Note: Podcast now available at the link below. Check back. Lots covered that didn’t appear in notes…any errors/omissions in the notes are mine, not the speakers’. LOTS of info shared.

Listen to Podcast of this Session

I’m sitting waiting for the next session to start at the TASA 2009 Midwinters’ Conference. The session is entitled Hurricane Ike Disaster Planning and Recovery- A Case Study, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD.

What a joy it is to see old acquaintances, Dr. David Anthony and Harold Rowe. Dr. Anthony was my superintendent in Mt. Pleasant ISD and I still remember his fiery red hair and motivational speaking abilities.

Dr. Anthony is speaking…I’m going to get this started and let competent people do the presentation. I’m joined today by Harold Rowe (Assoc. Supe for Tech and School Services), Pam Wells (Assoc Supe for Construction and Community Partnerships), Tony Barcelona, Roy Sprague (Asst. Supe for Construction). These 4 people were integral to the response that we had for Hurricane Ike.

Dealing with an issue that had terrific magnitude, but not the same…we were 100 miles inland…involved recovery, repatriation, lost 7 instructional days and staff days. You have to respond and have a disaster recovery, and implement short-notice. A lot of folks got lulled to sleep.

800,000 people…have 100,000 kids. Communication was an issue.

One of those things that you learn the hard way, and want to share those lessons.

Hurricane Ike Stats:

  • Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 100 to 120 mph approx 80 to 100 miles inland
  • Winds extended 120 miles from eye
  • Storm surge up to 15 feet in some areas
  • Responsible for 164 deaths with 202 still missing
  • $27 billion in damages in U.S.

Damage suffered:

  • Lost an entire brick wall at the high school
  • A library was damaged.
  • Widespread damage to portable buildings
  • Recycling center
  • Tall pine trees were down
  • Minimal roof damage considering the winds we had.

Narrow focus:

  • Formalized in 2005 to addres recovery for IT Services and Central Office services
  • Used institutional wisdom from crisis planning an also integrates with the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)

Key components:
*Recovery management Team (RMT)
**Senior Administrators
**Overall responsibility for managing recovery
**Team Leader (and alternate)

Damage Assessment and Recovery Team (DART)
*Operational administrators (e.g. facilities, maintenance, operations, security, IT, etc.)
*Functional responsibility to assess and recovery

Administrative Support Team (AST)
*Operational admin
*Functional rsponsibility to provide support for all all admin matters
*Team Leader (and alternate)

Key Component-Communication
*Multiple Modes
**Telephone (in-bound and out-bound,conference calls)
*Email (district and alternate service)

*Pre-staged templates (memos, press releases, phone messages, etc.)
*Tools – laptops, broadband cards, some Nextel phones

Get some of this staged and ready to go. Consideration in getting satellite phones…[from audience feedback]

FEMA conscripted bandwidth.

Key Components – Preparation and Practice
*Pre-staged rsource kits (lighting, batteries, respirators, plastic sheeting, disposable suits, air blowers, etc.)
**Moc disaster “table-tops”
**Used only cell phones
**Plan for alternate location as command post.

Key Component – Facility Preparation
**Buses parked nose to nose
**Buses, white fleet and generators topped-off
*Center fuel storage tanks topped-off
*Emergency contact/phone tree updated

*Secured exterior equipments
*Suppley inventories taken
*First responder contact info
*emergency contact/phone tree updated
*Emergency equipment centralized
**Advance purchase of blowers, dehumidifiers
**Conversion of 17-passenger bus
*Vendor and contract services available
**Waste management-dumpsters
**Pest control
**Hazardous waste disposal

**Clearance of all roof drains
**Tie-down any outdoor stored materials
**Building materials/supplies inventory

Disaster Assessment and Recovery Process
*Scheduling of pre-hurricane landfall meetings
**Scheduling of meeting place/time after hurricane
**Meeting with District Leadership Team, including central office folks and more.

*Utilized security dept and law enforcement service to provide initial assessment of damage during and immediately after storm…a list was formulated and shared immediately when everyone got together.
*Recovery teams assembled at our security center
*setup command post for all communications, team reporting, dispatching personnel assignments
*Contacted/assembly of architects, contractors, consultants and other service providers for support.

*Scheduled conference call with all board of truestees to provide initial report
*Scheduled emergency board of trustees meeting
*Provided further detail report of damage assessment to the board
*Obtained authorizationa nd delgation to get things going…critical component and do it legall.

Board Agenda suggested wording: The board of Trustees will consider authorizing the supe or his designee to engotiate and execute any and all agreeements, contracts, and /or purchase orders necessary to remediate and/or repair damage to District property, personal property andor infrastructure caused by Hurricane Ike, and to seek on district’s behalf and and all insurance proceeds….

*After storm cleared, key personnel (principals, head custodians, etc) were required to reprot to assigned campuses and begin initial damage assessment
*Key personnel were instructed to call into command post specific damage reports at their designated facilities
*Damage inspections of all facilities and grounds were done.
*Roof consultants performed initial damage assessment of all roofing systems.

*Arhitects/engineers performed specific safety inspections to determine any structural and/or building component damages
*recovery team developed assessment report template to document safety issues and required building repairs
*designated team personnel to answer incoming calls and document reported damage
*Damage reports were inputted by clerical staff into template.

*Based on initial damage reports,Recovery Team developed critical system tiers for school openin/operations
**Tier 1 Critical Systems Evaluated
***Building and site access
***Power/low voltage systems – PA/fire alarm
***MUD Services
***Boil water issues
***Wet carpet
***Food Service
***Canopy Removal

Put all these elements on a form across the top, schools down the left.

*Tier 2 System – Systesm that would not preclude opening schools/facilities for students and staff
**Canopy replacement
**Carpet/VCT replacement
**Ceiling tile replacement
**Fencing repair/replacement
**Removal of debris/mowing of grounds
**Playground equipment issues

*Evaluated electricity and water supply issues
*Established designated recovery team member (energy manageer) to contact/coordinate with utilities
*Concerns for the safety of water supply serving campuses
*Communications with Municipal Utility Districts, Engineer and Attorneys regarding boil water notifications
*Obtain Boil Water Notification clearance before campus opening
*Worked with Center Point contact to prioritize restoration of electrical service at campus facilities
*Transportation issues evaluated by team for school opening/operations
**Availability of fuel for support personnel
**Signal light outages – daily Harris County updates
**Driver availability to support designated bus routes
**Fuel supply quantities
**Determination of route times. Covered with buses and drivers to get students to and from school.

*Evaluated Food Services issues for school opening/operations:
**Power outages affecting freezers/coolers
**Food prep
**Staff availability
**Food distribution

Lessons Learned Checklist
*Disaster Preparation
**Review of insurance policies and coverage
**Pre-assignment of staff (location and function)
**Portable generators, lighting, dehumidifiers and blowers
**Clerical admin assistance
**Employee call-in number by department (reverse-call in)
**Create template of docs for facility damage assessment

*Industry partners
**Utility companies
**Architechs, contractors, roof consultants
**Emergency remediation service providers
**Commodity vendors

*Coordination with other jurisdictions
**Local law enforcement
**Red Cross
**County government
**FEMA and Homeland Security (PODS, bus evacuation)
**School districts (bus sheltering, etc)

**Single command ost
**Communicate before and after storm
**Emergency calling system and conference capability
**”Key communicator” email list
**Cell network capacity
**Frequent communication – cell network capacity is a big concern. Use NextTel push to talk or satellite phones.

*School start-up
**Phased or complete start-up
**Alternate school sites
**Make-up days
**calendar change

*Employee compensation issues
**Board resolution – pay staff members even though they may not have worked. There is a way to do this. Make sure we can get people to work when we have an emergency…has double-time been done before? Decided to do this just for this time. That was part of the resolution.
**Hourly employees-straight-time or overtime incentive
**Para-professional staff
**Professional staff

**Self mitigation vs outside emergency disaster remediation services
**Emergency repairs by maintenance staff and/or ouside contractors
**Establish special budget codes to track expenditures
**Use of color stickers on hurricane purchase orders to distinguish from normal issues Purchase Orders.

Check out this document:

Put a plan in place and then run practice drills.

Q: Mandatory group that stays in place?
R: Disaster recovery team stays at facilities.

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