August 23, 2011

Earthquakes and Hurricanes...oh my!

I just had a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime experience...and it didn't include any Pixie Dust. I was on the 33rd floor of a high rise (and high terror threat) building in midtown Manhattan when we felt the 5.8 earthquake from Virginia

The floor literally did the wave - potted plants almost fell over!  Panic ensued pretty quickly in my office and I got the H - E double hockey sticks out of there as quick as I could.

Anyway, returning to work after that was optional, and since I'm rarely (*ahem... never) willing to die for a corporate cube job, I went home.  Now I am happily home, in my safe low-rise prewar Manhattan apartment, sipping wine and writin' mah blog with ze kitties.

On my walk to my apartment, I decided this would be an appropriate time to comment on the natural disasters hitting the East Coast - Hurricane Irene and Earthquake 2011.
Hurricane Irene hammering Puerto Rico
Obviously we couldn't see the earthquake coming in order to prepare for it, but Florida and Disney often have many days to brace for a major hurricane (according to the most recent updates it looks that Irene will bypass Florida to the East but hit S Carolina).

So how does Disney World prepare for and protect itself against major hurricanes? Thank you to Themeparkinsider:

Phase 5 (Monitoring Storm Possible)
Review current plan, checklists and business recovery plans. Review personnel and resource availability for the ride-out crew. Verify contact numbers and emergency data. Prepare WDW Emergency Operations Center for activation.

Phase 4 (Storm likely within 24–36 hrs)
General readiness imposed. Brief personnel. Review checklists. Consider possible shut down of long lead operations and not starting extended operations. Limited activation and staffing of WDW Emergency Operations Center.

Phase 3 (Storm probable within 12–24 hrs)
Intensify clean up and tie down. Prepare for phase 2 activity. Selected ride-out crew personnel given the opportunity to secure their personal property. Turn in excess radios and vehicles. WDW Emergency Operations Center opens and is fully staffed. Note: Generally this is when the WDW Emergency Operations Center, command centers, and command posts will be fully activated. However, this is an Executive Policy Team decision.

Phase 2 (Storm impending)
Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney MGM Studios, Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney close. Guest campground trailers removed and secured by the guests. Scheduled hotel and campground guests notified of conditions. Complete all clean up and tie down short of shutdown. Authorized ride-out families move to pre-designated shelters. Ride-out crew fully staffed at start of phase 1 or as directed by the WDW Emergency Operations Center. Personnel not in ride-out crew released as soon as possible.

Phase 1 (Storm imminent, take shelter)
Shutdown all activities and immediately take shelter. Fulfill ride-out requirement plans.

Post Storm Phase
Command Centers submit situation reports to WDW Emergency Operations Center. Establish business resumption / recovery schedule. Notify employees through media and cast Member emergency lines of call back as directed by WDW Emergency Operations Center.

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