Hurricane Florence:  Carolinas and Virginia Vets in the Fight (VIF)

Hurricane Florence:  Carolinas and Virginia Vets in the Fight (VIF)

Bulletin:   The governors of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia have declared states of emergency in advance of Hurricane Florence landing somewhere along their coasts sometime on Thursday, 13 September 2018.

Courtesy the Weather Channel. Hurricane Florence States of Emergency

There are roughly 450,000 military and veterans living in the Carolinas-Virginia pathway of one of the most potentially treacherous hurricanes in memory.  Add in their families, and the number quickly exceeds one million Vets in the Fight and families in the bullseye.  VIF are men and women of proven leadership ability.

That leadership is going to be tested at family and neighborhood levels in the coming days. Think of this hurricane in terms of a seven-day event.   Assume seven-days without power, without phone, without fuel, with severe damage all along the coasts and potentially heavy flooding inland as the storm lingers for several days inland.  Where exactly this storm will come ashore is not clear, and likely will not be better defined until late tonight (Monday) or into tomorrow.

We include ourselves in this ominous equation, with two of your SOS contributors located smack in the Sandhills of North Carolina.  So, we will soon be hard at making our final preparations, too.

NOW is the time to put your plan to protect your family and neighbors into action.  Don’t forget to make contact (face-to-face is best) with elderly neighbors. 

Resources for Planning …

Start at the Red Cross Preparedness website https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/National-Preparedness-Month-Get-Ready-for-Emergencies.html

Here is an important extract from that site:

BE READY TO EVACUATE Whether the emergency is a home fire or something bigger like a hurricane, the situation may force you to leave your home. There are ten steps you can take now to be prepared if the emergency makes it unsafe to remain at home:

  1. Follow the instructions of officials and evacuate if told to do so.
  2. Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
  3. Remember you may have to get out on foot depending on the type of disaster. If you don’t have a car, or can’t use your vehicle, plan on how you will leave the area.
  4. If you have a car, keep the gas tank full if an evacuation order is possible. Don’t let the tank go below half full in case gas stations are unable to pump gas.
  5. Decide where you would go and what route you would take to get there. This could be a motel, the home of a friend or relative a safe distance away, or an evacuation shelter. Download the free Red Cross Emergency Appto find shelter information and weather and emergency alerts for more than 35 different situations.
  6. If you have time, let someone out of the region know you are evacuating and where you are going. Leave a note saying when you left and where you plan to go.
  7. Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection.
  8. Be alert for road hazards such as downed trees, flooding, etc. Do not drive onto a flooded road.
  9. Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Grab your emergency kit and drive your planned evacuation route. Include an alternate route in a different direction in case one is impassible. Make sure you have locations and maps saved on devices such as cell phones and GPS units and on paper.
  10. Don’t forget your pets. If it’s not safe for you to stay home, it’s not safe for them either. Prepare a phone list of pet-friendly motels and animal shelters located along your evacuation route. Keep in mind only service animals are usually allowed in shelters

THREE EASY STEPS Getting prepared is easier than it sounds. There are three basic steps:

  • GET A KIT. Pack the following items in an easy-to-carry container – a gallon of water per person, per day; non-perishable food; flashlight and hand-crank or battery-powered radio; extra batteries; sanitation and personal hygiene items; copies of important papers; extra cash and any medical or baby supplies family members may need. See full details here.
  • MAKE A PLAN. Have all members of your household help devise your emergency plan. Consider what emergencies could happen where you live; what to do if you are separated and how will you let loved ones know you are safe. Find full details and easy-to-use plan templates here.   If you do not have a plan, start here.  Devote time to developing your plan and designating family members to be in charge of specific tasks.
  • BE INFORMED. Learn what disasters are common to your area. Find out how local authorities will let you know an emergency is happening. Make sure at least one household member is trained in first aid and CPR in case help is delayed during a disaster. You can also download the Red Cross First Aid App at redcross.org/apps to have instant access on how to handle common first aid emergencies. Learn how to get fully informed about emergencies here.

Mission Process, get it started.  Stay flexible.  Gain situational awareness.

Okay, let’s get cranking by analyzing your mission, prioritizing your tasks, implementing Troop Leading (Family / Neighborhood leading)  procedures, and build a timeline for task accomplishment.

We’ll be going the same.

We’ll check back in later today with some of the tips we found in the process.

De Oppresso Liber!

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