Streamline - Winter 2011 - (Page 13)

Preparing Yourself for an IN PAST ISSUES Emergency Response of Streamline magazine, we have had numerous articles on preparing your utility for an emergency. This article will be dedicated to making sure you are prepared to respond to an emergency. Benjamin Franklin once remarked that “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Training is a necessity when it comes to any emergency response. Disasters can escalate quickly, creating situations that even seasoned responders may not have dealt with or that involve many agencies that don’t usually work together on the same scene. For this reason, all responders are encouraged to have a basic understanding of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS), as well as awarenesslevel training in hazardous chemicals. The NIMS and ICS courses can be taken online at the following FEMA website: http://training. fema.gov/is/nims.asp. As water and wastewater responders, we should consider taking the following courses: IS-100.Pwb, IS-200.b, IS-700.a and IS-800.b. Proper training will help minimize risk to responders and maximize aid after the disaster. About two years ago, I was able to attend Emergency Response Training presented by the Florida, Louisiana and Georgia rural water associations. A statement that stands out in my mind was made by Rusty Reeves, training specialist for the Louisiana Rural Water Association. He said that if we were to call you to assist us to respond to an emergency and you tell us you are on the way today, typically that means that you will arrive unprepared. Preparing to respond to long-term emergencies and disaster situations means the responders need to make prior preparation for themselves and their families. If your family hasn’t been attended to prior to your response, you will have difficulty keeping your mind on dealing with the emergency situation. Responders should have an emergency bag that contains some of these basic supplies: • Drinking water • Snack foods, such as energy bars, hard candy, raisins or other energy snacks • Canned/packaged foods that do not require heating • Blanket, pillow or sleeping bag • First-aid kit • Flashlights, extra batteries and emergency light sticks • AM/FM radio with batteries or an emergency NOAA weather radio, if possible • Eating utensils and a manual can opener • Cellphone, car charger, extra battery and out-of-town contact phone numbers • Daily medications for the length of time you will be gone • Extra eyeglasses or contact lens supplies • Changes of clothes, several pairs of work boots and extra socks and a warm jacket or rain poncho • Plastic trash bags for dirty clothes and trash • Safety pins, whistle, pocketknife or multipurpose tool, toothpaste and toothbrush, hand sanitizers, sunscreen and bug spray • Washcloths and towel • Copies of medication list, pertinent medical information, insurance documents and list of emergency contact numbers • Extra cash • Set of extra car keys • N95 or dust/mist masks, or surgical masks • Matches in a protective container that will stay dry • Work gloves • Hard hat • High-visibility vest • Camera • Two-way radio, if available www.vrwa.org 13 BY KENNY REYNOLDS VRWA WATER CIRCUIT RIDER I Often, in responding to emergencies that could have unknown hazards, responders are told to use the “Rule of Thumb.” This means that if you hold your thumb up and look at the emergency scene and can see the scene outside your thumb, you are too close. http://training.fema.gov/is/nims.asp http://www.vrwa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Winter 2011

From the President
From the Executive Director
Farm Tours for Source Water Protection
Preparing Yourself for an Emergency Response
One Step Ahead: Tappahannock Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade
Improving Virginia Waters – VACS
Variable Frequency Drives Can Save You Money
City of Emporia Water Plant Upgrade
The Woodstock Wastewater Treatment Plant
Bird Contamination and Your Water Tank
VRWA 24th Annual Exposition Preview
Throwing My Loop
eLearning Benefi ts
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefi ts Are?
VRWA Mailbag
Welcoming New Members
Training Calendar
Board Of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index To Advertisers/Ad.Com

Streamline - Winter 2011

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