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I&R Disaster Resources

It is not a matter of if … it is a matter of when.

Every agency will experience a disaster of some description within their community sometime in their history. Within the world of I&R, that sobering truth has been brought home by the extraordinary experiences of I&R professionals responding to hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods and other types of disasters. As a result, AIRS and United Way Worldwide were determined to capture and share lessons learned.

Disaster Support
Many I&Rs in different regions have developed formal agreements for mutual support in the event of a disaster at either location. These agreements reflect sharing operational protocols and being able to quickly link phone and database technologies when the need arises. Here are three samples of such an agreement (with thanks to the agencies involved):

Mutual Aid MOU within 2-1-1 Colorado

Mutual Aid MOU between 2-1-1 South Carolina and 2-1-1 Western North Carolina

Mutual Aid MOU between VIA Link, New Orleans and the United Way of Northeast Louisiana 

Disaster Training
The following training course focuses on emergency preparation and operational management during a disaster - in particular how to prepare for and handle an influx of all manner of volunteers. Although the emphasis is on 2-1-1, there is content that every I&R agency will find very helpful.

This training course was made possible by a grant from the National Human Services Assembly, Volunteer Impact Grant and by our partners in United Way Worldwide. Feel free to incorporate this training in your disaster preparedness plans. This free "Managing the Surge", package includes:

Introductory Message
Disaster Management Training Curriculum (including document templates)
Disaster Management Trainers Manual
Disaster Management Handouts/Tools
Disaster Management Powerpoint

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) was developed so responders from different jurisdictions and disciplines could better work together to respond to natural disasters and emergencies. NIMS provides a unified approach to incident management; standard command and management structures; and an emphasis on preparedness, mutual aid and resource management. If an I&R agency wants to integrate into the local and/or state disaster planning/response infrastructure, a familiarity with NIMS is essential.

Additional I&R diasaster resources:
Trial by Fire: How 2-1-1s regional response to the 2007 southern California wildfires underscored the need for a statewide network
Disaster Volunteer Training Presentation: Courtesy of 2-1-1 South Carolina
Call Center Pandemic WorkBook: 250-page disaster preparation manual developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (AIRS was a source for some of the material)
Family Disaster Plan and Personal Survival Guide: Sample material from 2-1-1 San Diego (Staff are better able to respond to a disaster on a professional level if they feel they have properly prepared their own families for a disaster situation)
Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP) Primer: Background information on the Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP) program, mandated and administrated by the National Communications System 
FEMA Brochure on "When Disaster Strikes"
TSP Vendor Handbook: This is the offical handbook for your telecommunications service provider - they may not know much about the TSP program and this is their guide on what they are supposed to do for you if you are an eligible disaster service provider. 
TSP User Manual: This is the official manual covering the TSP program along with instructions on how to apply and sample forms
TSP-SF315: This is the form to request under the TSP program that a phone service receives priority attention in the event of a major disaster
Disaster Acronyms: The language of disasters 
FEMA's list of Acronyms, Abbreviations and Terms
Trail by Wind and Water: Story of the 2004 Florida Hurricanes
Shelter from the Storm: Story of the Monroe, Louisiana experience in 2005
After the Storm: Story of the 2005 Hurricane season

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