
    4. Ability of management to determine priority of systems with limited processing.
    5. Ability to recover and process successfully without key people.
    6. Ability of the plan to clarify areas of responsibility and the chain of command.
    7. Effectiveness of security measures and security bypass procedures during the recovery period.
    8. Ability to accomplish emergency evacuation and basic first-aid responses.
    9. Ability of users of real time systems to cope with a temporary loss of online information.
    10. Ability of users to continue day-to-day operations without applications or jobs that are considered noncritical.
    11. Ability to contact the key people or their designated alternates quickly.
    12. Ability of data entry personnel to provide the input to critical systems by using alternate sites and different input media.
    13. Availability of peripheral equipment and processing, such as printers and scanners.
    14. Availability of support equipment, such as air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
    15. Availability of support: supplies, transportation, communication.
    16. Distribution of output produced at the recovery site.
    17. Availability of important forms and paper stock.
    18. Ability to adapt plan to lesser disasters.

Section 12. Disaster site rebuilding

Use this information to do disaster site rebuilding.
    • Floor plan of data center.
    • Determine current hardware needs and possible alternatives.
    • Data center square footage, power requirements and security requirements.
      • Square footage ____________
      • Power requirements ____________
      • Security requirements: locked area, preferably with combination lock on one door.
      • Floor-to-ceiling studding
      • Detectors for high temperature, water, smoke, fire and motion
      • Raised floor
    • Vendors
      You can attach the vendors information here.
    • Floor plan
      You can include a copy of the proposed floor plan here.

Section 13. Record of plan changes

Keep your plan current, and keep records of changes to your configuration, your applications, and your backup schedules and procedures.
  • You can get print a list of your current local hardware by typing the following command:

    DSPLCLHDW OUTPUT(*PRINT)

Free Business Continuity Plan Template

Free Business Continuity Plan Template