Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Importance of Mass Casualty Incident Preparedness

By definition, an MCI is one where there are more casualties than responders. It can be the results of a traffic accident, an act of nature or a man-made catastrophe. No matter how it is caused, it is an unplanned event that requires an immediate and accurate response.

A first responder can be anyone from a by-stander to a trained professional who is able to immediately plug into the MCI cycle and take action.

Knowing and understanding the MCI cycle and what the expectations are at each component helps keep continuity in the response actions, especially as more help arrives and takes up their roles in the incident.

Being prepared in the event of a MCI is your first step in mitigating the human suffering and event process. Rescue Training Institute offers a comprehensive MCI Awareness course that is designed to develop a first responder's skills in each of the components of the MCI so that they and those who follow can plug into the cycle and expedite the scene.

Remember, the Pine Lake Tornado was an unplanned event, the summer floods in southern Alberta were an unplanned event, the next MCI will be an unplanned event too. It's not about the event, its the response that counts.

Are you prepared... to respond?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Emergency manager calls for adding Facebook and Twitter to NIMS practices

Last March, Rhode Island experienced record flooding that at one point closed nearly 100 roads and 20 bridges. The state Department of Transportation used its RIDOT website, as well as social media like Facebook and Twitter, to keep the public advised of new closures.

"On a typical day, the RIDOT site sees about 2,100 hits," said RIDOT spokesperson Dana Nolfe. "At the height of the flooding, we saw 84,000 hits." Twitter followers jumped from double digits to 1,150.

In Texas, the use of Facebook and Twitter by the Plano Department of Emergency Management allows that city to push information to local communities instantly.

"Rather than posting information to a website and hoping citizens look at it, we can engage them online where they are," said Hal Grieb, senior emergency management specialist.

References: Homeland1. 2010. "Social media have become the elephant in the EOC" Doug Page
Posted: October 28, 2010
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