How Hurricane Katrina Inspired A Revolutionary New Disaster Shelter
Praetorian prides itself on recognizing revolutionary and innovative new technology in the field of disaster response, and so it is the case with the "Exo Shelter" Kudos to the designer Michael McDaniel for his perseverance in designing a quick deployment shelter.
The crisis that followed Hurricane Katrina eight years ago inspired Michael McDaniel to create EXO. The innovative emergency housing system offers a surprisingly simple alternative to house the over 32 million people who are displaced from natural disasters every year.
From the Praetor’s Office-The psychology of a flood victim:
Living in denial is not a rational strategy, and those that do, usually suffer damage and loss the most; over the last six months we at Praetorian Disaster Supply have noticed a disturbing pattern of behavior from many of the potential victims of flooding that contact us, most are at imminent risk of flooding. One caller contacted us on Labor Day weekend, 2015, during record setting flooding in the Houston Metropolitan area. The caller from LaPorte, Texas advised that his business had been flooded at least 5 previous times and although he was not flooding at the moment he anticipated it would occur over the next 24 hours. The caller went on to state that he lost 100K in inventory, and loss of business, due to the last flood. The caller then described his flooding problem and I advised that we are confident that Praetorian could solve his problem with ease, the caller appeared satisfied with our suggestions and strategies.
Here is where the conversation takes a peculiar turn, after the caller stated he anticipated flooding to occur in a matter of hours he advised that he would “wait and see” an odd position, because as he stated, his business was predisposed to flooding and in fact flooded on 5 previous occasions. I advised the caller that once flooding has started there is little we could do to stop it, he advised he understood.
At 0440 hours I received a phone call from a frantic man stating that he was receiving approximately 10” of dynamic (rushing water) through his showroom and he needed us to fortify his business immediately. He further demanded that we arrive within the hour before it got worse. The caller was the LaPorte business owner from the previous day. I advised the caller that I could dispatch a flood analyst but it is unlikely we could help at this point. By the time we were on scene the caller had received 2 feet of stagnated water in his business, damaging his complete inventory.
This caller is in no way the exception, callers like this are the norm, so many take the “Wait and See” approach because they are either, in denial or, unwilling to assume the cost of preparation. Remember $1.00 spent on preparation, offsets $9.00 spent on recovery, furthermore of the 75 Billion dollars spent annually on flood damage, only 20% is covered by insurance. We can’t stress enough the importance of forward preparation, we fundamentally believe this to the extent that it is our core axiom “The only defense we have against flooding is preparation”
Don’t be like the above caller, take a forward attitude of preparation and planning, it may ultimately save your life, property and give you peace of mind.
Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters.
People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded. A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters
Praetorian AB-300 Domestic leak and drip sacks are an essential part of any Home, Business, Hotel/ Motel, or Multi-Family developments, plumbing defense. They are designed to absorb and contain domestic plumbing mishaps that can cost thousands if left unattended. The AB-300 absorbs 20 Lbs. of contaminated liquids from toilets, sinks, faucets, dishwashers, washing machines, hot water heaters, leaky roofs or, ice damming.
Each sack contains a super absorbent polymer that swells on contact with sewage water
The sacks are light weight and easy to stow
They are easily deployable, just drop in overflowing toilet or around leak and they activate
Absorbs approximately 30 lbs. of contaminated water
Long Shelf life
If you manage a Hotel, Motel, or Apartment Complex the AB-300 is a must have!
If you have ever had to clean up after Grandpa's business that overflowed to the downstairs kitchen, then this product is for you.
If you have ever had a third story tenant's kid overflow the tub, and cause flooding on the second, and first floors, the AB300 should be in your arsenal of flood and leak defense.
A hurricane is imminent and your doors and windows are exposed to wind driven debris and torrential rains? We have a quick and easy solution,.... Hurricane Clips.
They require no tools for installation nor do they need nails, adhesives, screws or drilling to install. You simple slide the clip onto your pre-cut 1/2" plywood and push into place (for recessed brick, wood, or stucco, window and door frames.
Don't be misled by imitations, Praetorian's Stainless Steel Hurricane clips don't rust and are made of the highest grade 440 Stainless Steel; Hurricane season starts June, 1, 2015, no time like the present to get prepared!
Subtropical Storm Ana has formed off the southern Atlantic coast of the United States, making it the first named tropical system of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Friday night that Ana had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph) and was centered about 140 miles (225 kilometers) southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The storm, which had been stationary over the past few hours was moving north at 2 mph (4 kph). Tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued for parts of both Carolinas, and the Hurricane Center also warns of rough surf and rip currents.
Ana is expected to deliver 2 to 4 inches of rain over the weekend, with some areas getting up to 6 inches.
According to OSHA, slip, trip and fall injuries account for the highest rate of injuries in the work place. They are also the second leading cause of work-related accidental deaths behind auto accidents, with figures reaching 15%. Common injuries due to slip, trip and falls may include: sprains, broken bones, head and back injuries, as well as lacerations.
Company Losses Related to Slips, Trips and Falls:
The costs related to slip and fall accidents can add up quickly and drastically cut into your company’s bottom line. In 2006, the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index reported the average cost of a slip and fall to be $22,800 per incident, with workers comp claims averaging $19,000.
The out-of-pocket expenditures effect multiple areas of the company. Some of the most common outlays your company may be responsible for:
• Court costs • Compensation for punitive damages • Possible repair costs to equipment damaged during injury • Loss of work and downtime on behalf of injured employee • Higher insurance premiums • Worker’s comp claims • Loss of life
Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention:
Keeping your employees safe is crucial to your company’s success and growth. With better response you will see your employees are able to avoid more slip, trip and fall injuries.
Two responses that can greatly mitigate the possibility of slip, trip, and falls are: (1) A1 PowerSorb, which is an excellent multi-purpose sorbent powder that absorbs a myriad of hazardous compounds; its greatest benefit is that it’s a universal sorbent, able to absorb many different compounds; also (2) Super Absorbent Flood Barriers, pillows filled with a super-absorbent polymer that can absorb 500 x’s their weight in liquid. These two solutions combined can greatly mitigate the potentiality of slip, trip and fall accidents.
During this post-9/11 and Hurricane Katrina era, there has been more emphasis placed on government/FEMA preparedness, but the vast majority of Americans have not grabbed onto the need to be prepared at home and at work for potential disasters. One of the harshest lessons learned from recent disasters, especially Katrina, is that you are your own first responder.
We need to prepare ourselves, our families and our homes. In many cases, family and personal preparations can be fairly simple. All it takes is a shift in our thinking. Here’s an easy three-step jumpstart:
Step 1: Have a plan to evacuate;
Step 2: Have an emergency evacuation kit and three days’ supply of food and water on hand at your home; and
Step 3: Have a weather radio or some other means of staying informed. (When Granny's birthday comes around and you’re thinking of giving her one of those silver picture frames with a photo of the kids, give her a weather radio instead).
Of course, on a national scale the task is far more complex. The recent series of disasters in the United States and around the world have demonstrated with startling clarity that we are living in a “new normal.’’ In this new normal, we need a preparedness that is ingrained and intertwined in every part of our daily lives, but is mostly common sense and based in the American spirit.
To create a Culture of Preparedness, we need to focus "left of the disaster," which means investing in preparation. We can start by personally beingRed Cross Readywww.redcross.organd making first aid and pandemic prevention and response required courses on a high school and college level.
We need to create a national preparedness plan, with a local civil defense corps. Government has to set standards for institutions like nursing homes and hospitals (they should be evacuated well before the general population). We need dual-trained teachers who can be disaster responders. We need generators in drugstores in each geographical area (if power is lost, people can still get medicine) and gas stations along all interstate highways. We need cell-phone towers that can be lowered before a storm and then raised after the storm.
Will these things be expensive at a time of economic hardship? Of course, but for every $1 spent on preparedness we can save up to $9 in response costs after a disaster.
It's time for America to wake up to this reality. Our task as Americans is to be ready. In this new normal, we have only two options: We can exist in fear and dependency, or we can do the responsible thing and live comfortably in a culture of preparedness.
I hope this Website and my ongoing efforts will help this become reality.
Knowing your level of risk ahead of time will help you make better choices when a storm comes. Visit the Houston Storm Risk Calculator at houstonstormrisk.org to find out what your level of risk is for flooding, storm surge, wind damage and power outages.
If you don't live in an evacuation area, you most likely would not have to evacuate for a storm, so make preparations early to ride out a storm in your home.
You should be prepared to evacuate or to “shelter in place” for a hurricane. Take a moment to review your emergency plan with your family, as well as make sure you have all the necessary supplies to be able to sustain yourself without electricity and running water for 5-7 days. Download a copy of the City of Houston Disaster Preparedness Guide for information on what should be in your plan and your kit.
Part of preparing is making sure that your insurance adequately covers your property. Homeowners and renters insurance doesn't normally cover damage from flooding, so make sure you have a flood insurance policy. Visit FloodSmart.gov for information on how to find the right policy for you.
During hurricane season, it's always a good idea to pay attention to developing storms. Pay attention to local television and radio weather broadcasts, as well as the National Hurricane Center website (hurricanes.gov) for up-to-date information on storms forming in the Atlantic and Gulf.
Sign up for Alert Houston emergency notifications from the City of Houston by visiting alerts.houstonoem.org. When storms threaten Houston, the City will use this system to tell you about steps you can take to prepare, and provide up-to-date information on conditions and evacuations. Emergency information is always available online at houstontx.gov/emergency.