Saturday, February 28, 2009

Time to Rethink Costs of Major Programs? One system at a time.

The following article was featured in a local paper.

"“The Motorola program and price are extremely high for a public-safety radio,” said Lt. Col. Scott Padgett, a Loudoun resident who works for IBM. He said for $36.7 million, a Midwestern state could buy an entire public-safety radio system."

The article went on to add how much could potentially be saved.

"Sarantos said if the county reissued bids, it could save as much as $10 million. “That's one elementary school,” he added."

Source: Loudoun Times

Friday, February 27, 2009

Let's Eat - To Avoid Trouble

We have read story after story about the economy and the impact it has had on everyday people. Most people know a family member, neighbor, or even themselves have been impacted.

The following article highlights a great way for neighbors to get to know each other and "How potlucks help home values".

So why do communities often come together?

"It starts with trouble

In spite of the many benefits of building strong communities, it usually takes threats — particularly crime and land-use proposals — to galvanize a neighborhood, says Elton Gatewood, president of Neighborhoods USA, a national group of organizers from local governments and neighborhoods."

Looking for a no cost way to recognize your volunteers or improve security in your neighborhood? If so, check out the following article:

Neighbors getting to know their neighbors really does make a difference.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CDC Emergency Preparedness & Response Site

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an Emergency Preparedness and Response website that "is intended to increase the nation's ability to prepare and respond to public health emergencies."

The latest website updates and announcements can be found at:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Looking for that National Update?

"National Situation Updates are compiled for use in emergency management planning and operational activities. Updates include information and graphics gathered from a variety of sources including other federal agencies and departments, state and local government, and the news media."

National Situation Updates are available from FEMA at:

"Updates are published daily Monday through Friday by the Information Coordination Unit, Assessment and Analysis Branch, Operations and Planning Division, Response and Recovery Directorate at FEMA Headquarters, Washington, DC."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Events 101 - You Are Prepared!

Preparing for the Unpredictable: Planning for Emergency Situations and Operations Breakdowns

Thank you to everyone that attended Events 101.

"Events 101 is a one-of-a-kind workshop for people who plan public festivals, events and other programs. As accessible and informative for new or volunteer event producers as it is to seasoned event professionals, Events101 delivers in-depth educational sessions on the nuts and bolts of community and public event planning."

Now that we have discussed the importance of planning. Have you asked yourself, how do all of the pieces fit together?

Some of the questions to think about:

  • What is your check-in/check-out procedure?
  • Who is where?
  • How do you hand lost children? Who is staffing it?
  • Do you conduct background? How well do you know your volunteers?
  • Do you volunteers absorb the material in your security briefing?
  • Who is on your leadership team?
  • What happens when your leadership team is not there?
  • Who's in charge?
  • What happens when the power goes out or you lose communication?
  • How do you handle food safety?
  • When you have food for your volunteers, how long does it stay out?
  • Which organization does your volunteers represent?
  • Are volunteers your liability?
  • How do you handle special needs in an emergency?
  • What about people from other countries and different languages?
  • What about people who cannot hear verbal messages?
  • Who is watching the young volunteers?
  • How does the weather fit into your plans?
  • Do you have staging areas?
  • How will you handle evacuation?

And while you might think you have incorporated all of these things into your plan, have you "Asked a Volunteer?" Just to make sure they understand how they fit in.

Here is the Who's In Charge video.

If you need assistance planning for "Emergency Situations and Operations Breakdowns", please do not hesitate to contact us at

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Keeping the Peace in 2009

Okay, it has been a month since you made that New Year's Resolution. And every day we hear the news about terror about the world.

The following article from 10 things to say to keep the peace offers some suggestions.

1. "Thank you for your opinion. I'll think about it."
2. "Is this a good time for you?"
3. "Would you like my thoughts?"
4. "Why don't we get the facts?"
5. "I need your help. Can you please...?"
6. "Let's wait on this until we have more information."
7. "What did you mean by that?"
8. "I don't like that, so why don't we do this instead?"
9. "I'm sorry you're upset."
10. "Let me get back to you."

The complete article with additional recommendations for each item can be found at: