NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Susquehanna Security & Emergency Services team initiated a preparedness program for the month of April. Deemed “April Prepareathon,” the Emergency Management team will provide a new topic each week this month to assist employees with preparing for disasters and other emergencies.
This week’s topic covers planning and preparing a communication plan and keeping your emergency use information up to date.
“Prepareathon was developed to motivate everyone to act and to prepare for disasters that may affect their communities,” Installation Emergency Manager Rick Zucchero said, in an all-hands email message sent out to installation employees.
What if your cellphone dies and the power is out? Are you able to communicate with your supervisor at work during an emergency? How about with your family and friends when you are at home? Do you have their phone numbers? Part of being prepared for disasters is having a communications plan.
Creating a plan is simple. Zucchero shared the following information on creating communication plans:
- Collect. Create a paper copy of the contact information of your family and other important people/offices such as medical facilities doctors, schools or service providers.
- Share. Make sure everyone carries a copy of the plan. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or family bulletin board.
- Practice. Have a regular household meeting to review and practice your plan.
- Text is best! If you are using a mobile phone, a text message may get through when a phone call will not. This is because a text message requires far less bandwidth than a phone call. Text messages may also save and then send automatically as soon as capacity becomes available.
Additionally, ensure your AtHoc information is up to date. AtHoc is DLA’s Emergency Mass Notification System and requires a common access card to access the system.
With the AtHoc notifications system, employees will receive emails, text messages and phone calls at work during emergencies, or when the installation has a closure or delayed opening. Employees may also use the option of getting alert messages on home phones, cell phones or via personal email.
More information about emergency communication plans can be found at www.ready.gov.
While this is the last week of April’s Prepareathon topics, Zucchero said that doesn’t mean we should put off getting ready for disasters or emergencies until next year, and he encourages all to continue to plan and prepare. He summarized April’s Prepareathon quoting French biologist Louis Pasteur, “’Chance favors the prepared mind.’ Meaning, if you prepare for a disaster then you will be much better off if a disaster happens!”