While the threat of natural disasters may not be considered a priority for some municipality officials, severe weather incidents occur very fast and with great force, necessitating a regularly updated continuity of operations plan to help citizens, businesses and property owners understand proper action protocols to protect themselves.
Communities in the Greater Dallas area experienced the wrath of an intense weather pattern this past Tuesday that was reported to have brought somewhere between six and 13 tornadoes to the region.
Reports state that roughly 200 homes were completely obliterated while 650 other pieces of property experienced some form of damage. Winds were reported to have been blowing at speeds of 150 miles-per-hour, although luckily no citizen was found to have endured significant injury because of the tornadoes.
Interestingly, after reading testimony from several local Dallas residents who got in the way of the tornados' paths, it does not seem as though they were prepared with the proper training or supplies to calmly react to the severe weather.
For example, CNN interviewed a woman named Gwen Dabbs who was in her home when a tornado blew out her windows, forcing her to duck into an unprotected corner, shielded only by a few blankets.
Another resident, Nicole Lawrence, was forced to seek shelter in her bathroom where her sons laid on top of her to shield her from the falling debris.
Examining these types of chaotic responses, municipality officials clearly need to take better thought out steps to show citizens more effective, pre-determined ways to seek shelter from a natural disaster.
One excellent way to attain these resources is by sending community representatives to the World Conference on Disaster Management, taking place on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
At this forum, experienced continuity professionals can provide valuable consultation to equip a community with the physical tools and education initiatives to optimally protect the well being of its citizens.