TAP Train Associates Pacific

TAP (Training Associates Pacific, LLC) is a human resource development organization registered in the U.S. in Washington State. TAP associates form a global network of professionals who advise on, design, and facilitate state-of-the-art participatory live- and on-line learning events, customized courses, and training materials in the United States, Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Europe.

Human Resource Development

CDPEP

Community Disaster Public Education and Preparedness Program

It has been proven time and time again.  Communities well prepared for natural, or man-made disasters (e.g. toxic waste or petroleum spills) can dramatically reduce the loss of life and the damage and destruction that can result from a disaster.  How well do we in North Mason County understand the potential impact of climate change?  What efforts are we making to reduce the potential impact of natural or man-made disasters?  How well prepared are we to respond if a disaster does occur? Are communication systems, transportation routes, emergency shelters adequate?  At the family and community level do we know what to do in an emergency?  Do we know where to go if our homes are damaged or destroyed or threatened by a wild fire?

 

 As part of moving toward the achievement of its current strategic plan, Mason County Fire District #2 is supporting CDPEP, which is a comprehensive effort to: 1) raise public awareness; 2) provide opportunities for emergency and environmental management education for all members of the community, and 3) develop our collective capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.  It has several components. 

 A common definition of disaster is... "...the combination of a hazard and a vulnerable population".  However, environmental awareness has grown and the definition is often modified the natural environment which is also vulnerable and can sustain significant long-term damage.   With this modified definition, one can understand that the slow, but continuous degradation of Puget Sound is a disaster.  Salmon runs are declining.  Oyster beds are disappearing.  The lack of oxygen in the water threatens plants and the micro organisms that are foundation of the natural food chain.

The potential around the planet and here in Mason County for more and more serious natural disasters has been complicated by climate change.  Hurricane Katrina in the USA and Cyclone Nargis in Burma are commonly linked to this phenomenon.  Thus far, the impacts of climate change in the Northwest are not easily recognizable.  Perhaps, the potential for sea level rise, changes in ocean currents and weather patterns will by-pass Mason County.  Perhaps, not.  We live in one of the most beautiful natural environments on the planet.  Forests grow and are harvested for timber and other wood products.  New growth replaces what has been harvested.  However, the recent catastrophic wild fires in Australia may stimulate us to stop and think.  What would happen to our beautiful corner of the world if we experienced an extended drought?  While any of us who has spent a lifetime in the frequent rain of the Northwest may find it impossible to imagine a year or more without rain, shifting weather patterns may create such a scenario.

 

In addition to the potential for a rise in the sea level and/or an extended period of drought, the inexorable movement of the earth's tectonic plates can result in minor or major earthquakes at any time.

 

And, who can ignore the incredible local, national and international media coverage of the recent flu pandemic.  What happens if it comes here?  Can we be better informed?  Better prepared?

 

Grant Funds

Efforts will be made to obtain grant funding for elements of the program.  Suggestions of potential sources and persons to contact will be appreciated.

 

Research

There are research elements that create opportunities for students at all educational levels to work with professionals from state and local agencies and educational institutions on sea level rise, flooding, severe drought scenarios, local earthquake fault lines (locations and potential to disrupt life as we know it) potential local hazards (landslide areas, the gas pipeline, and railroad and truck traffic passing through on our roads carrying toxic waste or chemicals from manufacturing.  Students will have the opportunity or present their research results in one of several thematic disaster education workshops.  

 

 

Assessment

This element will involve the assessment of organizational and community readiness for disaster.  The assessment will include:

 

Communication facilities and systems - electronic, cell phones, land lines, emergency and HAM radio communications and will seek to learn the current operational effectiveness of these systems.  Linked to communication systems are information management capabilities.

 

Capacity and vulnerability assessment - are there residential, institutional or commercial facilities that are vulnerable to floods, wildfire (forest fires) or earthquakes.  What is the existing emergency response capacity of local communities and organizations?

 

Resource Assessment -- Are inventories of emergency supplies available (shelter, foods, medicines, supplementary food)?   Is there a human resource data base (those with disaster experience,, local volunteers, etc.)?  Are relief workers trained?  Is necessary "clearance" equipment available?

 

Thematic Workshops

Workshops on a range of emergency management themes will be conducted over a period of three months in different venues.  These may include the following:

 

 

First Aid and CPR

Climate Change -- Sea Level Rise in North Mason County

Climate Change - Drought and Forest Fires

Community Disaster Preparedness Assessment

Interagency / Community Coordination

Emergency Operations Center

Disaster Response in a Box

Emergency Information Management

Family Emergency Preparedness

Climate Change for Kids

Emergency Evacuation

Emergency Shelter Management

Emergency Management - The First 10 minutes

And More

 

 

Community Preparedness Drill / Rehearsal and Lessons Learned Workshop

The series of workshops would lead up to a community wide rehearsal in May, 2010.  Among the things that could be included in the rehearsal are:

 

 

Emergency Communications

Information Management

Emergency Evacuation

Emergency Shelter

Search and Rescue Demo

Managing a toxic waste spill

Emergency Operations Center

Disaster Response in a Box

First Aid and CPR

Coordination

Automobile accident with "Jaws of Life" extraction.

Lessons Learned and Beyond-- One week after the community wide rehearsal, a Lessons Learned Workshop will be held to reflect on what we did well and what we need to improve for the future.  It is hoped that the DPEP Program will be continued and updated every two ye
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TAP (Training Associates Pacific, LLC) is a human resource development organization registered in the U.S. in Washington State. TAP associates form a global network of professionals who advise on, design, and facilitate state-of-the-art participatory live- and on-line learning events, customized courses, and training materials in the United States, Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Europe.