Hurricane Sandy – A helpful, key layer of preparedness

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In a Crisis – Pocket Guidebooks provide Communication when Electronics Fail or are Unavailable

Scott Cohen CEO WellspringBy Scott Cohen, CEO, Wellspring


Scott will be a Presenter on our upcoming, Oct 29 Webinar on Hurricane Sandy Preparation. Firestorm has assembled its Hurricane Response Experts for this critical webinar to make recommendations for your personal and business response to this imminent threat.   We have scheduled this webinar during lunch hour on the east coast so that you may have many of your staff join in.  Be sure to forward this invitation to everyone in your organization.

Our Panel will include experts from:

  • Insurance
  • Emergency Supplies
  • Recovery & Restoration
  • Emergency Communications
  • Personal Preparedness
  • Legal Issues
  • Community Resiliency

and other areas. Please forward this post to anyone that may be interested in this very important webinar.
Title:    Prepare for Hurricane Sandy: Tips from Experts
Date:    Monday, October 29, 2012
Time:    12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT



A helpful, key layer of preparedness


According to Linda Reissman, Emergency Management Coordinator of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, “Hurricane Katrina taught us that sole reliance on electronic devices is unacceptably risky.”

High-tech mass notification systems and software should be an integral part of your emergency response solutions, but written plans are a must.  Here’s why:

  1. In a bomb threat, electronics cannot be safely used.  They emit RF energy which can detonate the bomb.
  2. Access overload is real.  When a minor 5.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Virginia in 2011, cell phone service was hindered as far as New Jersey.  I lived in New York City on 9/11.  It took four days to get a signal on my cell phone.
  3. Solar flares can disrupt networks.  According to Continuity Insights, Solar activity has picked up in recent years; we are headed into what is known as the solar maximum of the solar cycle.  The solar maximum is expected to occur in May 2013 and NASA has predicted this will be “the most intense solar maximum in fifty years.”
  4. Everyone learns differently.  Some of your staff will read and review a physical guidebook—particularly if it has tabbed pages with titles—whereas they’ll never quite get around to reading it on a computer screen.
  5. As our energy grids are increasingly taxed by the rising population and severe weather, you can expect to see longer and longer power failures.  No power, after a number of hours, no electronic devices.
  6. Pocket guidebooks can incorporate QR codes so your staff members can scan the codes and go straight to websites.  Gives you the 100% reliability of paper and keeps your techie staff members engaged.
  7. Pocket guidebooks can be printed in multiple languages.
  8. Maps and ICS charts are far easier to read on an 8½ x 11 pull-up sheet than a cell phone screen.
  9. Any complex technology that relies on complex technologies to safeguard it against failure must not be 100% relied on.
  10. Unlike computers, guidebooks are highly portable.  They can be as small as a credit card to fit into a wallet book.


Your written plans should be condensed into a tabbed guidebook.  To quote Dale Currier, trainer for the Office of Counter Terrorism/NY State Homeland Security, “People don’t need a three-inch thick emergency plan—they need quick hits in their hands.”

If you need help creating content for an emergency guidebook, Firestorm has a roster of experts that is unmatched.  If you need help printing your emergency guidebook, that’s our specialty.  For a free PDF of an emergency pocket guide, go to  

ABOUT SCOTT COHEN: Scott Cohen is the CEO of Wellspring Info, the world’s recognized leader for custom printed pocket-sized guidebooks.  Wellspring’s guidebooks can include your procedures, charts, and site-specific evacuation maps.  Streamlines your emergency response plans so your staff can execute when an incident occurs.  Email your content and Wellspring’s design department will email you a snapshot of what your book will look like if you decide to place an order.

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