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How we can respond to disasters + crisis situations

Natural Disasters or Event Violence

In the wake of Orlando, Syria, Nepal, Italy, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Texas and so many other situations and natural disasters all over the world - including the potential for many more to come - how can we respond to disaster? EMA has ideas for you.

In General:

  • Prepare in advance. Have a list of disaster agencies in your local area you can connect with to lend your help or ask for help when disaster strikes.

  • Give blood. Giving blood on a regular basis helps the banks stay stable. Going to a blood drive after a disaster strikes is helpful because their resources are literally being drained.

  • You can start a fundraiser through EMA. Over a year ago we launched a pilot program with Crowdrise so our community organizers had a way to raise money for EMA Massive Actions or any other EMA related project. In disasters, charities (like us) are allowed to fundraise for the disaster even if they are not a disaster relief organization. The problem with disaster relief organizations is often they have to be selective with what they respond to and it usually means how high the fatality rate is. Empower the Scene will allow you to create fundraising campaigns through EMA (vs. a GoFundMe) for efforts relating to local crisis situations.

  • Do you make kandi? Contact us to find out how to use your skills for our on-going project, "Life Kandi", led by Amy Morrill of Safer Raving by Amy Raves and Stay Safe Seattle.

Here is a list of suggestions Event Safety Alliance has created for the nightlife and event industry

1. There is a “new normal.” The shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016 was, in terms of the number of casualties, the worst in U.S. history. Like the equally senseless death of Christina Grimmie just three miles away the night before, as well as the attacks in Paris last November, incidents like these show that live event venues are no more immune from active shooters than any other public place.

2. It is not actually that new. The Department of Justice counted 160 active shooter incidents in the U.S. from 2000 through 2013. But the trend has gotten dramatically worse. During the first half of that period, there were an average of 6.4 active shooter incidents per year; in the more recent half of that period, there were 16.4 incidents annually. And as shown by the accompanying chart, the incidents have not only gotten more numerous, they are leaving more casualties.

3. No venue or event can claim to be a particularly likely or unlikely target. The Event Safety Alliance firmly believes that no genre of music or entertainment should be blamed when patrons engage in dangerous activities that harm themselves or others. Likewise, regardless of the type of event, no one should go to work thinking they are immune from the threat of a gunman entering their site with deadly intent. The take-away message of active shooter incidents occurring at locations as diverse as a nightclub, movie theater, university, military installation, and elementary school, just to list the five worst, is that none of us has the luxury of complacency.

4. There are things that can be done. The Event Safety Alliance encourages healthy discussion of what should be done to keep people safe. Given the incredible diversity of event spaces around the world, clearly one size does not fit all. Here are a few ideas to consider.

  • Run, Hide, Fight. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises that in an active shooter situation, everyone should try to work through the following steps, in this order: (1) Run away from the shooter if there is a safe way to exit; (2) If there is no obvious way to exit, but some other place nearby that is less exposed than where you currently are, go Hide there; (3) If you cannot run to safety and there is no good place to hide, then stay put and prepare to Fight with whatever is available. One version of Run, Hide, Fight instructions employed by ESA Director Charlie Hernandez can be found here .

  • Crowd Manager Training. In any emergency, people exhibit a variety of abilities to assess and respond to danger. Live event spaces, being unfamiliar to crew and patrons and loud and dark during a show, present additional challenges. Accounts of many tragic incidents, including the nightclub shooting in Orlando, show that some people simply wait for direction or rescue. In order to help the most people reach safety, event professionals can, and arguably should, be trained in the techniques of crowd management.

  • Security Guards. The simplest security measure is to have trained, licensed security guards performing rigorous bag checks and pat-downs of everyone seeking entry. There are conflicting reports as to how the shooter at Pulse got a bulky AR-15 assault weapon past the person at the door on a typically warm June night in Florida, but it is hard to argue that a person-to-person check at the point of entry, supported by immediately-available law enforcement to help deal with any issues, is a good idea.

  • Magnetometers. Another option is magnetometers, either hand-held or walk-through. These have the benefit of allowing faster ingress than bag and body checks, and being potentially very sensitive to metal objects like guns; they have the disadvantage of being only as sensitive as the person calibrating them and stopping people who trigger an alarm, and they are also more expensive than guards alone. If magnetometers are used, they must be monitored by security guards trained in their use, and those guards, with the support of immediately-available law enforcement officers stationed nearby, must be prepared to detain and investigate anyone triggering an alarm.

  • CPTED. Many larger event spaces have a perimeter plus additional space beyond it which could be used for the initial security checkpoint. This is the concept of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, and it likely saved many lives when a security guard doing a pat-down stopped one of the Paris bombers outside Stade de France. Because the guard was posted away from the entrance, the bomber detonated his explosive belt far from the crowd, avoiding much larger casualties.

  • More Guns Are Not the Answer. Whatever one feels about the right to carry firearms in other places, the Event Safety Alliance believes that there is no scenario in which a live event space is safer by adding more guns. An already loud, dark event with lots of people in close proximity, in a space that few crew or patrons know well, is not an environment in which even well-intentioned cross-fire is going to improve the situation.

5. When circumstances change, a reasonable person reevaluates his position. The law imposes on each of us the duty to behave as a reasonable person under the circumstances. This means that as circumstances change, we have a legal duty, as well as a moral one, to reevaluate what we do to see if our actions remain reasonable in light of what is now true. The Event Safety Alliance cannot identify a specific moment when it became imperative for event professionals to address public violence – it hardly matters if it was Sandy Hook or Aurora in 2012, Paris last year, or Orlando this weekend. What matters now is that, in addition to expressing our heartfelt condolences for the those who have suffered, we raise our own guard as an industry in order to help protect ourselves, our friends, and our families.

To read more or visit or join the Event Safety Alliance, click HERE.

NATURAL DISASTERS

Have you or someone you know lost your home?

For anyone who has lost their home, here is a PLAN OF ACTION ( via advisor Micahel Kaliski )

Start with the small list:
1. Get a PO Box

2. Longer term rental search - include insurance on it so they pay directly for rental. Find a nice place that you like, don't settle. You should be able to get a "Like Property" so insurance should cover a nice place for you to live while you work through all this. You might be living here for 2 years, so choose wisely.

3. Find a place to buy some sturdy boots and gloves. Get some shovels.

4. Start working on the personal property list (this is not fun at all, be prepared to cry we sure did). Write down the moment you remember – keep list on phone or pad of paper with you at all times.

5. Save receipts. Loss of use insurance will cover incidentals too – hairbrush, phone chargers, etc.

6. As you buy things, tell the store owner your situation. Most stores will give you some level of discount as their way of helping you.

7. Let people do things for you. Do you have a friend that you can send to the store to buy you some basic clothes or comfort foods? Let them do it – they want to help and you don’t need to spend time doing these errands. (The ‘fun’ of shopping is gone…it quickly becomes a chore because you don’t want a new shirt, you want the one that you always liked to wear but now it’s gone and you are sad/mad.)

The Big List:
1. Register at the shelters, with Red Cross and any other agency there, california FEMA, etc.
a. Most of the aid coming in will use these lists as a point of contact and will help to ensure that you don't get left out of anything.
b. This will be especially important should FEMA be activated, which in my opinion is very likely with the amount of devastation experienced.
2. Call Homeowners/Rental insurance to trigger "Loss of Use"
. This typically will allow you to be in a "Like" property for x number of years and sometimes has a dollar limit attached and sometimes not, this is dependent on your policy.
a. This coverage should also give you some immediate access to funds for essentials, clothes, toothbrushes, food, etc.
b. This will also get the ball rolling for the insurance claim on your home and rebuilding/personal property Dollars.
3. Get a PO Box and forward all mail to the Box.
. Use this PO Box as the mailing address on all forms you begin to fill out.
4. Start Searching for a Long term rental.
. Coordinate with your insurance company so that payments can be made directly from them using your “Loss of Use” money.
a. Plan on renting 1-2 years, but do not necessarily sign a lease for a full two years as circumstances can change.
5. Itemized List of belongings - (This is very hard but very necessary for your claim)
. I would organize by room and list everything that was there with a replacement cost. (you will cry a lot doing this and that is ok)
a. Replacement Cost should be what it would cost to replace not on sale from pottery barn, it should not be the price you paid for it with that 50% off coupon.
b. Make sure you list everything, even if it is above and beyond your policy limit. This is very important because everything above and beyond the policy limit is considered a Loss and can be claimed as such on your taxes - See #9
6. Call all of your utilities and either freeze or cancel service.
. Electric, Gas, TV, Land Line phone
a. Newspaper delivery, either cancel or update to PO Box.
7. Call the rest of your insurance points as needed.
. Car insurance
a. Any specialty insurance for unique items
8. Permits - An unfortunate necessity.
. Debris Removal - as things wind down it will be necessary to remove the debris, this requires a permit usually. (This should be covered by your insurance, we had to force the issue but ask repeatedly.)
a. Erosion Control - If you are on any kind of hill or have sloped property you will need to put some sort of erosion control measures in place, again this will need some sort of permit.
b. Temporary Power Pole/Trailer on site Permit - Getting this earlier on can prove helpful in both the rebuilding process.
9. Taxes. You will be able to claim the monetary loss of the value of all your items minus what you receive from your insurance company. I’m unfamiliar with the exact laws, but I believe that we were able to carry our losses back 2-5 years and received most of the money that we had paid in taxes back in a nice large check.
10. Network with others. You will learn so much from others as you go through the rebuilding process. We all have our strengths so share yours and use others. The amount of time that you will spend on the rebuild, insurance, recovery process is staggering so you need to use all your resources.

Click on the image above for a great resource list from Shareable.

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