As always, I am proud to report that many associations have already sprung into action in response to the serious threat of Hurricane Gustav, now a Category 4 hurricane heading toward New Orleans, and the potential threat of Tropical Storm Hannah coming toward the Florida coast. Here are some of the actions associations are already taking:
Â· The Air Transit Association of America (ATA) has released a statement explaining evacuation processes for residents in the New Orleans area. You can read it here.
Â· The Humane Association, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, local and national food banks, and numerous faith-based community organizations have partnered in Nashville, Tennessee, to open shelters, distribute meals, and support evacuees from the hurricane.
Â· The American Red Cross is urging people in the potentially affected areas to register themselves its new Safe and Well Web site at www.redcross.org, or call a loved one and ask them to register you. This online tool helps families and individuals notify loved ones that they are safe during an emergency. You also can read and link to the organizationâ€™s advice to evacuating families by going here.
Â· The Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants is urging people in the affected areas to â€œfinancially prepareâ€ for the hurricane, using its tip list, which includes the need for having plentiful cash on hand, documenting household goods and valuables, and gathering important documents.
Â· The National Association for Amateur Radio (ham radio folks) has developed guidelines for potential volunteers interested in responding to the hurricane emergency, warning them not to â€œself-deployâ€ and noting that the International Radio Emergency Support Coalition has been relaying reports online since Friday.
Â· The Texas Hotel & Lodging Association sent an alert to members last Thursday, repeating a local government estimate that 45,000 evacuees could arrive if Gustav hits Louisiana. Local restaurant associations and members have been stocking up as well.
Â· Social media also is coming into significant play in terms of sharing storm information, relaying community/government emergency operations, organizing nonprofit relief and assistance responses, checking on association members, monitoring local chapters/components, and rallying volunteers on standby.
Â· Bossier City Firefighters Association is working with the International Association of Fire Fighters to find housing for IAFF members evacuating the area. Like the response to Hurricane Katrina three years ago, many local associations have turned to their national associations and leaders for helpâ€”and emergency housing is just one such request. Others Iâ€™ve seen relate to transportation advice, pet care in the region, and reinforcing communication strategies.
Â· The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is actively tracking the storms on the Hurricane Preparedness section of its web site and has the latest NOAA and other weather updates, the status of various airports, an emergency preparedness checklist, and many more resources available to help members and the public stay abreast of rapidly changing weather conditions.
Â· Various electrical power associations are urging the public and businesses in the potential hurricane zones to review their virtual brochures on preparing for power outages and surges as a result of poor weather. Hereâ€™s one example from Coast Electric Power Association.
Â· A number of associations also are encouraging members to access the Federal Emergency Management Administrationâ€™s (FEMA) Hurricane Preparedness page, which contains emergency plans for businesses and families, emergency supply lists, and background on hurricanes in general.
Thanks, yâ€™all, for once again stepping up to make a real difference in the lives of both your members and the larger public. Please know that ASAE & The Center stand ready to assist you in your efforts!