DISASTER PREPAREDNESS REQUIRES PRATICE

On October 11, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) held its annual JDRF One Walk. This event, the flagship fund raising event for this important organization, has raised over $330,000 so far, with additional donations still coming in. There were over 3,500 walkers, and 60 volunteers who helped ensure that the event went smoothly.

From the JDRF web site:

JDRF exists for the millions of children, adults and families challenged by type 1 diabetes (T1D) every single day. Their determination to overcome this chronic, life-threatening disease strengthens ours to end it.

Dynamic Strategies co-founder Jeff Rosnick (above) volunteers to provide radio communications for the event as part of the Monmouth County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) organizations.

These organizations are public services staffed entirely by volunteer members of the Amateur Radio community, also known as ‘Ham Operators’, and are most visible during regional or widespread disasters that disrupt normal communications channels and hinder the work of first responders and other emergency response organizations.

BUT WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH DISASTER PREPAREDNESS?

Training and Practice

ARES/RACES groups across the country engage in weekly training activities to hone their communication and message handling skills. These training sessions are critical and will be put to the test in the event of an actual emergency situation.

Frequently, a charitable organization will request assistance with communications from these groups for an event. The JDRF One Walk is just such an event. This provides benefits to all parties involved.

For the charitable organization holding an event, a free communication service is provided that helps ensure that supplies, such as bottled water, are delivered to points along the route where needed, Additionally, and more importantly, health-and-safety messages can be instantly relayed to emergency services regarding walkers who may experience health issues during the event.

Testing the Plan

For the ARES/RACES group, these events offer the opportunity to test their training in real-world situations. The types of communication and message-handling skills used in a charity walk are precisely the kind used in real-world emergency situations.

The lessons learned in the weekly training sessions are employed during the events, and the results are reviewed in the next scheduled training session. Any shortcomings that inhibited effective and timely communication are addressed and the training is modified to prevent their recurrence.

So, everyone involved benefits.

How does this apply to our personal and business lives?

It can best be wrapped up with the following three bullet points:

  • Have a plan
  • Practice your plan
  • Periodically test what you’ve practiced in as close to real-world conditions as possible.

Dynamic Strategies is proud to be a part of community, regional and national charitable events throughout the year.