• #Harvey #Irma #Maria #Mexico #Where next?

    You need to plan and prepare! For years, I, Pamela Isom, CEO

    #Harvey #Irma #Maria #Mexico #Where next?

    You need to plan and prepare!

    For years, I, Pamela Isom, CEO of ICE Safety Solutions have provided corporations around the globe with disaster preparedness plans, training and equipment. I drafted Emergency Action Plans, Storm Contingency Plans, Active Shooter Plans, Earthquake Preparedness Plans and provided corresponding training, kits and equipment for all the above. I was feeling pretty good about myself and the services my firm delivers. UNTIL…the rash of natural disasters! I had to sit by, glued to television coverage, feeling utterly helpless for my friends who were forced to shelter in place, evacuate or were rushed into a Red Cross shelter.

    Due to Hurricanes #Harvey, #Irma, #Maria and #Mexico, many of my minority and women business enterprise and corporate member friends have reached out asking, “What should I do before the next disaster?” My response:


    Disaster Readiness

    Plan—Design a Family Emergency Communication Plan for family to communicate and coordinate with your spouse, children, babysitters, preschools and friends. Here’s a sample plan you can use.


    Prepare—The biggest challenge is calculating how much food and water you will need for yourself, family and pets. Please use our Food & Water Calculator to help identify how much you may need.

    Food and Water Calculator


    No procrastinating. Personally Plan and Prepare!

  • Are you okay? Where are you?!

    “I heard a ____________Struck the Area!” Can you

    Are you okay? Where are you?!

    “I heard a ____________Struck the Area!”

    Can you remember where you were during the last man-made or natural disasters? SuperStorm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, Northridge earthquake, Boston Marathon bombing, Oakland warehouse fire, San Francisco Loma Prieta earthquake, NY subway train accident? Despite the nature of emergency or where it is occurring, you will find people are in the worst moment of their lives. They are isolated, they do not know where their families are and their families do not know if their friend or loved one is safe, injured or alive. Ask anyone who has lived through a significant disaster and what that experience was like and without a doubt one of the things people will recall is how difficult it was to communicate with family and friends. Today, let’s empower ourselves, friends and family with the ability to connect with each other to confirm we are each safe and sound following the disaster or emergency. That way we can each have a little bit of solace on the worst day of our lives.

    One of the most critical moments following a disaster/emergency is accounting for family members. How would you determine if your loved ones are safe and out of harm’s way? Unfortunately, the area may have lost power; Local Area Network (LAN) lines may be over crowded which impede local calls from being completed. A more effective approach is to identify a point of contact 100 to 300 miles AWAY from the affected disaster zone. Have each of your loved ones call your out-of-area contact to report their location, condition, time and whether they are safe or not. Because LAN lines may be disabled, another effective approach is to utilize text messaging.

    Social media is another effective tool for family and friends to communicate if they are safe and accounted for. This is critical if phones lines, roads, bridges or transit systems are down.

    Safety Check

    Connect with friends and loved ones during a crisis.

    Facebook Safety Check, originally named Disaster Message Board, was developed by Facebook engineers to leverage people’s use of social media to connect with family and friends following a disaster. After its deployment following the April 2015 Nepal earthquake and November 2015 Paris attacks, Facebook refined the activation of Safety Check to be based on a combination of many people posting about a particular crisis, plus an alert from Facebook’s third-party sources. Users would also be able to share and spread the word about the Safety Check once it was activated. Upon release of Safety Check, Richard Lawler praised the tool in Engadget, “It can take some pressure off overloaded infrastructure with everyone trying to call affected areas after a disaster has struck.”

    Safety Check-How it works

    If you have the peace of mind your family has checked in to the Out of Area contact or via Facebook Safety Check, everyone will be more comfortable after the disaster.

    While no one has control over when or where the next disaster will strike, there is some control over what can be done to prepare. Check out these additional safety tips and please, take a moment to do one more step and share with your networks. Use Twitter, Facebook, email or a good old-fashioned phone call to help spread the word and help friends, family and associates get ready before the next disaster strikes.

    How It Works

    If you’re in the affected area, you can tell your friends you’re safe and check to see if they’re safe, too.

    People Activate Safety Check

    If enough people in the affected area post about an incident, Safety Check is activated.

    Go to Safety Check

    You’ll get prompted to go to Safety Check to let your friends know you’re safe.

    Tell Friends You’re Safe

    You can see which friends have marked themselves safe, invite more friends to Safety Check and find or give help.


    Following the disaster, your mobile phone loses power


    Know how to change your mobile phone voicemail


    “You have reached Pam’s mobile phone which no longer has battery power. There has been an earthquake. The time is 8:15am. I will remain at work, we have food, water and emergency supplies to sustain us for 72 hours.”


    If your phone will lose power, and you do not have a backup battery, changing your voicemail alerts family and friends of the time, your condition and location


    Calls to family will not go through


    Utilize text messaging


    Group text message family in the affected area


    Text messaging utilizes a data line and not a LAN line, which increases the likelihood text messaging will go through successfully


    Your mobile phone is out of power and you must use a friend’s phone to connect with your family


    Memorize 3 to 4 family member’s phone and email contacts


    Memorize spouse, significant other, siblings and/or children mobile numbers


    If you memorized critical family members contact information you will be able to communicate with them, even with a friend’s phone


    Phone/laptop no longer has power


    Store backup power and even car charges for each of your electronic devices


    Backup power sources for laptops and cell phones are readily available at most electronic stores


    Communication for business and personal preparedness is critical post disaster

  • Diversity Professionals Safety Series

    “Who is Your In Case of  Emergency?” Imagine you are tr

    Diversity Professionals Safety Series

    “Who is Your In Case of  Emergency?”

    Imagine you are traveling, meeting a customer, grocery shopping, flying on an airplane, attending a conference, dining with friends or at any public place and you collapse.  Those around you call 911, then you are transferred to the nearest emergency room where first responders, nurses and doctors fight to save your life.

    The lead nurse uses your driver’s license to identify you and calls your home phone, but you no longer have a landline.  Instead, the phone rings to your mobile phone on the hospital gurney!  Who can the hospital’s staff call next?

    With the advent of smartphones and effective technology, many of us have made the budget-conscious decision to disconnect our Local Area Network (LAN) phones at home.  In addition, with cyber security and privacy concerns, we all each keep our phones locked.  This can handicap emergency personnel from contacting your immediate family.

    In Case of Emergency (ICE)

    ICE is a program that enables first responders, such paramedics, firefighters and police officers, as well as hospital personnel, to contact the next level of the owner of a working mobile phone to obtain Important medical or support information.  The phone entry or entries are intended to supplement or complement written information in a wallet or on a marked bracelet or necklace.

    The program was conceived in 2004 by Bob Brotchie, a British paramedic, and subsequently, was promoted by Brotchie from May 2005.  It encourages people to enter emergency contacts in their mobile phone address book under the name “ICE,” or multiple contacts as “ICE1.”

    “ICE2,” etc.

    Research carried out by Vodafone showed fewer than 25 percent of people carry any details of who they would like telephoned after a serious accident, which initiated a campaign encouraging people to enter an In Case of Emergency contact in their mobile phones.  The idea has taken off since the July 2005 London Bombings.

    Locked Phones

    For security purposes, many mobile phone owners lock their mobiles, requiring a passcode to gain access.  This hinders the ability of first responders to access the ICE phone list entry.

    In response, many device manufacturers provided a mechanism to allow some text to be displayed on the locked screen, such as an ICE contact.  For example, iPhones permit ICE information to be displayed on the “locked” screen under ‘Emergency.’

    Some mobile phones require installing an application so ICE and emergency information can be displayed on the “locked” screen.  For instance, the Health Application for Apple iOS devices allows users to create an “emergency card,” which shows an emergency contact and selected medical information (such as medications taken and allergies) and is accessible from the locked screen.


    • Open the Health Application on your Apple IOS.
    • Create Medical ID.
    • Add Emergency Contact.
    • Enter Relationship to you.
    • Enter DONE.

    To confirm entry, go to your Locked Screen.  Click Emergency.  Click Medical ID and you will see the ICE contact you entered.


    Open the Contacts application on your Android phone.

    • Be sure the Contact you will select is ‘starred’ as a Favorite.
    • Select GROUPS.
    • Add ICE Emergency Contact.
    • Enter Relationship to you.
    • Enter DONE

    From the LOCKED Screen, Emergency Responders will click ‘EMERGENCY’ to call your ICE contact.

    Congratulations! You have successfully activated your ICE contact in your phone to help professional emergency responders connect with your family. Please share this information with your friends, family and loved ones, particularly teenagers who carry a cellphone and no form of identification.


  • Homeland Security program prepares for active shooters (Business Travelers Beware)

    Traveling to business conferences and meetings for work is a

    Homeland Security program prepares for active shooters (Business Travelers Beware)

    Traveling to business conferences and meetings for work is a way of life for many. But what would you do if a shooter walked into the convention center, conference room, hotel or restaurant where you’re conducting business? When sat down to the next conference session, did you take time to note the green or red illuminated exit signs and mentally prepare an exit route?

    Through training programs and public awareness campaigns, law enforcement experts are encouraging people to prepare to act if the unthinkable happens. Following are the basics of the Active Shooter Preparedness Program created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Emphasizing a “Run, Hide, Fight” strategy, the program offers advice from active-shooter survival trainers, law enforcement officers and a Special Forces veteran.


    The first — and best — option is to get out if you can. People have been shot while they froze in place a few steps from an exit door, according to Scott Zimmerman, president and CEO, K17 Security. Encourage others to leave with you, but don’t let their indecision keep you from going.

    Choose a route carefully – Do not run around randomly or blindly follow a crowd. Pause to look at the illuminated exit signs before you enter choke points, such as stairwells and lobbies. Make sure you can move through quickly and not get stuck out in the open.

    Think unconventionally – Doors are not the only exits. Open a window; if you have to break it, aim for a corner. See if the drop ceiling conceals a stable hiding place or a way to enter another room. You may even be able to punch through thin drywall between rooms.

    Look down – If you’re trapped on the second floor, consider dropping from a window, feet first ideally, onto a soft landing area. If you’re on a floor higher than the second floor, the drop itself could be fatal.


    If you can’t immediately leave a building or room, you’ll want to buy time to plan another way out, for the police to arrive or to prepare in case the shooter forces his way in.

    Keep quiet – Avoid attracting a shooter’s attention. Remember that edges of stairs are less likely to creak than the center. Stay low and duck when you pass windows both inside and outside the building.

    Lock doors – Don’t just lock them, barricade them with desks, chairs, bookcases — anything big and heavy. Wedge objects under them at the farthest points from the hinges. Prop, wedge or wrap laptop cords or objects around door handles to keep them from turning all the way. Tie hinges and knobs with belts or purse straps. A shooter does not want to work hard to enter a room.

    Lights out – Turn off lights, dim and mute your cell phone. Be sure someone has alerted 911 with as many details as possible on your location and anything you know about the shooter’s whereabouts. Cover windows if you have time; if not, make sure you can’t be seen through the glass.

    Choose a hiding place – If you know you will hide and stay hidden, don’t count on particle-board furniture to stop bullets. Get behind something made of thick wood or metal or stack several layers of thinner material. Make yourself a small target by either curling into a ball or lying flat on the ground to protect your vital arteries.

    Make a plan – The plan does not have to be complicated. Don’t just get under a desk and wait. Plan how you will get out or what you and any others will do if the shooter gets into the room.


    This is the last resort and a dangerous option to be used only if your life is at risk and you are trapped with a gunman. Different situations call for different strategies, but all of these turn the element of surprise against the shooter.

    Create chaos – Throw books, coffee mugs — anything you can grab. Keep moving. A moving target is much harder to hit than a stationary one. Greg Crane, founder of the ALICE Training Institute, which has worked with nearly 3,000 schools, said that even children can be taught to move, make noise and distract, so they can buy time to get away.

    Swarm – Some experts teach a Secret Service-style technique where people wait beside the door and grab the shooter as he enters. At least one person goes for the arm that holds the gun, one wraps his legs and others push him down. Using their body weight, a group of smaller people can bring a large man to the ground and hold him there.

    Move the weapon away – Once the gun is separated from the shooter, cover it with something, such as a coat or a trash can. Do not hold the weapon because if police storm in, they may think you are the shooter.

    Attack – This is the absolute last among last resort options. The ALICE program doesn’t even suggest this for adults, and none recommend it for children. But if you try to fight, choose a weapon and aim for vital areas, such as the head, eyes, throat and mid-section. Don’t quit.