Your Agency's Disaster Family Care Plan SOP

Imagine (or possibly…remember) that an enormous disaster has struck your community.

You can visualize your role in how your agency brings order to chaos. But, your attention is divided. Just when your agency and community needs you most -- just when your years of training and experience is about to pay off, you have other thoughts.

Right in the belly of the beast of a MAJOR catastrophe is when rescuers are needed more than ever, and when many of us are simultaneously more likely than ever to abandon our posts because our spouses, children and other loved ones are non-negotiable personal number one priorities.

We are recycling a topic from Rehabsector.org, posted in 2011. At the time, we quoted Grumpy Dispatcher's now-mostly-silent blog, "Three Mouse Clicks From Disaster".

He wrote, "Figure what happened in Japan happens in your area. Hundreds of thousands need help, right now. And where is your family? Are they OK? Do they need you, too? Right in the belly of the beast of a MAJOR catastrophe is when rescuers are needed more than ever, and when many of us are simultaneously more likely than ever to abandon our posts because our spouses, children and other loved ones are non-negotiable personal number one priorities."

If you abandon your post, there will be consequences. Likewise, if you abandon your family, there are also consequences. This decision, really, needs to be made in advance.

"When you signed your name, you ceased to be a volunteer."

You raised your hand. You took an oath. I say, volunteer or paid, "When you signed your name, you ceased to be a volunteer."

Your family needs to work from the Your Family Disaster Plan. (You DO have one, right?) They'll have to close ranks and carry on without you.

But your agency has a problem.

You and everyone else on duty is worried about their families. And, whether or not the next shift will come in, is not entirely certain.

This is where the (Your Agency Here) Disaster Family Care Plan SOP comes in.

Such a plan helps maintain staffing levels, allows people to focus on the mission, provides better service to the community, is good for morale and employee retention.

Such a plan needs to be scalable and flexible. As simple as contract drop-in child care for recalled shifts' kids. As complicated as grabbing a big block of rooms at a hotel outside the disaster area and providing transportation for the families.

Grumpy Dispatcher said, "This can take a wide range of approaches, but what it boils down to is that your agency will have one or more assigned personnel, as many as it takes depending on the size of your agency, whose only responsibility in time of major catastrophe is locating and accounting for designated family members, and ensuring that they are protected, sheltered, fed and clothed."

Making sure your families are cared for goes a long way towards caring for the rest of the community.
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And, if you want to have your heartstrings tugged, read .
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http://grumpydispatcher.blogspot.com/2011/03/your-agency-disaster-family-care-sop.html?m=1