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Disaster preparedness lessons from Hurricane Sandy

Omnilert, LLC, has released results from a post-event survey featuring insights and lessons learned after Hurricane Sandy. The survey respondents represented schools, businesses, non-profits, and government agencies from the company's Amerilert and e2Campusservices. The online survey was conducted between November 2nd – 15th, 2012, with a sample of 164 respondents.

Key lessons learned
Overall, Omnilert's customers were well prepared for the storm. These are organizations that have active emergency preparedness programs in place. A summary of the preparedness lessons learned include:

  • Predefine contingencies
  • Take forecasts seriously
  • Update your data before an event occurs
  • Secure materials and supplies in advance
  • Spring into action quickly
  • Encourage personal preparedness
  • Send clear, simple and frequent communications
  • Tailor messages to the medium
  • Multimodal communications are crucial
  • Don't panic: Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Sandy's Impact
About half of the survey respondents reported direct disruptions to their operations from the storm. Fortunately, only 6.8 percent reported significant and continuing major disruptions. About one fifth (19.3 percent) experienced major disruptions during the storm but minor aftereffects. The remaining 23.6 percent experienced only minor disruptions during the storm.

Where Sandy struck, the numbers of people affected tended to be large. Of the customers who told us they were impacted by the storm, about half (50.6 percent) had more than 1,000 people affected and 17.7 percent had 5,000 or more of their people affected. The most serious lingering disruptions were caused by flooding, water leaks, and extended power outages.

The free survey report can be downloaded at www.omnilert.com/sandysurvey

•Date: 11th Dec 2012 • US •Type: Article • Topic: DR general

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