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190 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is what we teach our employees:

Disaster V. Catastrophe
Disasters are short term - "Make do for 3-4 days until help arrives…"
Catastrophic events are long term
Katrina-scale hurricane, tsunami, earthquake
Major terror attack, nuclear detonation, dirty bomb
No help is coming soon, "you are on your own"

Complete loss of civil infrastructure
Minimal or no police, fire or EMS response
No electricity, municipal water, communications
Transport of fuel / food is severely impaired
Public safety agencies will be overwhelmed
Recovery is long term (over 30 days)

Have an evacuation kit ready at all times
Don't presume that a disaster will be short-term
Pack essentials first, then consider comfort items
In real emergences, forget last-minute purchases
Plan for more supplies than you "think" you may need
Inspect / renew your supplies each spring and fall
Provide entertainment for young children.

PROBLEM SOLVING Size Up Your Situation
Determine Objectives (stay or evacuate?)
Identify Resources (either stored supplies or salvaged materials from your surroundings)
Evaluate Options (use the safest way)
Plan (use your head)
Act...Improvise and overcome

SHELTER Protection from the elements
Wind and rain resistant
Insulation from cold

"Stay or Evacuate" Decision
If evacuation is not mandatory, the same safety rules
for entering a structure apply to using your home as shelter

Conclusion from FEMA Urban-Rural Evacuation State Planners Workshop

● Population of the DC Metro area
● Propensity to self-evacuate, overwhelmingly by automobile
● Wide distribution of evacuation destinations,
● Perceived vulnerability to terror attack, and anticipation of multiple attacks

● A large-scale, chaotic mass self-evacuation should be anticipated.

There is structural damage
(6 sides of the "box" are not plumb)
Utilities cannot be controlled
Structure was damaged in a fire
DO NOT occupy a floor that has been flooded,
micotoxins from molds are respiratory hazard!

EVACUATION Feasible only if all personnel can evacuate before fallout contamination arrives and;
Essential functions for Continuity of Operations are transferred to an alternate facility
Affected area would have to be small and warning time adequate to execute the evacuation
Detonation effects (blast/thermal/EMP) will likely impede evacuation
Evacuees may be exposed and/or contaminated.

Evacuate or Stay? - Do you have a plan?
Where will you go?
Is it safe to travel?
Can you REALLY get there?
Do you have enough resources to make it work?
Warn friends not to invite others to come and evacuate with them
They'll overwhelm your limited resources!
Never allow family members to be separated
Even if it means waiting for later rescue and/or evacuation

Critical facilities that cannot evacuate (hospitals, EOCs) must continue to operate
Necessary if fallout/contamination would arrive before evacuation can be completed
Fallout Shelters will be needed to protect against high level radiation/detonation
Shelter-in-place (not necessarily Fallout Shelter) near RDD/very low level
Shelter stay may range from a few days to 2 weeks.
Authorities outside affected area can organize rescue/evacuation effort
Shelter occupants may be exposed and/or contaminated.

Necessary if operations can not be transferred or if staff, patients or clients cannot evacuate
Necessary if needed to support operations of other response agencies
Must have Radiological Monitoring & Exposure Control capabilities
Critical Facilities may be used to shelter families of the staff
Critical Facilities will not be used to shelter the general public.

After a flood or attack start immediately, even if you don't know what the agent is. Sandia decontamination foam (US Patent 6,566,574 B1) sold
as Scott's Liquid Gold Mold Control 500 in hardware stores.

Effective against most chemical and biological agents, including nerve, blister, anthrax, SARS, Norwalk, avian and common flu.

Widely used for hospital /hotel sanitization mold remediation in commercial buildings, cleaning / neutralizing agricultural sprayers.

Moderate cost, about $30 at Home Depot to treat 500sf.

Sandia decon formulation, best known as an anthrax killer, takes on household mold - April 26, 2007

Structural damage to shelter from nearby detonation
Fire in the shelter
Dangerously high radiation levels
Severely high temperatures and humidity
Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide imbalance in the shelter
Depletion of essential supplies
Disease and injury
Unrest, anxiety, crime or defiance of order or authority

Time - Fallout radiation intensity decays rapidly;
90% in just the first 7 hours. The less time you
spend in a radiation field, the less dose received.

Distance - The farther you are from a source,
the less dose you receive.

Shielding - Denser (heavier, massive) materials
absorb more radiation. Greater thickness of any
given material absorbs more radiation.

Protection Factors & Mass of Materials
*PF = "Protection Factor" refers to the ratio between the radiation dose rate of the OUTSIDE to that INSIDE the shelter, for instance a PF = 10 means that the inside dose rate is 1/10th the outside rate.

How Much Protection?

PF* Lead Steel Concrete Earth Water Wood
2 .3"" .7" 2.0" 3.3" 5" 9"
4 .5" 1.5" 5.0" 7.0" 10" 15"
8 1.0" 2.0" 6.5" 10.0" 15" 27"
16 1.2" 3.0" 9.0" 14.0" 20" 3 ft
32 1.5" 4.0" 12.0" 15.0" 2 ft 4 ft
64 2.0" 4.2" 13.2" 19.8" 2.5ft 4.5 ft
128 2.1" 5.0" 15.0" 2 ft 3 ft 5 ft
1000 3.0" 7.0" 22.0" 33.0" 4 ft -
2000 3.3" 7.7" 2 ft 3 ft 4.5 ft -

Outside radiation, divided by the Protection Factor, is reduced in proportion. For example, if the outside radiation rate is 1,000 R/hr, a person shielded by 3 ft. of earth would receive a dose rate of .5 R/hr. but a person shielded by 1 ft of earth would receive about 10 R/hr.

Sheltering at Home During an Emergency

For using a building without working utilities as shelter

Exhaust - candles, camp stoves, lanterns, generators,
heaters, charcoal grills, all generate carbon monoxide
and must not be used indoors!
Open flame - above ignition sources
must never be left unattended!
Fuel - most of the above require flammable fuels
to operate, which must be stored outdoors.
Use Fire Marshal approved fuel containers

Improvised Emergency Shelters
As in all real estate, most important is location:
Avoid low spots with poor drainage
Seek a gently sloped area so that surface water drains away
Sheltered from prevailing winds
Away from bodies of water (attracts insects and animals)
Insulated from direct contact with ground, rock,
or concrete, which conducts away body heat.

Avoid as shelter:
Areas around downed utility lines
In or near culverts
Within the "collapse zone" of a damaged building
(maintain 2:1 ratio of distance away to building height)

Improvised Shelters:

Don't disable a good car!
Remove car batteries to power communications and
shelter lighting only from cars that do not start
If a car starts reserve it for emergency evacuation, or
Use it as a "battery charger"
Salvage lighting, remove dome lights, tail lights,
trunk lights, etc. & with at least 36" of wires.
Position batteries in shelter; attach wires & lights
As batteries discharge, replace with new batteries
or recharge batteries.

Emergency Shelter Materials:
Salvage building materials from debris or
from damaged structures only when it can be done safely
TYVEK building wrap
Plastic sheeting
Roofing paper and shingles
Siding, plywood
Chain link fence
Wire, rope, and fasteners

Build Your Shelter In Layers
Structural framing: lumber, plywood, fencing, metal
Fasteners: reinforce structural connections with nails, wire or rope ties, wooden spikes
Water and wind proofing: TYVEK, plastic sheeting, tarp, shingles, roofing paper
Insulation: drywall, leaves, tree branches, carpeting, (may also be used as ballast to hold water/wind proofing layer in place)

190 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Day Job

I'm a local government employee in our public works department. My current assignment is Emergency Support Function 3 (Damage Assessment and Engineering) as Operations Support for debris management for firegrounds, storm cleanups, evictions, forclosures, etc. When not detailed to emergency management I am responsible for code enforcement, performance measurement and plans development for our solid waste management program.

190 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Dept. of Defense Capitol Shield Exercise Oct. 27

That's great your local Government's has that position. We don't. Do you find most other counties do?
Around the Washington, DC area it's the standing policy. We are in the terrorist "bullseye." Many preparations are low-key, take place behind the scenes and don't get much publicity, but our plans get evaluated regularly in exercises such as Capitol Shield which takes place on Monday Oct. 27th.

Below is a link to a story from last year's exercise; this will give you an idea of what this exercise is, what it is designed to do, how it is conducted and how important the role of volunteer victim is to the exercise planners.

'Capital Shield' Propels NCR into Response Mode

This year's exercise is scheduled to take place at the old DC Dept. of Corrections prison site in Lorton. The following is a tentative timeline for the day's events.

Our volunteers in Fairfax County CERT act as role players and then after being rescued, transition into becoming responders on Monday, 27 October.

October 27th, 2008 - Capital Shield Exercise-Lorton prison site.

0530 - moulage starts with support from Walter Reed Army medical center.

0700 - Exercise Starts

0710 - all role players are placed into the exercise scene

Approx. 1200 - after being rescued, CERTs will transition into responder activities.

Approx. 1730 - 1900 - CERT volunteer response ends. DoD and public safety personnel continue into the night.

This full scale exercise starts at 5:30 AM. It will be an early start to an excitement filled day for our volunteers. They need to wear clothes that can be torn, dirtied and stained-after all they are portraying incident victims. Details and instructions are be sent out in the participant briefing email.

This gives our CERT a chance to see what they are learning in class being put into action. Working side-by-side with the professional responders is the ideal way to do it. This is what we do.

21 Posts
I'm a local government employee in our public works department. My current assignment is Emergency Support Function 3 (Damage Assessment and Engineering) as Operations Support for debris management for firegrounds, storm cleanups, evictions, forclosures, etc. When not detailed to emergency management I am responsible for code enforcement, performance measurement and plans development for our solid waste management program.
Hello and thank you for sharing this valuable info. I am new on this forum and just stumbled onto this. wish you would update this info again, as TODAYS posting for us newbies, if you don't mind.:)
Thank you again, Gypsy in Florida
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