Some pre-storm thoughts from Matthew Hunt, Connecting to Collections’ Disaster Preparedness Coordinator. Sent by LeRae Umfleet, NCDCR Chief of Collections Management
Hurricane Sandy is being closely monitored by Emergency Management Officials as we move into the weekend. It is still uncertain exactly what to expect with this storm, but residents are encouraged to take all precautions in preparing for this upcoming storm.
Based on the current forecast, the center of Hurricane Sandy is expected to remain offshore of the Outer Banks. Northeast winds will increase Friday and will reach gale (34 mph+) and storm (50 mph+) force by Saturday night and remain through Sunday.
In preparation for the storm, all outdoor furnishings, trash cans, and any loose items should be properly secured. Review the contents of your emergency supplies kit to ensure you have adequate supplies in the event you are without power, water, or transportation for more than 72 hours.
Hurricane Preparedness Planning
Your goal should be to have preparations in place prior to the storm’s approach. This list does not represent everything you should do when preparing for an approaching storm, but contains suggestions for things that might help you in preparing at your institution.
1. Organize lock-down teams. Emergency Coordinator should update and review essential personnel listing with local police department/ emergency management to ensure reentry to site following a storm.
2. Gather emergency provisions and supplies.
3. Back up computer files. Secure personnel, financial, and collections records. Remove and secure laptops. Keep a supply of flash drives, power inverters, and portable power supplies.
4. Secure adequate cash for post-emergency operations.
5. Top off gasoline tanks in vehicles, chain saws, generators, and pumps. Check fluids and tires. Check equipment for reliability and safety.
6. Install batteries and provide a last minute check to see that they are operational. Do not forget specialty batteries such emergency lighting batteries. Recharge any rechargeable batteries.
7. Check phone numbers for accuracy (emergency and staff numbers). Employees should inform their supervisor of changes in their call back numbers. Remember, cell phones do not always work in an emergency due to downed towers or jammed cells. Site phones often require electricity to operate. Have one phone available that simply plugs into a phone jack without need of electricity. Recharge cell phones. Text messages will often go through when cell phone calls will not.
8. Move items in areas subject to flooding to the highest level possible. Do not leave anything on the floor. Also move items indoors that might fly away or cause damage in high winds.
9. Locate updated copies of the inventory lists for collections, office equipment, and reproduction items. Leave one copy of each list on site. The Emergency Coordinator should take one copy of each list with them.
10. Prepare backup disks of support group records. Place one copy in the safe. Back-up emergency coordinator will take one copy home.
11. Prepare backup disks of any important documents from your computer.
12. Monitor the storm and its conditions on radio, TV, or scanner. Weather radio frequency is 162.550 MHz. ; FEMA is www.fema.gov ; and NOAA is www.nhc.noaa.gov .
13. Take care of last minute details that might need attention.