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
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!
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.
Is it statistically feasible to calculate the level of resources needed to address a catastrophic flooding incident? Well, that’s the million dollar question; at Praetorian Disaster Supply our sole purpose is to prepare, and respond to the threat of a flood against life, or damage to homes or business. We resolve to get you as close to readiness as possible.
The most important aspects of your focus is to establish a cost benefit analysis; Simply stated, determine the point costs of preparedness begin to outweigh the probable costs of the response; does it cost you more to prepare for an incident or respond to the consequences on taking no action, the answer is almost never the latter.
The term “catastrophic flooding” is generally used to describe the occurrence of exceptional or rare high magnitude floods, unfortunately “rare” is becoming common.
According to the U.S. National Weather Service a generalrule-of-thumb for flood forecasting in urban areas is that it takes at least 1 inch (25 mm) of rainfall in an hour's time to start significantponding of water. The weather service routinely issues Flash Flood Guidance and Headwater Guidance, which indicate the general amount of rainfall that would need to fall in a short period of time in order to causeflash flooding or flooding.
The Private sector shouldn’t wait for government intervention, they should be proactive and provide a framework to address the potentiality or probability of a threat of a devastating flooding incident. The private sector should establish a plan and implement effective measures to protect their business and employees during times of emergencies. In your plan you should determine the resources needed to defend against a flooding incident, an also determine the projected benefit received.
In a recent real world example a local firm had fallen victim to numerous catastrophic flooding incident over the last 30 years; during Hurricane lke they suffered 5 feet of water in their main office management building, the damage cost them months downtime, hundreds of thousands of dollars in repair bills, and lost revenue; their comprehensive lost can easily be calculated in the millions. Although this was catastrophic damage and couldn’t be totally avoided, much of it could have been mitigated and their downtime greatly diminished, they lacked a plan and resources to implement their plan.
Praetorian Disaster Supply provides aqueous solutions to address the effects of flooding on critical infrastructure; we offer a variety of measures that mitigate damage, expedite recovery, and strengthen resiliency.
We are confident that we can protect your facility and sustain your continuity of operations in the event of serious flooding. With the proper resources on-hand, and planning, the effects of flooding can be greatly mitigated and an orderly response achieved. Your operation will withstand a flooding event and rapidly recover.
Establish a Plan
Hold resources and equipment in readiness
Decide at what point your plan will be implemented
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.