Disaster Kit Preparation Info from CEMA

With the country on high alert, the Chatham Emergency management agency is ready to be called into action at a moment's notice. CEMA deputy director Clayton Scott says the most important thing you can do is be prepared.

"The biggest thing or most important thing that the average citizen should do is have a disaster kit," he said. "A disaster is a diaster. A tornado or hurricane or a terrorist incident. You should have specific supplies and there's lots of lists available."

For more information on how to prepare your disaster kit, refer to the information from CEMA below, or visit its website.

Reported by: Ron Wallace, rwallace@wtoc.com

Elevated Homeland Security Level

Tuesday – March 18, 2003

On Monday evening, March 17, 2003, preceding the national television address by President George W. Bush, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge raised the National Alert Status from Yellow (Significant Risk of Terrorist Attacks) to Orange (High Risk of Terrorist Attacks).  This elevation signals additional security precautions should be implemented as America and allied armed forces prepare for possible war.

Due to this measure, Georgia’s Homeland Security Director, William “Bill” Hitchens, has raised Georgia’s Alert Status from Yellow to Orange.

The Orange threat level suggests individuals and families should take the precautions indicated below.

1.      Develop and Review a Family Disaster Plan

2.      Ensure communication plan is understood/practiced by all family members

3.      Check telephone numbers and e-mail addresses in your family emergency communication plan and update as necessary

4.      Establish an alternate meeting place away from home with family/friends

5.      Ensure disaster supplies kit is stocked and ready

6.      Be alert to suspicious activity and report it to proper authorities

7.      Exercise caution when traveling

8.      Have shelter in place materials on hand and understand procedure

9.      Discuss children’s fears concerning possible terrorist attacks

10.  If a need is announced, donate blood at designated blood collection center

11.  If not known to you, contact school to determine their emergency notification and evacuation plans for children

12.  Develop alternate routes to/from school/work and practice them

Where applicable, businesses and industries are encouraged to apply the following protective measures. Although no specific threats have been received on any establishments in our area, businesses are advised to remain vigilant in their security measures,


1.      Establish contingency plans & shutdown procedures.

2.      Develop, refine & exercise preplanned actions, disaster plans & supplies.

3.      Identify supplemental police, fire & EMS needs.

4.      Review & update emergency procedures.

5.      Increase community awareness.

6.      Increase surveillance of potential targets to improve deterrence & increase staff & public confidence.

7.      Increase round-the-clock inspections

8.      Monitor local media, CEMA Alert & All-Hazards Radios.


1.      Train personnel on THREATCON system & protective measures.

2.      Assess & correct personnel, equipment & facility vulnerabilities.

3.      Brief staff & Dept heads.

4.      Establish communications liaison with local police for anti-terrorism measures.

5.      Advise security committee actions taken.

6.      Instruct drivers to inspect vehicles before entering & lock upon leaving.



1.      Ensure Emergency Communications Plan is in place to advise employees of THREATCONS.

2.      Test communications equipment.

3.      Establish alternate communications systems.

4.      Test emergency notification systems & procedures.

5.      Communications check with local emergency response providers and CEMA.

6.      Communications staff standby.

7.      Minimize phone use to keep essential lines open.


1.      Verify recall roster & telephone numbers.

2.      Plan for retirees to augment security & critical staff.

3.      Ensure staff is aware of emergency notification procedures.

4.      Key personnel on-call.

5.      Verify availability of retirees on recall.

6.      Partial activation of retiree recall staff.

7.      Activate retiree recall security staff.

8.      24-hour surveillance of area.


1.      Verify Emergency Notification Information.

2.      Restrict release of personnel data.

3.      Review and implement security measures for high-risk personnel.

4.      Workforce ID cards & random ID checks.

5.      Added security measures for high-risk personnel.

6.      Alternate or stagger work hours if appropriate.

7.      Consider telecommute.

8.      100% ID Checks



1.      Sign in & out.

2.      Control public access to sensitive areas.

3.      Install duress alarms at entrance checkpoints.

4.      Host visitor recognition.

5.      Badge & escort visitors.

6.      Increase security screening of personnel & vehicles; increase visitor controls.

7.      Limited entry & inspect all visitors & their briefcases, parcels, etc.

8.      Essential visitors only


1.      Initiate routine security patrols.

2.      Establish alternate power system.

3.      Train & equip emergency repair crews.

4.      Stock critical spare parts.

5.      Secure rooms, buildings & areas not in use.

6.      Test means of warning communications (intercom).

7.      Enforce key control.

8.      Increase physical security checks.

9.      Close all but essential access portals.

10.  Reinforce supplemental security assets.

11.  Coordinate with Police about adjacent roads & facilities that may be vulnerable or unsecured.

12.  Block avenues of approach to critical facilities.

13.  Maximum posting of security assets.


1.      Initiate routine security patrols.

2.      Secure maintenance closets, phone & utility panel access doors.

3.      Designate interior safe-room.

4.      Review ability to isolate & secure all areas of the facility.

5.      Limit personnel & vehicle access points.

6.      Check lighting.

7.      Night surveys.

8.      Frequent inspection before & during workday of building interiors & exteriors for suspicious packages.

9.      Frequent night lighting checks.

10.  Recall essential staff.

11.  Close all non-essential activities & facilities.

12.  Increase random security patrols.


1.      Designate emergency off-site reporting location.

2.      Review security of vehicle parking.

3.      Advise staff to watch for unattended parcels, unidentified vehicles, etc.

4.      Random building & vehicle checks.

5.      Move vehicles & objects such as trash containers >25+ meters from buildings.

6.      Restrict all but essential vehicles.

7.      100% Vehicle checks & inspections.

8.      Centralized vehicle parking.


1.      Establish & maintain mutual aid agreements as appropriate.

2.      Designate staff to monitor & inspect all deliveries.

3.      Thorough inspection of all mail & deliveries for suspicious packages or goods.

4.      100% Inspection. 

Remain alert to suspicious activity and report it to proper authorities:

Crime Stoppers 234-2020
Chatham County Police Department 652-6500
Savannah Police Department  232-4141
Chatham Emergency Management Agency  201-4500

This is an Information Release only and should not be confused with a Situation Report.

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