Ask Don: America’s PrepareAthon

Don Hall, ECN's Director of Government Relations
Don Hall, ECN’s Director of Government Relations

April 30, 2014 is America’s PrepareAthon. This is a national day of action and a community-based campaign aimed to help people understand the disasters that could occur in their area and how to stay prepared.

I highly recommend that each and every citizen plan to participate in some way with this nationwide initiative. Many people choose not to take natural disasters seriously until one has or is about to occur. We owe it to ourselves and family members to plan ahead for those major disasters that could affect us.

Businesses are included in this preparedness initiative as well. Unfortunately, most businesses plan and prepare even less than citizens do. Following a disaster, it is extremely important for businesses to re-open as quickly as they can. This, believe it or not, is a very crucial step in the process of a community recovering from a disaster event.

In the business and workplace there should be written plans and procedures that cover safety, risk management and business continuity of operation. Management and every employee should have a copy of these plans or know where one is accessible to them. Internal notification methods should also be incorporated in the workplace to provide the capability of alerting employees of a dangerous event taking place, or to prepare for an impending event.

From a public safety standpoint, our public officials should use this nationwide event to not only bring disaster awareness information to the citizens, but also use this as a time to develop new plans, update existing plans and provide training and exercises for internal staffs and the general public.

It is also a good time for public safety officials to evaluate their community alert and notification system to ensure that it will successfully perform the timely functions that they need in an emergency. They should enhance internal calling groups and pre-store scenarios and messages within the system so they can quickly access them for those identified hazards and disasters that their community is susceptible to.

It’s a proven fact that serious attention to disaster preparedness is only captured when a natural disaster is looming, directly following a disaster event or during a national campaign, such as the America’s PrepareAThon.

We here at Emergency Communications Network (ECN) will be observing this national event, and will be doing our part to provide a better environment for our employees, encourage family preparedness to our employees and assist our clients with enhancing their CodeRED emergency notification system to increase its effectiveness during disasters.

It’s up to all of us to pull together collectively and individually to make this a valuable lifesaving event for future disasters.

Visit www.ready.gov/prepare to register your participation and download guides, activities and customizable resources to localize your participation. Join millions of other Americans helping to build a safer and more resilient Nation.

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ECN opened up the opportunity for you to connect with Don Hall. Hall has spent more than 40 years in public safety so his emergency management experience makes him ideal for helping our current clients, potential customers and the emergency management community to interact with regarding the need and use of mass notification systems for state and local governments.

This platform was created to make your questions for Hall, heard. If you have anything you would like to ask him, please click here to email your question and he will address your question directly, right here in our “Ask Don” blog.