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By Allan B. Fraser, CBI, CPCA, Sr. Building Code specialist, NFPA

 

This is the seventh in the ten part series on personal disaster planning.

 

Definition of communication

 

“A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.” 

 

 

    How often do we think about communication? Oh sure we may talk about it at work and how well we do it, but that tends to be more about the content of the message rather than the process of delivering or receiving it, especially for us as individuals.

       

        A few years ago I had a chance to speak with a young man I met at a conference about his concerns with getting notification from the fire alarm in his building and he wanted to know why NFPA isn’t working on the problem for him and many people like him. Although I’d worked on emergency evacuations related to people with disabilities for a long time this was a new “conversation” or more accurately a new “communication” for me that really made me stop and think.

 

        You see, the young man I was talking to and learning from was deaf and blind. In order for us to communicate he had an interpreter. He would use sign language to communicate his words to her and she would verbalize his thoughts to me. As I responded, she would communicate my thoughts to him with a specialized method of sign language. Because he was blind and couldn’t see her hands, he would lightly place his hands over hers so that he could feel the “signs” she was making. It was maybe the most incredible learning experience I’ve had in a long time. Both the content of what he was saying and about the method by which we were communicating.

 

        When the fire alarm in his building goes off, he has to rely on neighbors to come and alert him as he can’t hear the siren or see the flashing strobe light. He wanted me to relay his concerns to our technical committee on fire alarms to see what they might be able to come up with.

 

I’m sure that it’s pretty clear by now that he would need to have an interpreter with him constantly during an evacuation. Then I started thinking about everyone else during evacuations. What would we do to communicate our needs and receive communications from others about what we need to do, where to go, how to get there, etc.

 

What sort of communications do we need to have? How about contacting or being contacted by:

 

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Transportation
  • Shelter
  • Pharmacy
  • Doctor
  • Bank

 

Getting information about:

  • Events that might affect you or them
  • Status of your home or theirs
  • When, or if you can go home
  • And any other information you may need.

 

How do you do you communicate if there is no land line phone where you are? Or if your cell phone is dead with no way to recharge it because the power is out? What if you don’t speak the same language as those who staff the shelter?

 

 What if you are deaf? Or what if you are like the young man I spoke of earlier and are deaf and blind? Either prior to the event or maybe because the event injured your sight or hearing?

 

These are very frightening things to think about, but it would be far worse to have to wait until they happen to figure out a plan.

 

Part eighth of the ten-part series will be in the next issue, March, 2018.

People with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors, wounded vets and healthcare professionals attended Abilities Expo September 8-10, 2017 at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center in eager anticipation of the “Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities” workshop on September 8th, as well as the opportunity to discover the latest products, education and fun for all ages.

 

 

“It’s not just that we provide a forum that showcases essential technology to bridge the gap between ability and disability,” said David Korse, president and CEO of Abilities Expo. “The Expo is always new and exciting with a host of all-inclusive, adaptive activities.”

 

Admission to all Abilities Expo’s is free. Complimentary loaner scooters, wheelchair repair and sign language interpreters were also provided during the show hours.

 

Abilities Meet Up Zone

The Abilities Meet Up Zone was a dedicated area on the show floor where attendees could interact with both peers and experts. Many workshop and event presenters stopped by the Zone to engage one-on-one with attendees.

 

Relevant Workshops

A series of compelling workshops were offered free-of-charge to all attendees with particular emphasis on emergency preparedness.

 

This was a wonderful conference. For more information on future expos, visit  http://www.abilities.com

 

 

By Charlotte Mcclain-Nhlapo

Natural hazard events can occur in any country, at any time. At present, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal are dealing with the aftermath of some of the worst monsoon flooding in years, which has left more than 1,200 people dead and millions homeless. At the same time, North America and the Caribbean region are responding to some of the strongest hurricanes on record.

 

 

At such times of peril, individual and community resilience is at a premium, and we cannot afford to miss opportunities to bolster that resilience wherever possible. This is especially true with respect to certain groups – such as persons with disabilities – who have historically been disproportionately affected by natural hazards.

 

While some strides have been made in addressing the needs of persons with different disabilities in response and recovery efforts, fewer efforts are aimed at incorporating lessons into long-term disaster and climate risk management at a systemic and/or policy level.

 

More needs to be done to create disability inclusion for all – a topic that was  discussed during a Facebook Live chat on September 19, 2017

 

Such approaches are necessary, not only to ensure that persons with disabilities are not disproportionately impacted by natural hazards, but because disability-inclusive disaster risk management (DRM) interventions have the potential to benefit all members of society. For this to happen though, there must be more coordination and cross-sector synergies between the DRM and disability communities.

 

 

On August 30, a group of experts met at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., to discuss the inclusion of persons with disabilities in disaster risk management (DRM). This consultation was the first of its kind for the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Led by the Disability Stakeholder Group, the impact and influence of bringing together hundreds of persons with disabilities, and representatives disability organizations worldwide resulted in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction leading as the most disability-inclusive international mainstream framework, which clearly sets out how implementers operationalize disability issues.

 

Aligning with the Sendai Framework priorities for disaster risk reduction, the participants to the experts’ convening identified several issues on disability-inclusive DRM, including:

 

  • Recognize the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilitiesas one of the key instruments for DRM. In particular, Article 11 states that “parties shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters.”
  •  Effective and meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in all DRM initiatives, ensuring empowerment in becoming key implementation stakeholders, as defined in the Sendai Framework Section V 36(a)(iii). By coordinating efforts between disaster risk management experts and disability experts, we are supporting cross-learning and capacity development between the two sectors.
  • Consider intersectionality between different at-risk groups, and avoid “one-size-fits-all” solutions as a recipe for inclusion. Disability does not form a homogeneous group, but rather brings together a wide range of people that cuts across all other at-risk groups (gender, poor households, children, ethnic minorities etc.). This necessitates bringing a set of unique expertise and capacities that should be recognized and used to enhance community resilience.
  • Consider the interrelationship between the different international and national policies that contribute to DRM, and strengthen the inclusion and capacity of persons with disabilities.
  • Consider all risks, and take measures to mitigate structural, social and economic risks that directly affect persons with disabilities.
  • Develop a data collection system that considers age, gender, and disability dis-aggregated data. (See, for example, the Washington City Group short set of questions.) Additionally, identify a set of voluntary indicators that can be used by governments and other stakeholders to track their progress in including persons with disabilities in their disaster risk management programs.
  • Ensure that recommendations address different levels of engagement, from community level up to larger systemic levels.
  • Ensure that DRM actions across the Sendai Framework are undertaken with a comprehensive approach to accessibility and universal design. For example, community consultations to prepare disaster response plans, early warning systems, disaster response mechanisms, and recovery efforts, will all benefit from being accessible to persons with disabilities and others.

 

The World Bank Group, through the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), is committed to supporting country implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The rich discussion has provided a clear outline for the development of a report on disability-inclusive DRM as we shape the recommendations and actions for including persons with disabilities in the World Bank and GDFRR’s disaster risk management investments.

 

Charlotte V. McClain-Nhlapo is Global Disability Advisor in the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience (GP SURR) Global Practice of the World Bank Group. As Disability Advisor, she focuses on working with and supporting operational teams across the institution to ensure that Bank policies, programs and projects take people with disabilities into consideration. 

 

The World Bank Group authorizes the use of this material subject to the terms and conditions on its website, http://www.worldbank.org/terms

afraser

The Collection

Posted by afraser Employee Nov 27, 2017
afraser

NFPA Coming Events

Posted by afraser Employee Nov 27, 2017

 

December 2017

Dec. 4

NFPA 101 and NFPA 80 Fire Door Inspection for Health Care Facilities 1-Day Classroom Training, Quincy, MA

Dec. 4-6

Riskonet provides NFPA Training in Istanbul, Turkey - NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. Register now.

Dec. 4-8

NFPA Classroom Training Week, Orlando, FL

Dec. 10-14

NFPA training provided by NAFFCO - 2008 CFPS – Certified Fire Protection Specialist, Dubai, UAE. For more information contact Maria Paz, 971 4 815 1781 or Ms. Zilal S., 971 4 815 1782.

February 2018

Feb. 12-16

NFPA Classroom Training Week, Houston, TX

  • NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training
  • New Edition! NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2018) 2-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training
  • New Edition! NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2018) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2012) Essentials for Health Care Occupancies 3-Day Classroom Training
  • Certified Fire Inspector I 4-Day Classroom Training 
March 2018

Mar. 5-9

  • NFPA Classroom Training Week, Baltimore, MD
  • NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training
  • New Edition! NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2018) 2-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 25, Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems (2017) 1-Day Classroom Training 
  • New Edition! NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2018) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2012) Essentials for Health Care Occupancies 3-Day Classroom Training
  • Certified Fire Protection Specialist Primer 2-Day Classroom Training

Mar. 5-9

NFPA Classroom Training, Quincy, MA

  • NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training
  • New Edition! NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2018) 2-Day Classroom Training

Mar. 12-13

 NFPA Classroom Training, Quincy, MA

  •        Certified Fire Protection Specialist Primer 2-Day Classroom Training

Mar. 19-23

 NFPA Classroom Training Week, Las Vegas, NV

  • NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training
  • New Edition! NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2018) 2-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training
  • New Edition! NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2018) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2012) Essentials for Health Care Occupancies 3-Day Classroom Training
  •  Certified Fire Plan Examiner 3-Day Classroom Training

 

Future NFPA Conference & Expo dates

  • June 4–7, 2018, Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
  • June 17-20, 2019, Henry B. González Convention Center, San Antonio, TX
  • June 14-17, 2020, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

 

See NFPA's complete online calendar.

 

 

Do you have a story to tell or information to share?

Our readers are people with disabilities, and their relatives, caregivers, and friends.

Our goals are to:

  • Provide specialized information about fire and life safety for people with disabilities directly to those with disabilities and to those who help them in order to reduce or eliminate death and injury from fire and other
  • Provide a forum for the collection and dissemination of information for people with disabilities in support of DARAC’s
  • Provide personal stories about events, ideas, or solutions from our readers that can guide others in similar
  • Content for future editions will include:
    • NFPA-related news
    • DARAC news
    • NFPA codes- and standards-related information
    • Fire safety tips
    •  

 

 

 

 

  • Emergency evacuation information
  • Articles relating to the safety of people with disabilities from:

 

  • NFPA staff
  • DARAC members
  • Other national advocates
  • General news
  • Our readers
  • News from other standards-developing organizations’ news

 

  • U.S. Access Board
  • ANSI/ICC A117, Standard for Accessible Buildings and Facilities
  • RESNA
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • Other

 

We’d love to hear your stories and opinions! If you’d like to contribute an article or information consistent with the outline above, please e-mail them to Allan B. Fraser, senior building code specialist and e-ACCESS coordinator, at afraser@nfpa.org.

 

 

Did You Miss an Issue?

 

No problem! You can read the back issues of e-ACCESS by clicking here.

 

 

October 31-November 3, 2017

Embassy Suites, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Founded in 1967, the mission of the Tennessee Fire Safety Inspectors Association is to unite for the mutual benefit those public officials, the general public, and private persons engaged in the prevention and suppression of fires through inspections. It provides for the exchange of technical information and developments. It cooperates with the State Fire Marshal's Office, Fire Departments, law enforcement agencies, and private industry in the public education, prevention, and suppression of fires. It encourages high professional standards of conduct among Fire Safety Inspectors and continually strives to improve inspections procedures and education of the general public.

 

Among the invited speakers at this year’s 50Th Annual Conference is Allan Fraser, CBI, CPCA, NFPA’s Senior Building Code Specialist and staff liaison to the Technical Committee on Construction and Demolition who will be presenting two sessions on NFPA 241:  Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations.  

 

“We've had fires in buildings under construction since we first started building them. Buildings under construction have additional fire hazards not found in completed structures. NFPA 241 is a unique standard in that it's not a "brick and mortar" standard but a standard about the process of putting the "brick and mortar" in place.

 

A building under construction needs constant supervision and inspection may not be possible or practical by municipal inspectors.

 

What is “OK” at 8:00am may have changed and not be ok by 5:00pm that day or even by noon.  This session will detail NFPA 241 and how it is to be used effectively to reduce fire damage if not eliminate construction fires all together.”

      The Access Board will host a workshop with accessibility experts from Australia on November 13, 2017 that will compare how building accessibility is addressed in Australia and the U.S. The public is welcome to the free event which will explore methods used in both countries to regulate, monitor, and enforce compliance with accessibility requirements. The goal is to foster a better understanding of how covered entities meet their responsibilities under civil rights and other laws governing access to the built environment.

      Representing Australia will be Michael Small, a former government official and the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship to study building accessibility from an international perspective. He was active in drafting Australia’s building accessibility regulations and standards and also produced a variety of resources to assist building professionals in meeting them. He will be joined by Robin Banks, a consultant in human rights who formerly headed the Australian Public Interest Advocacy Centre and served as a state Anti-Discrimination Commissioner.

      NFPA’s senior building code specialist, Allan B. Fraser, CBI, CPCA will be one of the Access Board’s invited panelists who are from disability rights organizations, building code groups, government, the design profession, and industry. The structured portion of the program will run from 9:30 to noon. Following a break for lunch, there will be an informal guided discussion with invited panelists, other participants, and members of the public that will cover implementation, particularly in relation to alterations and additions to existing facilities. The public can attend in person or remotely through a phone bridge with communication access real-time translation (CART). Remote attendance will be listen only, but comments or questions can be submitted by email during the afternoon session. Further details, including the CART link, will be posted at a later date.

For further information, contact Marsha Mazz at (202) 272-0020(v), (202) 272- 0076 (TTY), or mazz@access-board.gov.

Achieving Access for People with Disabilities in the Built Environment: An International Comparison 
November 13, 9:30 – 12:00 (ET), followed by an informal discussion after the lunch break 
Access Board Conference Center 
1331 F Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 
Dial-in Number: (877) 701-1628, International: (517) 268-2743; Passcode: 69545743
(Listen only, but comments or questions can be emailed during the afternoon session) 
CART Link: [to be posted]
Note: For the comfort of all participants and to promote a fragrance-free environment, attendees are requested not to use perfume, cologne, or other fragrances.

By Allan B. Fraser, CBI, CPCA, Sr. Building Code Specialist, NFPA

 

         This is the sixth in the ten part series on personal disaster planning.

 

            Hurricane season for the northern Atlantic Ocean runs from June 1 through November 30, sharply peaking in late August through September. There are an average of 2.9 major hurricanes per year with a high of 15in 2005. Surviving a major natural or man-made disaster isn’t easy and requires a lot of planning. Usually more than we want to do or even think about. But once that disaster is on our doorstep it’s really too late to do the kind of planning we need to do.

 

           In the last few issues, we talked about what events we’re likely to encounter, how much warning time we’ll have, how far are we likely to have to go for safety, how will we get to shelter, where is the shelter and now we need to talk about planning for how long we’ll be out of our home.

 

         It may range from a few hours to forever. Forever?????? Yes forever! In the most extreme cases you may not have a home to go back to or even be able to rebuild in that location. This happened to numerous families along the Route 10 on the Mississippi shore of the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005.

                

 

These homes along Mississippi’s gulf coast shoreline had stood for 100 plus years. They had been through many Class 5 hurricanes but none of them had had the wall of water Katrina delivered. These buildings were destroyed and the properties are no longer buildable so their families had to find new homes.

 

Of course this is the extreme, but what would you do if you had to evacuate your home for a week, or a month or six months? Where would you stay? Would you have clothes or be able to get them? How would you repair the damage? How would you know when or even if you could return? Would you have to change where you’re staying?

 

         There’s a lot to think about and plan for. Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower is quoted as saying “Plans mean nothing, but planning is everything.”  Thinking through the process makes us aware of what we need to do before we have to do it. Reading a plan when the event is bearing down on you will be of little help. We all need to plan and be prepared long before the event!

 

 

Part seven of the ten-part series will be in the next issue, December, 2017.

 

 

  

 

afraser

10th Year for e-ACCESS!

Posted by afraser Employee Aug 21, 2017

e-ACCESS is in its tenth year and we thought it appropriate to reprint a few stories of the stories that have made it so popular.


We Could All Go Back to School!

Allan B. Fraser, CBI, CPCA, Sr. Bldg Code Specialist, NFPA

(Concept by Mary Beth Fraser)

               

 

As children all over America head to their bus stops to go back to school, they look forward to starting a new year of learning and new experiences. It’s also a time for parents, teachers, administrators and other public officials to think about something that we too often forget to send with them along with their lunches, backpacks and calculators: an emergency evacuation plan. Every child should have a plan, but a plan is even more critical if the child has a disability.

 

Given events of the past few years, we have all become more aware of the importance of being able to protect everyone in a building in the event of an emergency. It’s not just a fire drill anymore, its emergency evacuation or emergency planning.

Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornados and other natural disasters along with man-made incidents have all resulted in tragic personal injuries when people could not get out of buildings or be relocated to safe areas within buildings. The risks are significantly higher for people with disabilities. Our schools are not immune from these events and we owe it to our children to have good plans in place. That is just one of the reasons that NFPA has developed two downloadable guides for developing emergency evacuation plans for school children or anyone with a disability.

 

We have made a good start on creating “accessibility” in the built environment in the past 35 years, but we still have a ways to go. Local and national newspaper, television and radio news report stories about people with disabilities of all ages being left in buildings during evacuation or relocation drills in which everyone else in the building participated.

Accessibility rules and regulations have somehow developed unanticipated consequences creating a mindset in many Americans that makes us tend to look at two separate groups of people, those with disabilities and those without.  

 


 

In reality, we will all be people with disabilities at some point in our lives. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 50 million people in this country have one or more disabilities that rise to the ADA level. That’s about one in five Americans.

 

 

NFPA codes and standards have long considered and included provisions for people with disabilities. Our website page on disabilities has a lot of good, free safety information for people with disabilities and their friends, families, and caregivers but we still want to do more.


e-ACCESS can become a vehicle for changing the mindset where fire and life safety for people with disabilities is concerned. It can be the instrument through which people with disabilities can easily obtain and share information about fire and life safety issues to help themselves and to educate others.

 

e-ACCESS is where people with disabilities can share their fire and life safety tips and experiences, both good and bad, for the benefit of everyone.

afraser

Beyond the Precipice

Posted by afraser Employee Aug 21, 2017

  By Bill Scott

Founder and President of Abilities UNlimited, Inc.

And the first Chair of NFPA’s Disability Access Review and Advisory Committee

 

A few months ago I had the opportunity to be the test subject, otherwise known as the “crash test dummy”, in a test run of an emergency evacuation chair. The manufacturer or model of this particular chair is unimportant and would not have mattered. It was a harrowing experience!

I have a spinal cord injury and have been a wheelchair user for more than thirty years. As any wheelchair user, novice or veteran, knows, you never let your front caster drop off the edge of a step. If this happens, it could be catastrophic, possibly even fatal.

 

So when Allan pushed the evac chair forward beyond the precipice of the top step, I found myself seriously asking, “What I have I gotten myself into?” This is a question that one does not have time to ask when the fire alarm is blaring, and smoke is filling the air.

When all about you are losing their heads, how can you-and more importantly, the person pushing the evac chair, be expected to remain calm enough to get you both down the stairs and out to safety? To say this is challenging is an understatement.

 

My experience with the evac chair was under calm, controlled conditions, which is as it should be during a test run. It is only by virtue of this experience that I can get a true sense of that “lost in space” feeling as the chair goes where this man has never gone before. (Alright, I went through this once before. But that was a long time ago and I was much younger and more daring.) It was only through this kind of experience that Allan could find out what it’s really like to help someone who, in this situation, is almost totally dependent upon him.

 

Based on my first-hand awareness of what it’s like to be evacuated in an evac chair, and as chairperson of the Disability Access Review Advisory Committee (DARAC), I support the draft provisions for “Stair descent devices” in NFPA 101®,LifeSafety Code® and NFPA 5000®, Building and Construction Safety Code®.

DARAC’s 3rd Annual Report included the following statement;

 

“The committee did not agree with the concepts of reducing stair width or for determining the number of stair descent devices that should be required. The committee voiced support for the Averill comment on 101-89 (Log#CP132) that, based upon careful and scientific investigation of the relationship between human dimensions, stairwell width, and stairwell performance, the 1975 work of John Templer clearly demonstrates the advantages of 56- inch (142.2- centimeter)stairwells over 44- inch (111.7-centimeter) stairwells. Given the trend of decreasing evacuation ability of occupants, 56- inch (142.2-centimeter) stairs would seem a reasonable minimum width. The committee also would like to see additional/modified criteria be added for these devices including:

 

  • Operable by one person
  • Have a brake
  • Have straps for at least:
    • chest
    • waist
    • thigh/knee
    • ankle
  • Have a carrying capacity of 350 pounds (158.7 kilograms)
  • Brake must stop device within 12 inches (304.8 millimeters) of travel”


As a society, we have learned a great deal about emergency evacuation of people with disabilities. We have learned from the World Trade Center disaster, the aftermath of hurricanes Rita and Katrina, and other situations where even the best laid plans went awry. We may not be able to prepare for every eventuality, but we are obligated to raise awareness, and bring about positive change where we can.

 

Abilities UNlimited, Incorporated was founded in 1988 to provide professional disability related consulting services with an emphasis on compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA).

 

Abilities UNlimited has worked with numerous public and private sector clients to help them better understand how the ADA & FHAA influences their facilities, services, and programs.

AUI's goal is to give our clients the tools and knowledge that is needed to integrate all people into the mainstream of corporate and community activities.

 

Sadly, Bill Scott passed away in the spring of 2011 but he epitomized Walter Lippmann’s quote: "The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men, the conviction and the will to carry on." Thank you , Bill!

afraser

Vincent’s Tale

Posted by afraser Employee Aug 21, 2017

 

  

Illustration by Susan G. raysutopia@yahoo.com

 

My name is Vincent. I am a guide dog for my mistress Allison. We live in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. with her mother and grandmother. A few metro stops from her new office digs in downtown DC.

 

  • Trouble

 

Last week, two weeks in our new office building, Allison almost ran into a wall. Okay, so I stopped before we got to the wall, you see, I can see and so was able to prevent what could have resulted in injury to my mistress. Adding insult to injury, we had asked for directions to an office on the same floor and were deliberately given wrong information. This was not the first time we'd gotten bum information. And, it wouldn't be the last.

 

At home that weekend, my mistress was commiserating with her mother about our problems at work while I was enjoying my favorite pastime, napping in the sunny yard. I am getting old so I've been told.

 

Allison's mother reminded her of the conference about fire safety planning in office buildings and employees with disabilities and said, "Didn't you say that you'd met a lady, Soleena, who said you could call her anytime?"

 

That same afternoon Allison called Soleena. "Of course, I would be very pleased to assist … Let’s get together next Friday for lunch."  Fridays, Soleena's day to be in DC.

 

What if someone in the new offices found out the she had asked for assistance? Could be trouble for Allison.

 

  • Plan

 

So it was to be that Soleena would be Allison's 'new best friend', just meeting for lunch in the new cafeteria.

 

I digress, in addition to napping, checking out the new menus is my other favorite pastime. So, my guiding Allison takes me very close to the lunch tables where my nose ever so subtly glides over the tables' edge. Allison cannot see that the diners seemed displeased with my investigations.

 

  • Action

 

To observe the office setup, the workplace and to meet with the building manager, Ham, about maybe assisting in the evacuation training. By the way, the manager had told Allison that he, himself had a 'hidden' disability and had a particular interest in learning more about the training possibilities for the building occupants.

 

And, in the course of things, Soleena got to talk with Ham and was invited to sit in on a training session the next Friday.

 

  • Next month

 

Soleena called Allison at home and reported: "We have several challenges to address. I list them not necessarily in order of importance: the training plan, committee composition/members, administrations' concerns about time budgeting and also, their seeming lack of interest in emergency evacuation training, specifically, for the many employees with disabilities." Soleena had learned that this particular federal agency had the highest ratio of employees with disabilities.”

 

Over the next few weeks, a plan of attack was developed by Ham and Soleena. First step was to win over the administration. An early morning meeting conducted in the penthouse lounge, coffee and delicious breakfast rolls served to the senior staff. Soleena showed slides she had taken of the interior of the exit stairways, ending at the street level exit doors. This was a test to see if they could identify the location of the stairs and which street it exited to. Sheets of paper and pens were distributed. Soleena had instructed Ham not to take the test. Just see if he could mentally identify the locations.

 

  • Result

 

None of the senior staff had any correct answers. How could they, as none had used the stairs to exit the building and even if they had, there were no stairway identifying markings.

 

The upshot of this meeting was that time was to be allotted to the training as specified by their building manager, Ham.

 

Two committees were organized, one comprised of volunteers representative of the employees with disabilities and one of mid-level supervisory staff who also served on the safety committee. The meetings took place over the next couple of months.

 

Recommendations made by the disability representatives included, conducting multiple evacuation drills with walks through each of the stairway towers. This to replace the practice of having all of the employees with disabilities proceed to the elevator lobbies and wait with folks with mobility limitations to be 'rescued' by the fire department. All seemed to be going very well.

 

  • Horrors

 

My mistress Allison is called into her boss's office and was informed by risk management that it would be too dangerous for 'the dog' to be allowed to evacuate down the stairs with all of the other employees. "What if the dog should become scared and bite someone? We could be sued."

 

Did I mention that my mistress and a good many of the other employees are attorneys? My omission.

 

That same evening Allison calls Soleena and relates the afternoon meeting. Soleena told her what she had oft advised to others, "Call the fire department that has jurisdiction for your office building and ask to meet with their chief education officer."

 

So, the next week my mistress and I had that meeting. We walked over to the fire house. Folding chairs had been set up is small circle outside where the fire trucks are parked. I sat beside the Chief who was sitting next to my mistress. She related the history of our training and then told the Chief that she could not imagine leaving me behind in the office while she left the office building without me. The Chief said to Allison, "Well, there is always the possibility that Vincent could get disoriented and go berserk!"

 

Illustration by Susan G. raysutopia@yahoo.com

When I heard the Chief's worried tone of voice I perked up my ears, lifted my head, placed my chin on his knees, rolled my eyes up to his face and uttered a quite audible sigh.

 

  • Silence

 

Everyone was looking at Chief and Allison. The Chief was looking down at me and then smiled and he said, "Well, maybe I am being a little rash, you see I did not really understand, about the role of your guide dog, Vincent." That seemed to do the trick.

 

My mistress learned the next week, as a result of our meeting at the fire house, that the fire department had contacted the administration to say that the policy of leaving the 'dog' in the building in the event of an emergency evacuation should be reversed!

 

  • Epilogue

 

These events took place early in the1980's, just a few years after the passing of the Rehabilitation Act and the beginning of the big push to end the discrimination against the job applicants with disabilities.

 

What Vincent could not have known about or comprehended was the dissension in the ranks of the employees. The unpleasantness of the workplace atmosphere was a display of disapproval by the 'old' staff of what they considered on excessive influx of new hires of people with disabilities.

 

 

Vincent related the story of Allison's being given the misdirection. That trick was just one of many bad faith behaviors on the part of the disgruntled staff.

 

The development of the emergency preparedness, evacuation procedures was ostensibly just that. In the process of this planning, the two factions were brought together. The working groups got to know each other and happily, worked well together.

 

After the meeting with the Fire Prevention Chief, the Administration rescinded the prohibition of the service animals' participation in the evacuation drill (planning).

 

Edwina Juillet has been advocating, since the mid-seventies, for increased access to emergency evacuation systems for persons with disabilities through research, codes/standards, training, publications and coalition building. She is known as the co-founder the National Task Force on Fire and Life Safety for People with Disabilities, (in 1978).

llustrations by Susan G. raysutopia@yahoo.com

afraser

The Collection

Posted by afraser Employee Aug 21, 2017

By definition, a collection is a group of objects or works to be seen, studied, or kept together. The purpose of this column is to provide you with links to news items, stories, and general information that you may not be aware of but that may help you reduce the burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of your own life or that of family and friends.

 


afraser

NFPA Coming Events  

Posted by afraser Employee Aug 21, 2017

 

 

September 2017

  • Electrical Training
  • Health Care & Life Safety Code Training
  • Fire Protection Systems Training
  • Industrial Hazards Training
  • Emergency Response Training

 

Sep. 11-14     NFPA Classroom Training Week, Charlotte, NC

 

  • NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2016) 3- Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2012) Essentials for Health Care Occupancies 3-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2015) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training
  • Certified Fire Protection Specialist Primer 2-day Classroom Training
  • Certified Fire Inspector I 4-Day Classroom Training

 

Sep. 11-27      NFPA Classroom Training, Quincy, MA

 

  • NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2015) 2-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2016) 3- Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code (2012) 2-Day Classroom Training

 

Sep. 18-21     NFPA Classroom Training Week, Indianapolis, IN

 

  • NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2015) 2-Day Classroom Training
  • Certified Fire Inspector I 4-Day Classroom Training

 

Sep. 18-22     NFPA Classroom Training Week, Oak Brook, IL

 

  • NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training
  • NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2015) 2-Day Classroom Training
October 2017

Oct. 2-6

NFPA Classroom Training Week, Denver, CO

·         NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training

·         New Edition! NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2018) 2-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2012) Essentials for Health Care Occupancies 3-Day Classroom Training

·         New Edition! NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2018) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training

·         Certified Fire Protection Specialist Primer 2-day Classroom Training

Oct. 2-19

NFPA Classroom Training, Quincy, MA

·         NFPA 101 and NFPA 80 Fire Door Inspection for Health Care Facilities 1-Day Classroom Training

·         Certified Fire Protection Specialist Primer 2-day Classroom Training

·         Facility Emergency Preparedness Planning 1-Day Classroom Training

·         Certified Fire Inspector I 4-Day Classroom Training 

Oct. 8-12

NFPA training provided by NAFFCO - 2016 NFPA 13 – Installation of Sprinkler Systems, Dubai, UAE. For more information contact Maria Paz, 971 4 815 1781 or Ms. Zilal S., 971 4 815 1782.

Oct. 16-18

NFPA Classroom Training Week, Dallas, TX

·         NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2012) Essentials for Health Care Occupancies 3-Day Classroom Training

·         New Edition! NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2018) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training

Oct. 16-20

NFPA Classroom Training Week, Bridgeton, MO

·         NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training

·         New Edition! NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2018) 2-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 25, Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems (2017) 1-Day Classroom Training 

Oct. 16-20

Riskonet provides NFPA Training in Istanbul, Turkey - NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems; NFPA 14, Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems; NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection; NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. Register now.

Oct. 22-24

NFPA training provided by NAFFCO - 2015 NFPA 92 – Smoke Control, Dubai, UAE. For more information contact Maria Paz, 971 4 815 1781 or Ms. Zilal S., 971 4 815 1782.

Oct. 23-27

NFPA Classroom Training Week, Dallas, TX

·         NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training

·         New Edition! NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2018) 2-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training

·         Certified Fire Inspector I 4-Day Classroom Training 

Oct. 30

NFPA 101 and NFPA 80 Fire Door Inspection for Health Care Facilities 1-Day Classroom Training, Scottsdale, AZ



November 2017

Nov. 1-3

Wildland Mitigation Summit, The Grove Hotel, Boise, ID.

Nov. 1-3

Remembering When Scholarship Conference, Nashville, TN. Applications will be accepted between June 12 and August 11.

Nov. 6-10

NFPA Classroom Training Week, Seattle, WA

·         NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training

·         New Edition! NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2018) 2-Day Classroom Training

·         New Edition! NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2015) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2012) Essentials for Health Care Occupancies 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 25, Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems (2017) 1-Day Classroom Training 

·         Using NFPA 921 to Meet the Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator in NFPA 1033 2-Day Classroom Training

Nov. 6-10

NFPA Classroom Training Week, Quincy, MA

·         NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training

·         New Edition! NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2018) 2-Day Classroom Training

Nov. 12-16

NFPA training provided by NAFFCO - 2012 CFI1 – Certified Fire Inspector 1, Dubai, UAE. For more information contact: Maria Paz, 971 4 815 1781 or Ms. Zilal S., 971 4 815 1782.

Nov. 13-17

NFPA Classroom Training Week, Durham, NC

·         NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2015) 2-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2012) Essentials for Health Care Occupancies 3-Day Classroom Training

Nov. 13-17

NFPA training provided by Riskonet – SS Rotterdam, The Netherland – NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems & Storage

Nov. 27-Dec. 1

NFPA Classroom Training Week, Quincy, MA

·         NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code (2012) 2-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2012) Essentials for Health Care Occupancies 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 101 and NFPA 80 Fire Door Inspection for Health Care Facilities 1-Day Classroom Training

Nov. 28-Dec. 1

Certified Fire Plan Examiner 3-day Classroom Training, Orlando, FL



December 2017

Dec. 4

NFPA 101 and NFPA 80 Fire Door Inspection for Health Care Facilities 1-Day Classroom Training, Quincy, MA

Dec. 4-6

Riskonet provides NFPA Training in Istanbul, Turkey - NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. Register now.

Dec. 4-8

NFPA Classroom Training Week, Orlando, FL

·         NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training

·         New Edition! NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2018) 2-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2012) Essentials for Health Care Occupancies 3-Day Classroom Training

·         New Edition! NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2018) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training

·         Using NFPA 921 to Meet the Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator in NFPA 1033 2-Day Classroom Training

·         Certified Fire Protection Specialist Primer 2-day Classroom Training

·         Certified Fire Inspector I 4-Day Classroom Training

·         Certified Fire Plan Examiner 3-day Classroom Training

Dec. 10-14

NFPA training provided by NAFFCO - 2008 CFPS – Certified Fire Protection Specialist, Dubai, UAE. For more information contact Maria Paz, 971 4 815 1781 or Ms. Zilal S., 971 4 815 1782.

Dec. 11-15

NFPA Classroom Training Week, Anaheim, CA

·         NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2017) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training

·         New Edition! NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2018) 2-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2016) 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2012) Essentials for Health Care Occupancies 3-Day Classroom Training

·         NFPA 101 and NFPA 80 Fire Door Inspection for Health Care Facilities 1-Day Classroom Training

·         Facility Emergency Preparedness Planning 1-Day Classroom Training

·         New Edition! NFPA 101, Life Safety Code (2018) Essentials 3-Day Classroom Training

·         Certified Fire Protection Specialist Primer 2-day Classroom Training

·         Certified Fire Inspector I 4-Day Classroom Training 

 

Future NFPA Conference & Expo dates

  • June 4–7, 2018, Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
  • June 17-20, 2019, Henry B. González Convention Center, San Antonio, TX
    • June 14-17, 2020, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

 

See NFPA's complete online calendar.

 

 

Do you have a story to tell or information to share?

Our readers are people with disabilities, and their relatives, caregivers, and friends.

Our goals are to:

  • Provide specialized information about fire and life safety for people with disabilities directly to those with disabilities and to those who help them in order to reduce or eliminate death and injury from fire and other
  • Provide a forum for the collection and dissemination of information for people with disabilities in support of DARAC’s
  • Provide personal stories about events, ideas, or solutions from our readers that can guide others in similar

Content for future editions will include:

  • NFPA-related news
  • DARAC news
  • NFPA codes- and standards-related information
  • Fire safety tips
  • Emergency evacuation information


  • Articles relating to the safety of people with disabilities from:

 

  • NFPA staff
  • DARAC members
  • Other national advocates
  • General news
  • Our readers
  • News from other standards-developing organizations’ news

 

  • U.S. Access Board
  • ANSI/ICC A117, Standard for Accessible Buildings and Facilities
  • RESNA
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • Other

 

 

We’d love to hear your stories and opinions! If you’d like to contribute an article or information consistent with the outline above, please e-mail them to Allan B. Fraser, senior building code specialist and e-ACCESS coordinator, at afraser@nfpa.org.

 

Did You Miss an Issue?

                           

 

No problem! You can read the back issues of e-ACCESS by clicking here.


By Allan B. Fraser, CBI, CPCA,

Sr. Building Code Specialist, NFPA

 

This is the fifth in the ten part series on personal disaster planning.

 

If you’ve had to evacuate your home or office or anywhere else for that matter, and it’s going to be some time before you can get back into your home, you’ll need to find shelter. It may be a rather simple exercise to find shelter, but maybe not. First we need to define “shelter”. 

 

 

Definition of shelter

  1. Something that covers or affords protection a bomb shelter
  • An establishment providing food and shelter (as to the homeless) and if you’ve had to evacuate you are homeless!
  • An establishment that houses and feeds stray or unwanted animals

 

To find a potential shelter you can contact:

 

 

 School serves as hurricane evacuation shelter

 

Emergencies and the need to evacuate can happen suddenly and you may not have time to pack. Your safety is most important goal – grab your loved ones and get out of harm’s way! However, if you’ve planned and prepared a list of things you’ll need, you may be able to pack some things. Please consider these tips.

 

Things to know about the shelter and pre- planning will help:

  • Is it outside the incident area?
  • Is it with relatives/friends/hotel/public?
  • Is it designed for short/long term?
  • Is it accessible for people with disabilities?
  • Does it have food/water?
  • Does it have bathing facilities?

 

Things to Bring:

  • Medication
  • Personal Contact List
  • Durable Medical Equipment
  • Cell phone/Laptop or tablet
  • Device chargers
  • Money
  • Bedding
  • Clothing
  • Your child’s stuffed animal,
  • Blanket or other “lovey”

 

Information you’ll want to get while you’re in the shelter:

  • Property Status
  • How to obtain it?
  • When can I return? /date?
  • Transportation and who will provide?
  • Other damage in the area beside my home? Stores, businesses, utilities, roads, etc
  • Can I Rebuild?
  • Will my insurance, or disaster relief cover it?
  • How long will it take to re-build?
  • Where can I stay while I’m rebuilding?

 

I suggest that you print this article to make your own checklist with the answers that you develop and keep it handy. I’d also strongly suggest that you update it once a year. Pick a date and stick with it. It strikes me that making it a “Thanksgiving” tradition would be the perfect.  

 

  Part six of the ten-part series will be in the next issue, September, 2017.

 

Residents with vision disabilities faced further challenges that have now been documented by Massey University’s Dr Gretchen Good and Dr Suzanne Phibbs of the College of Health in research which explores the experiences of 12 residents with vision disabilities who lived through more than 12,000 aftershocks.

 

Dr Gretchen Good with her assistance dog Caz, and Dr Suzanne Phibbs.

Photo: Massey University

 

The study, Disorientated and Immobile: The Experience of People with Visual Impairments During and After the Christchurch, New Zealand 2010 and 2011 Earthquakes, was recently published in the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness. It involved 12 face-to-face interviews conducted after the September 2010 quake, but prior to the fatal 2011 February quake. Then, in February 2012, seven of the original participants were re-interviewed about how more than a year of earthquakes had affected their lives. Three staff members from the Blind Foundation were also interviewed in April 2011. The paper was co-authored by Dr Good and Dr Phibbs, along with Kerry Williamson, a research assistant from the Ministry of Justice.

 

Dr Phibbs says the research, a first of its kind in the world, highlighted the importance of communication and technology, personal and agency support, orientation and mobility, health, rebuilding independence, rehabilitation, coping and resilience.

 

“Participants demonstrated creative problem-solving abilities, resilience and community spirit. However our findings indicate that older visually impaired people are among the most vulnerable in disasters, and more work needs to be done to prepare them,” she says.

 

“I could hear crockery falling and breaking in the living room and in the kitchen and I thought ‘I don’t know what to do.’ I’ve been told many, many times during an earthquake go and stand under a door jamb but I couldn’t even get there.” – Anonymous research participant.

 

“This is the first time people with vision disabilities experiences of sequential earthquake activity has been tracked both before and after a catastrophic disaster anywhere in the world, and the results of our study provide a rare insight into the impact of disasters on those who are older and living with vision disabilities,” Dr Phibbs says.

 

Dr Good, who spent nine years visually impaired before regaining her sight after 23 operations, says it is crucial people with vision disabilities keep transistor radios handy, with a good supply of batteries. “However, participants told us the quality of the information they received from radio broadcasts was poor. Misinformation and the challenge of finding the best radio station that could be relied on to have the most up-to-date facts was difficult.

 

“They felt accessing information that helped them, rather than frightened them was hard to come by in the aftermaths of the quakes. There was also a frustration at a lack of information about the conditions of local walkways and disruption to bus routes for many months following the quakes,” Dr Good says.

 

“Oh the dog, the poor dog … he was shivering, he shook until about 10 o’clock the next morning, he just shook. I gave him his breakfast and he couldn’t eat all his breakfast, what he did eat, he brought up, so he was really in a bad way” – Bonnie, January 2011.

 

Guide dog users discovered that their companions had to be comforted, re-trained and assessed for their abilities to cope as working dogs after the quakes. “Altered bus routes, the disappearance of familiar landmarks, liquefaction and detours all created a greater level of stress for the people and their guide dogs,” Dr Good says.

 

Seven people who were re-interviewed following the February 2011 quakes had learned about emergency preparedness through trial and error and they ultimately managed to cope and maintain their independence through four major earthquakes.

 

“They spoke about their resilience and having to survive what felt to them like a war zone. It was a matter of doing the best they could at the time with the resources they had. They all spoke of the need to be with others – the need to flee or escape their home to be in the company of friends and family was a regular theme,” Dr Good says.

 

All of the researchers concluded that more work needs to be done to prepare communities, agencies, families and individuals for potential disasters.

 

“Every participant told us that personal contact with someone in the week following the quakes was essential, but little agency support was offered,” Dr Phibbs says.

 

“People with minimal social supports reported feeling isolated and panic-stricken, while those with larger social networks reported a quicker recovery from trauma. It really emphasizes the importance of neighborhood and community support,” she says.

 

Research participants offered 17 suggestions for disaster preparedness for people with impairments and for the agencies that provide services to people with disabilities, including:

  • Keep your shoes under your bed, keep a flashlight on the doorknob and have spare white canes available
  • Store food, medications and water to last 72 hours for you and your dog
  • Learn to communicate via text message and keep your mobile phone charged
  • Have at least two people organized to contact you following a disaster
  • Establish good relationships with neighbors and be willing to be a contact for others