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Hurricane Laura and multiple potential natural disasters threaten across the U.S.

Reading today’s headlines about the many weather-related incidents occurring around the country, you’ll have a pretty good understanding of why it’s so important to be prepared for any unexpected event and be ready to respond quickly and effectively to natural disasters and other critical incidents, all while taking into account concerns about COVID-19.

Hurricane Laura is now a dangerous Category 4 storm and is expected to make landfall Wednesday evening or early Thursday morning, with a massive storm surge, heavy winds and flash flooding.

Entire country facing natural disaster threats

Forecasters earlier this year called for a more active year for both hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic and Caribbean, as well as for wildfires in the western states.

Hurricane Marco and Laura approaching the U.S. Gulf Coast.

We are now seeing that those predictions were accurate as Tropical Storm Marco and Hurricane Laura have moved toward the Gulf Coast. Heavy smoke is blanketing parts of Northern and Central California as well as Southern Oregon and Northern Nevada.

Apple wildfire in California
Massive California Apple Fire forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

Add to this dangerously high temperatures in the Plains and Midwest, and severe thunderstorms in the Great Lakes region and into the Northeast – and it’s evident that no section of the country is immune to the threat of crisis or disaster.

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic continues play a part in our daily lives and makes preparing for and responding to emergencies and natural disasters even more complicated.

Complex situations like these call for field-proven tools provided by emergency management platforms like WebEOC, which is designed to empower effective preparedness and response to any crisis or disaster.

Some of the tools you need to respond more effectively include:

Centrally Coordinated Communication

    • Consistent message across all mediums including SMS, Email, etc.
    • Data sharing and collaboration to promotes faster response
    • Task management – standardized forms and data capture
    • Built-in Workflows that facilitate tracking and coordination of multiple cases and activities across teams

Management of Resources

      • Visualize and manage the status of sites, shelters, and equipment
      • Track inventory and PPE distribution
      • Human capital coordination

Dashboards and Reporting

    • Geographical Information Display (GIS) – allows you to clearly see where the issues are
    • Highly configurable dashboards – for display on large team screens, individual displays or apps
    • Situation reporting (SITREPs)– provides time-critical data to teams and management

Remote & Mobile Working

    • Cloud based system allows access anywhere, on virtually any device
    • Smartphone apps for remote data gathering and staff/patient monitoring

Are you prepared?

An unexpected emergency, crisis, or disaster can occur at any time – but it seems like 2020 is the year of the unexpected. Here are some key questions to ask to determine if you’re prepared:

    • How would you deal with creating, setting up, and staffing shelters of people displaced by a hurricane, wildfire, tornado, flooding, etc.?
    • How would you handle evacuations during a natural disaster while accounting for COVID-19 restrictions?
    • With many people working remotely, do you have the capabilities you need to communicate and collaborate effectively during an emergency?
    • Has your organization assessed its emergency response and management plan – including action plans, checklists, response guides and other processes and procedures – in light of COVID-19 and made any adjustments to prepare for natural disasters?

Using technology like WebEOC, emergency managers can track all aspects of the preparations of emergencies such as wildfires, hurricanes, or other critical incidents in a comprehensive, real-time common operating picture to support emergency response activities and information, including information requests, deployment of equipment and personnel, shelter availability, requests for resources, situation reports, and public messaging.

Thousands of corporations, education institutions, healthcare facilities, and government agencies rely on Juvare solutions every day to improve emergency response, communications, and information management before, during, and after all types of emergencies and disasters.

For more information on how Juvare can help you with emergency preparedness, contact us today.

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