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6 Disaster Preparedness Steps for You and Your Pet

Posted on September 15, 2015 in Emergency Preparedness Blog
Sixty-two percent of American households have at least one pet and 60% of those with pets consider their pet to be a member of the family. To keep your pets safe in the event of a disaster, include them in your family emergency plan.

1. Have identification. Make sure your pet has ID tags; current tags allow anyone that finds your pet to contact you as soon as possible. In case local phone service is unavailable, consider adding a phone number for a friend that lives in another area or including an email address on the tag. For added security, get your pet fitted with a microchip. The chip cannot fall off and get lost like a tag, and most vets and shelters have chip readers. If you move or change your number, remember to update the tags and microchip information. 
 
2. Find shelter. Local governments are required to offer shelters that allow pets. If you know you may have to evacuate, contact your local emergency management agency to find a shelter where your cat or dog is welcome (most do not accept reptiles, rodents, or livestock). 
 
3. Have a backup. Ask family or friends to be available to help care for your pet if you are unable to return home or must go to work during an emergency. Give them instructions on where you keep your emergency pet supplies and ensure they have access to your home. 
 
4. Take a picture. Keep two current pictures of your pet with your emergency documents: one of your pet alone and one of you with your pet. Having a picture of you with your pet can help if you become separated from your pet and must prove ownership upon reunification. If your pet wanders off during a disaster, pictures make it easier to create missing posters, inquire at shelters, and inform friends on social media.
 
5. Get a rescue sticker. Place a rescue sticker on a front window of your home so rescue workers know you have pets inside, including how many and what type. If you take your pets with you during an evacuation, write “EVACUATED” on the back of the sticker. 
 
6. Prepare a go-kit. Just like their human companions, pets need supplies if there’s an emergency. The kit should have anything your pet needs and be accessible if someone else will be caring for your pet during the disaster. It is advisable to have a three-day supply of the following items:
ü  Food and water
ü  Medication
ü  Leash with a collar or harness
ü  Travel carrier
ü  Sanitation supplies (water, paper towels, bleach, cat litter, bags, etc.)
ü  Toys and treats
ü  Blankets
ü  Copies of veterinary records
ü  Bowls for food and water
 
Check go-kit supplies periodically to make sure medications and food have not expired and all records are up-to-date.
 
Additional Resources
For more ideas about how to keep your pets safe in an emergency, check out the detailed preparedness tips at the following sites:
 
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Man-Machine Systems Assessment, Inc (MSA) is an Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) headquartered in Arlington, Virginia serving those that support the public interest. MSA is passionate about our Warfighters and the preparedness of our nation; working diligently to evaluate defense systems, ensure continuity of operations and support mission critical programs. MSA has over twenty-five years of experience in government contract management for a wide variety of contract types.
 

When Businesses Encourage Family Preparedness, Community Resilience Improves

Posted on September 30, 2014 in Emergency Preparedness Blog
Your business continuity plan could be compromised if your employees and their families are unprepared to keep their families and pets safe after a disaster. According to a 2012 poll by Adelphi University Center for Health Innovation, almost half of all Americans have no family disaster plan or supplies, making it very likely that some of your employees are unprepared.
 
Preparedness Gaps
  • 44% of Americans do not have a first-aid kit.
  • 48% of Americans do not have emergency supplies.
  • 42% of Americans don’t know the phone numbers of immediate family members.
Improving the Speed of Recovery
In order to return to normal as soon as possible after a disaster, communities need businesses open and employees at work. That’s why it’s vital that you work with employees, especially any that are essential for business continuity and resilience, to develop a family preparedness plan.
Most of the 48% of Americans without emergency supplies think it’s a good idea to have supplies and a plan, but they keeping putting it off. By incorporating family preparedness into the culture of preparedness you promote for the business, you provide people with information and a framework to make emergency planning a priority at home and at the office.
 
5 Ways to Encourage Employees to Develop a Family Emergency Plan
 
1. Hand out checklists that employees can take home to make sure they have everything needed in an emergency.
2. Distribute information about family preparedness as part of new employee orientation and post useful links on the company intranet.
3. Conduct a lunchtime training session about family preparedness, where people can ask questions and share ideas.
4. During your annual (or more frequent) business continuity planning review, send a reminder to employees and include the checklists and links. Remind everyone to inspect family go-kits for expired items.
5. Ask any employees who are essential to your business continuity plan to confirm that they have a family plan and emergency supplies.
 
Strengthen your business continuity planning by encouraging family preparedness for your employees. Everyone will be better off for it.
 
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Man-Machine Systems Assessment, Inc (MSA) is an Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) headquartered in Arlington, Virginia serving those that support the public interest. MSA is passionate about our Warfighters and the preparedness of our nation; working diligently to evaluate defense systems, ensure continuity of operations and support mission critical programs. MSA has over twenty-five years of experience in government contract management for a wide variety of contract types.

5 Reasons Why You Need To Get Your Parents Prepared

Posted on September 1, 2014 in Emergency Preparedness Blog

There are more than 40 million people over the age of 65 in the US and three-fourths suffer from a serious health condition. If your parents fall into this category (or will soon), you may need to help them plan for an emergency.
 
1. Delayed Emergency Services. During an incident that affects an entire city, state, or even an entire region, it is likely that emergency services will take much longer than usual to respond to calls. In some cases, first responders may need a day or more to respond to calls for service. If your parents have emergency supplies and a plan for what to do and who to contact during an emergency, your parents may not need to call on limited first responder resources. 
 
2. Telecommunications Outages. Prepare for interruptions in phone service by having multiple ways to contact your parents or grandparents. Get contact information for a nearby friend or neighbor that can check on your parents if you can’t reach them. Landlines should work if power is out, but cordless phones and phone systems that rely on newer technologies will not. Confirm your parents have a phone that doesn’t require external power before assuming the landline will work. If your parents don’t have a cell phone, talk to them about getting one for emergencies. Teach them how to use text messages and email as alternate forms of communication and remind them to keep the phone charged at all times.
 
3. Transportation Disruptions. Travel—across town or across the country—may be difficult or impossible following a disaster. Preparing your parents in advance means their safety won’t depend on your ability to travel.
 
4. Closed Pharmacies. Older Americans use more prescription and non-prescription medicines than all other generations. Ensure that your parents have extra medicine on-hand in case pharmacies are temporarily closed. Many conditions that are managed by prescription drugs—like diabetes or cardiovascular disease—can deteriorate rapidly if doses are missed. This is also true for lifesaving treatments like dialysis. Contact the local emergency management agency to find out where to go for critical care in a disaster. 
 
5. Peace of Mind. The biggest reason to make sure your parents have a plan is that it gives your family peace of mind. If you cannot reach them by phone or get to them in person, you will feel better knowing they have the necessary food, water, medicine, and basic supplies to get through an emergency.
 
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Man-Machine Systems Assessment, Inc (MSA) is an Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) headquartered in Arlington, Virginia serving those that support the public interest. MSA is passionate about our Warfighters and the preparedness of our nation; working diligently to evaluate defense systems, ensure continuity of operations and support mission critical programs. MSA has over twenty-five years of experience in government contract management for a wide variety of contract types.
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