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[arms of Caid] Caid Disaster Relief Information Center [arms of the Queen of Caid]

Disaster Preparedness

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As the new hurricane season is upon us, and it looks to be active, please remind all your areas of some important factors:

First: be vigilant and prepare - Listen to authorities and heed their warnings and advice. Prepare for departure and staying at home. Know authorities and insurance folks won't get to you quickly. You may have to be on your own for a week or more. Have food, water and basic needs to repair your home like plastic tarp and duct tape. Remember water can be stored in many things including your washing machine to use for things like flushing toilets and personal washing. Have lots of batteries on hand and working flashlights. Candles cause fires... Have enough propane for your stoves and cook outside. Have a box of emergency needs you can quickly throw in the car. Remember your pets; even place a detachable/break-away collar with identification on them. Secure all-important documents and have copies given to trusted family members. CALL your insurance immediately to get on the list if you have damage, so have numbers handy and easily secured if needed. Check online for Red Cross and FEMA for good guidelines on preparedness. Excellent resources. Send it out to your kingdoms. (Trusted means your important documents include information that can easily be used in identity fraud, so if you don't trust them, don't give them your info.)

Second: Phone Trees - Make sure you know where everyone is or is going. Contact the seneschals to see if you have a phone tree. Start one if not. Better to know where folks are and that you care where they may go upfront than to wait till later and wonder. Good activity for next populace meeting. Do you know your seneschals? Do you know your Kingdom's Disaster Coordinator? Find them and meet them.

Third: Utilize local help first - While a disaster may seem horrid to the one area, the rest of the kingdom may not have been hit. Most real help comes from local groups to help with clean-up and moving items, but ask. Folks won't know you need help unless it's asked for in your Kingdoms. Additionally, contact the local Red Cross, FEMA, Salvation Army and other disaster assistance groups who are prepared for such things. Utilize them first with financial and some basic items of need. This allows the Scadian population to help with the needs beyond what is already being serviced to the clients. Make sure people contact these organizations early on and not wait. Remember things like child care or helping to rid property of garbage and debris is also essential and needed by folks, not just items.

Fourth, Send Gift Cards - not stuff - While its easier to go thru your closets and donate, remember, if you don't want it, they don't either. Its been shown over and over again that people would rather stay in their old dirty clothes than to wear someone else's old stuff. Things come in with stains, rips and some are just dirty. They have no means to clean things usually and it's more expensive to send stuff than money. Write on the card with a Sharpie how much the card is worth so they can be distributed fairly.

Lastly: organize - Blood Drives and work crews will be very much needed by everyone... Keep track of ALL donations that come thru you and where distributed, but remember Baronies cannot give funds to individual people. It can only go person to person or barony to barony for specific SCA items, i.e. new crowns, etc. No person can benefit from SCA funds directly. Take a safety course or contact the Red Cross for their Intro to Disaster course. Its free and only 4 hours of your time...

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