· Founder & Owner of Hazard Strategies
· Emergency Preparedness Educator; Author; Speaker
· Business Emergency Response & Continuity Consultant
· Continuity Certification from FEMA
· Involved in Emergency Preparedness since 2006
· Founder & Host of Puget Sound Preparedness Telesummits
My interest in emergency preparedness began with my own failed personal preparedness efforts in 2006. I was moved to action by an Oprah show on the bird flu. I heard we needed to be able to care for ourselves at home for at least a month. Months later, I scraped together $400 and marched down to Costco returning home with flats of Coke, water, various crackers, canned meat & tuna fish, turkey jerky, and candy. I proudly put it all in a pile in the kitchen and within 3 weeks… I had consumed everything except for some of the crackers and the water!
It took me years to figure out what I really needed – to put together a common sense stockpile of meals, water, first aid, and other supplies. I sought out preparedness information and ended up with piles of paper printed off the internet… lists and lists and lists… but not in a format that I could easily use/reuse. So I built my own lists in Excel. (That presented a whole other set of issues: Lost one excel worksheet in a computer crash. Started several lists but couldn’t find the files a year later.) I had food spoil, water freeze, containers break, and infestation of bugs and mice in my preparedness attempts. My early years of personal preparedness were a disaster and costly as I was living paycheck-to-paycheck.
In 2010, I replaced my Excel worksheets with a workbook I wrote and published, The Family Guide to Personal Preparedness. In 2014, I decided the workbook needed a major rewrite. There was much more to preparedness than simply stockpiling food, water, and supplies. Today’s version of my Personal Preparedness Workbook addresses a broader spectrum of emergency preparedness: Evacuating planning, reconnecting, preparedness away from home, vehicle preparedness & maintenance, home preparedness & maintenance, pets, stockpiles of food, water, supplies, medical issues, etc. I make my lists once and then reuse the original lists to conduct 3 additional daylight saving time reviews—MAKING IT A 2-YEAR WORKBOOK. It’s easy to figure out what I have and what I need!
Professionally, in 2010, I joined emergency preparedness committees at South Seattle College and Seattle College District. In 2013, I translated and rewrote South’s Emergency Plan from a Roman numeral outline into an easy-to-read Business Emergency Action Plan that is now used at the district and in several colleges in WA state. Through my emergency preparedness committee work at South, I was introduced to FEMA exercises and courses. I found myself fascinated with how the government response worked and continued taking courses on all aspects of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery resulting in a Continuity Certification from FEMA in 2014.
In 2017, I needed my own Business Emergency Action Plan for Hazard Strategies. I modified and reformatted the plan I wrote for South Seattle College—to fit a private-sector business. My Business Emergency Action Plan is written so it can be distributed to my workforce. (Only the appendixes contain confidential information.) My annual Business Emergency Action Plan review includes my workforce re-reading and re-familiarizing themselves with the plan + reviewing how to safely respond to emergencies and disruptive events.
Now, I am sharing this plan with other private-sector businesses via a 6-week live, online course. I walk businesses through filling out components of their emergency plan. I insert those components into a template and send the plan back to the business and we review it in Week 5. They add their confidential appendices, finalize, and distribute the public portion of their plan to their workforce. (If a business already has a written plan, they are invited to compare their plan to this course to help ensure their existing plan is actionable.) Finally, training & testing is the last part that makes any plan actionable so Week 6 covers exercises and drills to make sure your plan protects your business and your workforce.
Mission: Prepare, Respond, Recover
Arm people and businesses with actionable emergency preparedness programs to handle the bad stuff that happens.
Vision: Plan, Prevent, Persevere
Households, neighborhoods, and businesses have actionable emergency plans in place so they can minimize the economic and social impacts of disruptive events.
Values: Training, Safety, Mindfulness
Actionable emergency training drills and exercises best ensure safe, “muscle memory” emergency response will kick-in during chaotic times.
I look forward to sharing my common sense preparedness programs with you.