Tag Archive | crisis response

Costco Program for Disaster Purchasing

Costco now has a truckload purchasing program for pre- and post-disaster needs. Pricing is reduced compared to in-store pricing; however the minimum quantity is at least a half-truck load.

Important supplies such as water, food, batteries, and toilet paper can be delivered. You must provide the staff and equipment to unload the truck when it arrives.

Learn more:


Advice from a Seasoned Incident Commander

When it comes to using social media, everyone seems to have an opinion as to how, where, when and what to post. Thankfully an experienced incident commander has written up some best practices for using social media in the field based on real-world experience.

Fire TrucksBill Boyd is a retired fire chief from Washington who served as an incident commander for the Northwest Incident Management Team. His recent article for FireRescue magazine provides an excellent outline for getting started with using Twitter and other social media for emergency management.

Boyd begins by outlining a hypothetical emergency situation in which the incident commander feels that everything is under control while at the same time the public is in a panic due to lack of communication and misinformation. He then goes on to explain how incident commanders can take advantage of the powerful social media communication channels to calm and inform the public.

Boyd recommends that incident commanders keep an open mind toward using social media and be willing to invest the time to become familiar with how the platforms work.

Highlights from his tips on getting started with Twitter include:

  • Select a short username
  • Find and follow local “power users,” people and agencies with a large number of followers and who are frequently “retweeted.”
  • Follow other local, state and federal emergency response Twitter accounts, and retweet their stuff.
  • Don’t tweet on behalf of your agency unless you have permission. If in doubt, check with your agency legal department or administration.
  • Use a hashtag with your tweets. For example, if you tweet about fire tactics, consider adding #firetactics or #fire #tactics in the tweet.
  • Tweet frequently, at the very least a few times a week or daily if you can.

This article is a worthwhile read for anyone wary of using social media for emergency management. The public increasingly turns to social media for news and communication and organizations of all kinds need to be a part of the conversation.

Read more: http://www.firefighternation.com/article/technology/how-social-media-changing-incident-command

When Training Saves Lives

It is far too easy to consider workplace emergency training an unwelcome distraction or even an annoyance. You might think to yourself that you will never use the information you are being given, or that someone else will take responsibility when the time comes, and you promptly forget it soon after.

What happened recently at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Georgia proves that training well and often can truly save lives.

When a man entered into the elementary school carrying an assault rifle and began shooting at the ground, the extensive emergency training of Antoinette Tuff kicked in.

Thankfully Tuff and other school staff had received extensive training in dangerous situations involving trespassers and emergency protocol.

While Tuff worked to keep the gunman calm and spoke with him, she signaled a code to her two counterparts, who alerted teachers to lock doors and send children to safety. She then called 911 and began to act as a go-between to relay the shooter’s demands to the police.

Without police ever having directly talked to the gunman, Tuff helped him to surrender peacefully.

Her incredible heroism was recorded in the lengthy 911 call. She stayed calm and expressed empathy toward the gunman while revealing her own personal struggles. Hailed as a hero by President Obama, Tuff truly saved lives that day.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/21/us/georgia-school-gunshots

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