Monday, June 18, 2018

Cause For Concern in Ontario: The Depletion of a Viable and Necessary Service.

Having been away for a few weeks, I missed this article at publishing. I was handed the print copy, because right next to it was another article that holds great interest for me, President Trump and his economic chaos created at the G7. (Thats another story, another blog.)

The article comes from the Toronto Star Chief Investigative Reporter Kevin Donovan and is titled “Agency report on “toxic” workplace kept secret”. (You can read it here:

Normally I might not have paid any attention, until the words “Office of the Fire Marshall and Emergency Management” jumped out at me from the middle of of the middle column on the front page article. It seems, according to Donovan, that the merger between Emergency Management Ontario and the Office of the Fire Marshall, designed to streamline services and make Ontarians safer and better prepared has had the opposite effect.

The article sites complaints of workplace bias, harassment and the existence of a “toxic workplace and poor management” at OFMEM. The two agencies didn’t truly merge; Emergency Management Ontario was folded into the Office of the Fire Marshall making it in essence a sub-agency. It would seem from reading the article this is where the troubles begin.

The blending saw a decrease of staff, primarily on the EMO side the agency, and then came the complaints of poor management and toxic environment, though Donovan could not get specific complaints as the agency cites HR privacy concerns. Investigations have taken place according to the article, but specifics cannot be mentioned for the same HR concerns. However, there have been changes they say for the better, though Donovan has been told by “sources” not to any real significance.

There have been many changes of management at the EMO side of the agency during the last five years, since the merge. According to Donovan, Provincial Auditor Bonnie Lysyk reported that the agency has been “continually weakened” in preparedness for disaster. This is due to ever decreasing funding to the EMO component, and four changes in bosses, and decreasing staffing.

I’ll save you readers the deeper details; you can read the article yourself, posted above. The situation does give me great concern for the public’s state of readiness. If the Provincial agency responsible for preparedness, response and recovery to disaster of any type is inadequately prepared, how can we expect the people, organisations and businesses of the Province to be prepared to any extent? I don’t think we can, at least not by putting faith in government.

This should be the siren call to all Ontario; Find Your Own Resilience! Generate Your Own Preparedness! Plan Your Own Response and Recovery!

I’ll say I had some doubts when I heard of the merger five years ago. I shook my head, asked myself what are they thinking. I did think at the time, that if handled properly this could work well enough. After all, in smaller communities with tighter budgets and resources, Emergency Management if almost always under the local Fire Service’s mandate. And in those communities it seems to work very well. On a provincial level, I had and have a hard time seeing it work.

During the course of an Emergency or Disaster, the Fire Services have very specialized tasks that they must attend to first and foremost. Therefore, I believe logically, they haven't the manpower to also be overseeing the also specialized duties of an Emergency Management Agency, and those EM tasks may fall to the back burner until the crisis is over, providing and opportunity life risk situations to the populace. Further, with there seemingly some infighting among the two aspects of the agency, poor communication and poor management of a situation is really very likely.

These two agencies are critical to the safety of Ontarians. They are equal in their importance, and the budgeting and management of should reflect that. While it may have appeared to the sitting Provincial Government of the time to be a good and money saving idea, its showing it was anything but. Perhaps our new Premier will recognize this and rectify the situation. But it will take time, and it still leaves a substandard level of readiness.

There is a sound way to correct this quickly: every organisation, corporation, big business to small business and every resident of Ontario must become more responsible for their own preparedness. In short, we all need to get planning to Prevent what we can, Mitigate the effects of what we can’t prevent, ensure we have adequate Response and Recovery programs, and be ready to Test those plans and make Revisions as situations change. That is what the TEN33 Inc. RCI4Me initiative, conceived and announced in May of 2014 was and still is about. (You can read the release here:

Emergency Preparedness isn’t just a government hallmark and concern; it’s for all of us. During a state of Emergency, government agencies are going to be inundated with response requests and responsibilities, and they aren’t necessarily going to be able to jump into some for of action immediately to save one or two people. They are going to be the busiest people, and the most stressed. We will need to rely on ourselves to get through at least part of any situation.

Take a look at what risks you could face in your community. Consider them carefully and decide on those most likely to happen and with the greatest impact. Those are the things you want to make plans for, and make them fairly comprehensive. Discover the best ways to evacuate your home in a number of situations, and do the same for evacuation from your neighbourhood and community. Make plans on where to go, where to meet, where you might stay during a period of evacuation. Make communications plans; how are you going to let family and friends know you are safe, or if you are in need of assistance so they can call responders for you. Keep copies of critical documents in your home, and the originals in a safety deposit box. Have cash on hand, as there is always the possibility electronic means of payment will not be working. (See this article for personal planning information: 

Businesses are going to have to do more than just that mentioned in the paragraph above. Business has to think about staff, community, critical operations to recover and the timeframes involved plus so much more. For business and organizations I would recommend you connect with a consultant in the field. Not just for Business Continuity and recovery of data, but also for physical aspects, like Shelter in Place, Facility Evacuation, Return to Work Programming and more. There are costs involved, yes. But those cost will be cheeper than those you’ll face trying to plan, respond and recover at the time of crisis, to a factor near 10 times that of pre-planning. Those costs could mean the difference between business survival and collapse.

In the end readers, the OFMEM is a vital agency, but is in a somewhat dark space currently. Its up to us to take up the task of preparedness until things are corrected. I’d love to see the two agencies returned to individual status and with budgets better representing their importance. EMO need more recognition as a vital service, and is deserving of a larger budget, and better staffing.

Until that happens readers, learn about the RCI4Me program at the link above and join the movement. Be prepared. Knowledge is Resilience.
Thanks to Kevin Donovan of the Toronto Star for his insightful reporting.

Greg Long, President; 
TEN33 Inc. Consulting in Emergency Management 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Post Election Preparedness Plan: A Must?

That is indeed the big question: Is a Post Election Emergency/Preparedness Plan now a must? It’s origin stems from the current climate being created by both candidates in the USA Presidential elections due in just a few short days. From our view point, having such a plan now, or having the foresight to develop one in the few months following November 8th vote is a solid idea.
To begin with, there is no longer any doubt that the out-come will be contested by one or both of the candidates. Candidate Donald J. Trump has done everything but come out and confirm he will contest a loss to Secretary Hilary Clinton. And it would not be a surprise now, that if Mrs. Clinton suffers a narrow loss to Mr. Trump, she too contest the results. So a smooth transition is unlikely in our opinion. This will result in a serious lack of confidence in the USA, both as the international leader it has been seen as since the end of the Second World War, and as the financial standard to international economies. In either case, the resulting lack of confidence will no doubt have a negative effect on the world stock markets and may very well trigger a further recession, not just in North America, but across the global financial system.
If Mr. Trump should come out victorious next Tuesday, there may well be a hit to the economy even if the win goes uncontested. Great Britain has already indicated its discomfort with the thought of a Trump presidency, and has tossed up the conversation point of banning him from speaking within the UK. While such a ban never materialised at the time, it shows a clear dislike of the bombastic candidate. And the UK is not alone in this concern; there is indications that many of the European Economic Union nations feel the very same way, especially as Trump has been highly critical of the EU overall.
Trump’s threats to hit the negotiating table and renegotiate every US international trade agreement (especially NAFTA and the TTPA) has also raised warning signs among US trade partners across the globe. It is apparent that, should he become President, Trump plans to go heavy handed with US trade partners just as he has with suppliers and contractors to Trump International companies, many of whom have been left with unpaid and denied invoices and who now face their own bankruptcy. Canada in particular as the largest US trade partner will feel the effects of such action, and will no doubt head into recession if Trump honours his trade negotiation threats.
Should Hilary Clinton come out victorious on Tuesday, it seems likely Trump will contest the results. We’ve already covered that potential above. No confidence is a very serious reality, as traders of the US green back devalue the dollar. It has happened before when signs of a weak US economy and financial sector has been seen. But there is another aspect of a Clinton win that will have an impact: ongoing scrutiny by the FBI and fuelled by Trump rhetoric of Clinton’s possible transgressions with her private e-mail server.
We all know the investigation was reopened recently, when State Department e-mails between Clinton and her most trusted adviser Huma Abadine where found on a laptop computer, owned by her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner was seised during the investigation of his sexual improprieties with a 15 year old girl. Those e-mails should not have been on a computer owned by Weiner, and raises some serious questions how they migrated from Abadine’s computer to Weiner’s.
It an be expected that even if there is confirmation to Clinton’s favour of the election with her wn, that Trump, and the Republican controlled House will continue throughout her Presidency, even where results indicate no wrong doing or intent are made by investigators.
Let us for a moment however assume that there is something to the “server investigation”; the FBI finds something criminal following the election and the inauguration of Clinton. There would then be a new reason to lack confidence in the US, and a whole new reason for economic recession. There would be little doubt of an impeachment, the swearing in of the Vice President, and no doubt further investigations demanded by the Republican party as to what Senator Kane knew/knows about the servers, the cover up and so much more. Basically, it would result in four years of uncertainty, scandal and filibuster.
Regardless of which of the proceeding turmoils becoming reality, should any of these scenarios play out, it presents an opportunity for western enemies of terror to take advantage of, and therefore demean the safety and security of western peoples everywhere. The US has indeed been the leader in anti-terrorist security and information. Being tied up with scandal, non-confidence, economic woes and more could make for the perfect opportunity for radical organisations to strike not only in their homelands, but across the globe.
All of these situations make it reasonable to take special considerations and make planning a priority. Not simply Business Continuity Planning as is the norm for business and financial reasons, but also full on Emergency Planning, not just for physical threats, but for intellectual threats, closures, restructuring, community unrest (certainly we can see without being told that there will undoubtedly be social and community unrest in our cities and towns should any of the discussed scenarios play out; rich v poor, black v white, immigrant v natural born etc.).
It isn’t all views of doom and gloom however. There is a chance that Trump will come to the realisation that it would be best for his country to not contest the electoral results and to embrace the results and Clinton as President. It is also possible that nothing will come of the “Server-gate” investigations, and that the Republican House will let it die. Its possible that should this scenario play out, confidence in the USA will continue and strengthen as a result, and in that case, having specialty plans for potential disaster and emergencies may not be necessary. But it is unlikely that things will transition smoothly given the current climate and rhetoric we are hearing.
Let be honest with ourselves, yes, the additional planning is not something anyone os going to be looking at doing. Its going to take time and manpower, and that means its going to cost real money to do. But, those costs of planning need to be weighed against the potential costs of not planning; of the potential losses that could result by not being ready for those proposed negative impacts and financial and physical disaster that would result. Truly, the difference will likely be $1.00 cost for every $10,000 lost. We know another financial collapse would cost millions, where planning for the average organisation would cost closer to that $10,000.00 mark, give or take a thou. That savings could mean the difference between continuation of business or finding the doors closed.
The recommendation we are making is to err on the side of caution. Spend a few dollars now to prevent greater losses later. Don't be “Penny wise and Pound foolish.”
Even if you end up not needing the plans today, they will pay off in the long run by being viable in other scenarios that have yet to present themselves.
Greg Long President; TEN33 Inc. Consultants in Emergency Management

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Dawn of the Next Crusade: World War III, or World War Final?

It is time, I think, that we must face an awful truth; the world is on the brink of World War.

I’m not a war monger, not a defeatist, heck I’m not even a pessimist. However, the state of world affairs, with terror threats and warnings at every turn, we surely must be. And this new war is a religious one; a Jihad; a new Crusade.

Crusade does not infer this is a Christian influenced war. Crusades in the past have been started not only by Christians. It hasn’t really even been started by the West, though those who have brought it among us would say differently. There was no ideology behind the start, as near as I can tell.

This “crusade” began because an ally, a friend, asked us an our other friends to help them out when a nations greed invaded them. We said yes, along with many other friendly nations to our friend. The problem arose because of where our friend is; the Arabian region.

The interesting thing to me is that the lead nation in the region, Saudi Arabia, was one of the friends that joined in to help our other friend, Kuwait in their time of need and upon their request. Some where however, it became about theology. I think I know why.

The region is, undoubtedly Muslim. To many of the regions Muslims, it is a holy land, sacred and solely Islam. The problem wasn’t that the goal was to remove a dictator who invaded another nation; the problem was that the west, and Christianity, were the ones taking the lead in the battle.

Then we were asked to stay. And we did. And that has been viewed as another invasion. It certainly wasn’t intended as such, but it has been viewed that way. And we are still there almost two decades later. And it has come to be seen as a desecration of the land, and an affront to the predominant religion of the area, Islam.

The hatred is now so entrenched, is would take a miracle to calm. But we shall get back to that a bit later.

So, why do I call it the dawn of a new World War? Let’s face it; it is even easier now that during the last World War to bring the battle to the doorstep of our “enemy”. (I use quotations, because I don’t see them as an enemy, rather someone who has let blind hatred obscure their vision. I am well aware they see us as an enemy. Pity) International flights make it a cinch to be at the heart of the enemy’s domain in a mere few hours. But that isn’t even the real reason for the conflict going global.

This World War is theology based; it’s about beliefs, faith and practice thereof. And faith, any faith, is now international. There are no borders to faith. And there are radicals from all faiths in all nations. Some control themselves better, others go all out.
And rhetoric is easier to disseminate too. The internet, cellular phones, satellite phones if you can afford them, all make it very simple to share your views around the globe instantaneously. And that makes it very easy to influence others around the globe: to stir intolerance, hatred and present a call to action.

This new World War we are facing will have no definitive battle grounds. There will be no borders to defend, territory to recapture. I highly doubt there will songs written to commemorate glorious battles, because there will be no glorious battles (if there could even really be such a thing.) This war will be one of gorilla warfare, similar to what was faced in Korea and Vietnam, but on a global level. And the atrocities will be far greater.

This time, our foe will see no differentiation between civilian and combatant. They will see no difference between women and children and the military. They will see only the infidels, the un-pure, the un-believer, the heretic, the blasphemer. They know that to have the greatest effect, the will need to bring the war to our doorstep; our places of work, of worship, our playgrounds, our homes.

The other significant factor is this; they are us. They are Canadians, Americans, British, French, German, Australian and more. They are of all colours, shapes and sizes. They look like us and sound like us. And they blend with us naturally; until its time.

I am not suggesting we lock everything down. Nor that we lock away every Muslim we know. Those who would bring this war to our doorstep is a very, very small percentile. Talk to any Imam, and perhaps one out of one thousand would agree with the radical faction. The other 999 will out and out condemn the actions as against the teachings of Islam. And it is, from what I have been taught.

Here is the first thing I am recommending; preparedness.

This is well past the time where we need to make real plans for Emergencies for our organisations: homes, workplaces, places of worship and play. Include training for “Active Shooter” scenarios and terrorist activity, as well as natural disaster (which there isn’t enough of either, but that is another discussion). Be prepared and know what to do when some ideological bozo storms into your place looking to “cleanse”. (We strongly recommend hiding and then getting out as soon as is possible! When a way is clear.)

Don’t give up living. Once you do that, the war is lost. But be aware, be prepared and then live it up. And always be ready to ask for help. Help to plan, to learn to share, and to recover should something happen.

The second thing we need to do relates to something I got to earlier; deal with the hatred.

The hatred is generations and millennia in the making. It stems from ignorant actions of supposed “men of good conscience” from the middle-ages. Men who thought the “Holy Land” was theirs and theirs alone, in the name of their God alone. Wrong.

I’m also not a theologian. While I was raised in one particular faith, that has changed over the years. I am still a person who has faith, just not a “particular” faith. But I think there is a reason our three major religions view the same ground as Holy: God/Jehovah/Allah wants it that way. It’s HIS land. It’s special to HIM. And HE wanted this for us in common, as common ground and a place for cooperation and understanding.  It’s one of the many special places on Earth where He connects by His influence to His creations: Christian, Jew and Muslim alike, as well as all mankind.

So how about this: it’s time to get the major leaders of faith together, and have the most important “synod” of our existence. Neutral ground, as by nations, but one of those that has been touched by HIS hand; where HIS voice and will has been heard.
And then we need to really talk and really listen to each other. Establish the “Holy Land” as a place free of influence and control from any one of the faiths that see this as the root and center of their religion, but as the place where HE reached out to all of us, and as I think HE wants it.

So, TEN33 Inc followers and fans. Get off the stick, and get planning. I can’t say with 100% certainty that the next Crusade, “World War III” is on the verge of exploding, but major conflict is, and many people, innocent people guilty of nothing more than having a faith contrary to someone else, are going to die. And I know that even a little preparation for this most heinous of Emergencies/Disasters WILL save lives.

So lets get on it shall we?!

One last thing. I’m willing to moderate the suggested synod, if that meets with the Pontiff’s, Rabbi’s and Caliph’s approval. Neutral ground, and a neutral moderator.

S. Gregory Long, President
TEN33 Inc.
Disaster Preparedness Consulting

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Reflections on #Ottawa and St Jean sur Richelieu Attacks

Reflection on events, like those of yesterday morning are difficult to say the least. Anger wells up, and I find I would like to lash out at every person who was part of the decision not to keep people informed on threat level increases in the name of public peace of mind. The decision was disastrous to say the least.

That said, we are at a crossroad; where we must now decide to continue to "molly-caudal" the Canadian people with the misguidance of believing its for their own good, or becoming more forthright and honest and providing the people with information, guidance and training to deal with these events.

Personally, I am for the later. After all, I do firmly believe in one of our TEN33 Inc. mantras: Knowledge is Resilience! How can we protect ourselves if we don't know the threat is coming? How can we respond and recover if we are staggered by such overwhelming impact, and not educated in the tools and methods that are needed?

Ottawa's Downtown was shut down for the better part of the day. People were locked down in their businesses, with all their employees and no doubt, some of their customers; but there was little in the way of business being conducted. Certainly retail and food service industries were hard impacted, but so were others. And even where there is no "on-site" customer interaction, with all that was evolving outside, and the lack of information, productivity was at a low. In either case, the losses could be crippling.

Then I think, "What if things had been worse? What if, before heading for the Parliament Buildings, the shooter had decided to take a "rampage stroll' through the shoppes and businesses in the area? What if he hadn't been alone?"

This is where I get back to my continued gripe: WE DON'T SPEND ENOUGH ON PREPAREDNESS! Government has certainly cut the budgets at Public Safety Canada  federally and Emergency Management Ontario provincially where I am. Following the budget increases following 9/11, and the lack of terrorist activity in Canada, there didn't seem to be a reason to keep the spending in these two examples at the level they were at. Seems short sighted at this time doesn't it? Ah, but hind sight is after all, 20/20.

Duty to Care. Due Diligence. Duty of Care. Governments no doubt have these responsibilities to the public. No one doubts that, no denies it. But so does the corporate world. Corporations have a Duty to/of Care, and a responsibility of Due Diligence to their employees, to their customers and to their suppliers. They have a responsibility to "keep every individual within their premises, for what ever purposes, at any given time, to keep those individuals safe from injury or death by all efforts that may be deemed reasonable." (I may have paraphrased, but the intent remains constant) There is legal precedent on smaller scales than terrorist attacks, but the precedent remains.

So, what would constitute "all efforts that may be deemed reasonable"?

Well, certainly planning and training would be "deemed reasonable" When compared to settlements from "negligence" or "malice of forethought", creating various plans and providing training have costs that are pennies on the dollar. Creating the plans, holding seminars and training for say, Active Shooter Threats can be as low as one or two thousand dollars. A legal settlement for not planning could range easily in the millions. 

Sounds reasonable to plan to me. The same reasoning can be held for suppliers who loose your orders because you are temporarily closed and can't honour contractual obligations to purchase, or customers who's obligations you can't meet with supply of products or services.

Lets face it; mental trauma is one of the larger reasons employees never return to work after a major event or disaster. Staff just can't face returning to the "Scene" as it were; they find they can't leave the house for fear of one thing or another after facing such a horrifying shock as a terror attack, a fire, a collapse, a tornado, or any other in-imaginable disaster. That means a lost very valuable resource. It means months of training replacement staff. That means reduced productivity which in turn means lost revenue. And then there is still the chances of litigation settlements because "the company didn't do what was reasonable to protect or prepare the employee" for such an event.

My advice is this then; Do what is right, and what is moral, and provide plans, training, counseling, ANYTHING, that will help your employees, your customers and suppliers in the face of and after the fact of Disaster and other Emergencies. The cost is initially high, yes, but the annual maintenance cost of the plans, once in place and part of the culture, is minimal.

You might hate it in the beginning, but in the long term, you're going to love it! Believe me on this.

S. Gregory Long, President
TEN33 Inc. Disaster Preparedness

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The TEN33 Inc. Disaster Preparedness Consulting Resilient Communities Initiative

Press Release for Immediate Release
12 May, 2014

The TEN33 Inc. Disaster Preparedness Consulting
Resilient Communities Initiative


Every year across the globe, Disasters and Emergency situations occur. The vast majority of them are repetitious, and of natural causes; the floods of Southern Albertan the spring of 2013, the ice storms in Southern Ontario this past winter.Others have man-made or human negligence origins, such as the train derailment in Lac Megantic, while others are the result of human indifference, intolerance or despair such as the IED bombing at the last years Boston Marathon, the stabbings at a Brampton Ontario high school and at a mall in Regina. With every occurrence, the devastation mounts and the toll on lives and peace of mind.Sadly, many of the losses could have and can be reduced or prevented, and many more mitigated if only we as a society had a stronger will to do so.

In every sector of Community, Business and Public Service (our Government) life, there are those who do have the will to initiate change. They are far too few, and are often overwhelmed by the enormity of the task and challenges of making change. The result is that the will for progress and change in the area of Emergency and Disaster Preparedness is seldom if not never acted upon, and little or nothing changes for the positive.

The time for change is well overdue, and we believe at TEN33Inc. this is that time!


This  May (TEN33Inc.’s Emergency Preparedness Month) marks the beginning of the TEN33 Inc. RESILIENT COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE;a concept program requiring the inclusion of all levels of business, government and the populace to come together and assure that we as a people, a nation, as a global community are prepared and capable of surviving Emergencies and Disasters and to be as Resilient as possible by; 1) Understanding those hazards and threats present in our communities, 2) Educating ourselves on preventative and mitigative techniques, and 3)Having the tools, supplies and will and knowledge to use them to overcome adversity. In this way we mitigate or prevent the devastating effects of Emergencies and Disasters, allowing a more rapid and thorough return to “near normalcy” in our daily lives; the very definition of Resilience.

The Initiative is divided into three categories, each with areas and functions that they can perform and adopt

This includes residents, owners and renters alike. We encourage residents to seek out the knowledge, training, equipment and supplies they require to be able to respond on a personal and familial level to protect themselves as best they can during Emergencies and Disasters.While sometimes difficult to find, there are courses they can take that will give them the key tool, knowledge, in responding. Supplies and equipment to shelter, feed, clothe and rest their families. These supplies need not be expensive, rather many can be gathered together from the contents of an average home and require little more than storage containers, bags and boxes to store them in. The same can be said of the equipment, consisting of simple things such as flashlights, batteries, toiletries etcetera. And of course the most important tool or supply of all, a Home Emergency Plan. These plans are easily found free of charge on many government websites, including that of Emergency Management Ontario/Office of the Fire Marshal, or can be purchased from many consulting organisations customised to a specific residence and neighbourhood.

With such little cost in money anytime, we believe it is reasonable to ask all families to acquire a Plan, to get training, to put together Emergency or 72 Hour Kits for their families containing the tools and supplies they will need, and then to regularly review their plans, revise their plans as needed in order to keep them as current as possible. This is self advocacy, the most important part of Resilience.

Structures hold a vital key to the Resilience of any person, family or community. Well built and designed residential and commercial buildings should be a place of refuge, of safety, of security and hope.

The Initiative calls out to Builders,Contractors and Architects to become a front line force in creating resilient communities by; designing homes and other structures with a new attention given to the Evacuation of homes easily, safely and quickly, and to including in the price of homes evacuation equipment such as 2nd and 3rdstory escape ladders when necessary; with a new look at Shelter in Place considerations when Evacuation is not an option; with a new sense of surroundings and making neighbourhoods easier to evacuate from of necessary; and to doing a more in depth Hazard Identification and Risk Analysis on a property before development to mitigate or prevent threats and risks to new communities. Further, we believe it would be prudent to begin inclusion if “dry sprinkler systems” into the construction of all new development, from single family standalone dwelling to multilevel multifamily high rises, and everything in between.

Realtors can play a major role in the development of a “Prepared Culture”. Approximately 95% of all resale properties sold in Canada are sold through a realtor. As such, Realtors have the ability to assure that every resale they prepare for the seller, and every purchase they arrange for their buyers includes a Home Emergency Plan, and that the plan stays with the home because the plan is specific to that home, needing only the resident information changed (a simple prospect).

2) Business
Business is apart of the community at large. It employs, it serves, it funds. Business is the heart of a thriving city or town. As such, Business should be committed,more than ever before, to sound and solid Emergency & Disaster systems and programs:
            a) Systems for the protection of all employees at all levels; having mandatory Evacuation Plans and Protocols, with mandatory drills on a regular basis, preferably twice annually, and to be followed by evaluations of the drills and revisions of plans and protocols. Make training for all employees on the established protocols mandatory and additional training for volunteers to act as Evacuation Wardens. Special attention to Shelter in Place planning; it is not always possible or appropriate to evacuate a facility, and therefore Shelter in Place programming needs to be established in all places of employment, including public facilities.
            b) Systems to render Community Aid.The link between a community and the businesses within is undervalued by business. Business needs the community to utilise the products and services they provide. They need the community to provide the labour to generate the goods and services. Business needs the loyalty, brand loyalty, to remain healthy. In no better way can a corporation garner this loyalty than by being part of the solution to any major problem the community has. Many businesses,from the largest to the smallest have something they can offer to the community during a crisis; they can provide temporary shelter, feed the displaced and the responder teams, they can even be a central location for the reuniting of family members. Many can also operate as operations centers for response and recovery activities. In all these ways the business becomes not just another corporation, but also part of the solution.

All levels of Government, for all potential threats, risks and hazards, need to change their thinking in Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.
            a)Municipal Government: the first line of the solution. From Public Education programs being delivered, to the initial response and the last part of the recovery. They have also been the first to reduce their programs due to budget restraint. The programs can be improved by working together with other non-profit and for profit organisations in their communities that can handle the public education, train volunteer responders in programs such as CERT and TeenCERT and many other programs. Municipalities need to improve communications before the events with the community to keep them informed and aware. They can also be more inclusive in Community Emergency Exercises. Municipalities should also be more cooperative with their neighbouring municipalities in their public information and education programs to ensure continuity of operations and mutual cooperation.
            b)Provincial Government needs to begin to establish better legislation around Emergency Management to include requirements on business, to encourage at risk communities to create Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT and TeenCERT),to improve awareness in high risk communities and help the Municipal governments prepare their communities. Provincial governments need to improve building codes in areas with specific threats and risks, to be able to meet the danger levels and mitigate the effects, if not prevent them entirely.Provincial governments need to make better affiliations with private corporations that work in Emergency Preparedness and Response, who like TEN33Inc. can help them educate, train, identify threats and then work to create programs to meet them, and thus streamline the costs these programs have.Consider offering tax incentives to residents and businesses that take Emergency Planning and Preparedness steps at certain levels, and consider insurance rate breaks as well.
            c)Federal Government is ultimately responsible for creating a resilient nation,and as such should consider reinvesting in recently cut programs and funding.Federal government needs to take a stronger position, becoming a true associative through agencies that can cooperate with private sector organisations in Emergency Management. Where Emergency Management is concerned, and the implementation and continuation of programs, there needs to be a completely non-partisan attitude so that programs continue, grow and improve with time to meet the increasing threats and risks in order to create a National Resilience.

In all cases, the General Public must be made more aware and better educated regarding self protection, family protection and community protection.The common misconception is that people, when given too much information, will react prematurely and in fact over-react to potential threats. This is just not so. Through education, through awareness true preparedness can begin, and with it better response, recovery and resilience. Knowledge is Resilience, it’s not dangerous. People want to know what to do, how to respond, where to seek shelter and safety and when they know what to do, lives are saved, recovery comes faster and more complete saving millions of dollars.

It is with all of the above in mind, that TEN33 calls on all these sectors, Residents, Business and Government to now join us in the Resilient Communities Initiative.

We will be calling on the politicians, their governments and administrators to review current legislation and programs, and initiate the changes that have been recommended in the past and either been reduced, cut or never enacted in the first place. We will call on them to restore those programs that were begun in days and weeks following 9/11, and then put aside in recent years due to budget cuts. We will call on them to pick up on and join our call for improved legislation in the area of Emergency Management, Disaster Preparedness and Prevention.

We will be calling on Builders, Developers, Architects, Designers and Realtors to step up prior to any legislative intervention to help us ensure that Residential,Commercial and Industrial designs are not only beautiful and functional, but provide the protection to occupants needed, to make safe and rapid evacuation a greater consideration beginning at conception and to provide for the occupants a safe and secure Shelter in Place standard when evacuation is not prudent. We will call on them to ensure that every new structure, regardless of purpose of use, includes Emergency Response Plans, based on the architectural drawings and environmental considerations prior to occupancy. Realtors especially should be aware of including a Home Emergency Plan that is specific to that building and community when selling a new or resale home, and have them provided prior to listing or at the very least closing of the property, not because it is unsafe,but rather to ensure the safety of the occupants and their resilience to major disruptive events.

We will be calling on Business leaders from every sector to initiate Emergency Management and Business Continuity Plans into their organisations that go above and beyond data and IT considerations, to ensure they can respond quickly and effectively and then retain critical operations that would allow them rapid recovery  and return to near normal operations. To prepare suitable Emergency and Evacuation Plans for their facilities, to train Evacuation Wardens thoroughly with refresher courses every second or third years, to have suitable Emergency and Evacuation policies and plans and then train all employees on those policies and plans with suitable remedial action policies in place to ensure compliance for their own protection. To truly become part of their communities and develop programs to assist the community in its response and recovery, to offer temporary shelter, food, and relief.

The TEN33 Inc. Resilient Communities Initiative is not designed to point fingers of blame at any one or any one organisation, nor to shame any one. The goal of the Initiative is to reaffirm our commitment as a society to the principles of preparedness and awareness to disasters, and to making our communities safer and more resilient. The goal is to educate people every where of the simple and cost effective steps they can take to make themselves resilient. The goal is to change our human mindset from “It could never happen to me” to one of “If and when it happens, I’m ready!”.

Canadians don’t need and don’t want to be protected from Disaster and Emergency warnings;they want to know how to, when to and where to respond.

Canadians do not “freak out”; they do not run around aimlessly nor lay down and curl up in he fetal position when faced with crisis. Canadians are strong enough to respond with purpose when they are given the knowledge and the facts of a situation. Canadians are a hearty people with a strong desire and capability for resilience. All Canadians need is the truth of any given situation, to be presented the options, and the education and tools to meet the situation.

TEN33 Inc.’s corporate philosophy is simple: “Salus Populi, Suprema Lex Est”, a quote from Roman Emperor Cicero. “The Safety of the People is the Supreme Law”. Combine that with our other truism, “Knowledge IS Resilience”,and the path to a truly disaster and emergency resilient Canada is clear. So we call out to the private sector Emergency Management, Disaster Preparedness,Business Continuity and Resilient professionals around the Province and Nation and ultimately the Continent and Globe, to join TEN33 Inc. in promoting the Resilient Communities Initiative, as we have presented here and will continue to present over the coming months and years, and the goal of creating a better prepared and more resilient World.

S. Gregory(Greg) Long,
TEN33 Inc.Disaster Preparedness Consulting
905 809 5440
May 12, 2014

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

In Response to "Dragon" Arlene Dickinson on Facebook and You Inc.

This post is fairly self explanatory, so read through it all.

Whats happened in Calgary and Southern Alberta is devastating. 

The following is Ms Dickinson's original post, and my/TEN33 Inc.'s response to her.

Arlene Dickinson of Dragons Den and major business made this posting. Included is my response to her and the City of Calgary and Province of Alberta as our pledge from TEN33 Inc.:

Arlene Dickinson
My blog post this week on What The Floods Have Taught Me

As all of you know, this past week a historic natural disaster occurred in Southern Alberta. A flood of almost mythological proportion wiped out countless homes, communities, roads and buildings. I was on the ground in Calgary as it happened, watching as the City I grew up in – and have been a part of for over 50 years – was under siege from rushing rivers and overflowing water. It was a sight I will never forget, one that made me feel incredibly sad and fiercely protective all at the same time.

The sadness is self-evident. There are no words to describe watching land you have walked on turned into rivers, mud and silt. No words can describe the look on people’s faces as they watched their homes washed away. No words to help those not affected understand the real impact on people’s lives and businesses. There is enormous sadness at the destruction of what has been built with care and attention over many, many generations.

However it is at times like this that we need to pause as a Country and reflect on how fortunate we are to live in Canada, and to have the capacity to help one another when disaster strikes. We live in one of the world’s richest nations. We have been blessed not only with a vast, beautiful terrain but also an abundance of opportunity and freedom. I have always appreciated my citizenship and feel forever grateful that my parents immigrated to Canada

Watching the floods, I understood that through adversity we find strength. We find strength when we see the things we take for granted destroyed, and we feel a renewed conviction to restore them. Above all, we are re-awakened to the importance of human lives over all property. You sense it emanating now from every corner of Alberta, an indomitable determination and an outpouring of support, love and commitment to help our fellow citizens. What has torn us apart does indeed make us come back together with a strength of human spirit that is unstoppable.

That is what the floods have taught me. Billions of dollars in damage has not destroyed our future, but rather cemented our commitment to each other. And, at the end of the day, that’s what matters most. Just think about it: we are capable of so much. At a time like this, we understand clearly that colour, race, religion and status simply do not matter. The only thing that matters is human kindness and support for one another.

To all of you who have been following this natural disaster through the media, I would urge you to reach out and lend your support. There is much to do and it is indeed all hands on deck. If we can all pull together, this disaster will make us even stronger as a Country – a nation that we all love and care so deeply about.
Like · · 50112 · about an hour ago ·

Greg Long
I have been watching this too Arlene. To say that it saddens me would be an understatement. So many life afflicted, so many businesses now in ruins.

I have been advocating for some time now, to you and others who follow you, You Inc., the other "Dragons" that one of the simplest things to do to assure resumption of business, service, life is to prepare an Emergency/Disaster Plan. Why? Floods like this happen, as do other disasters that are unprecedented in an area or region and getting to RTO (Return Time to Operations) within 72 hour of at least your critical functions is a MUST.

The damage is done now, but based on historical data, one like this will come again. It might be too late for some, and that really bothers me. For the sake of a couple thousand dollars, businesses will close for good, where as had they spent the money, they would be recovering right now.

Take the time to plan. Spend the money. Plan for the community. Plan for the Home. Plan for Business. Plan for your Organisations of all types. Keep those things viable, and your families safe.

I will, believe this, make my company available to assist businesses, families, communities recover and prepare for the future. For the families, I'll split the cost of Home Emergency Plans with the Province of Alberta government (which is low). For business, I'll offer reduced rates. Expenses for getting myself and any team members out there from Ontario will need to be met, as will be covering other costs to plans, but I'll reduce the margins after that quite a bit.

Arlene; organise something so we together can come to the aid of the businesses, families and communities of Southern Alberta and Myself and my company TEN33 Inc. will be there.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Perception of a Page or Website: How do You See Us?

The other day, Michael H Ballard, a person I like to believe is a good friend even though we've only met in person once but many times by phone and Facebook, posted this comment:
"Attention Attention Facebook Business Pager Owners: Does what you post build and attract business? What attitude does it project? Why have you chosen the theme your post?"

What a comment/question! It really got me thinking! So, I posted back: "Good question! I wonder if mine is what it should be. Think I need to review it again."The answer I got back, I'm not sure if it was related to my page or pages in general, but in essence said "too many negative, too many confusing posting, would I want to friend that page/business/person?

My first urge was to take it personally, and respond in a knee-jerk manner, and ask Michael what I had done to tick him off. Good thing I didn't, because now I don't believe it was directed directly at me. But still, I went back to may business page, TEN33 Disaster Preparedness Consulting, and give it a good review. While I don't think I have much content that might be confusing, I can see how some of the content might be construed as negative and perhaps depressing. So I thought,"What can I do about this? IS there a way to make the content more positive, and still call people to action and get public understanding on how important Emergency/Disaster Preparedness really is?"

So far, the answer is "Nope".

The problem lies primarily, in the nature of this business. Emergency and Disaster Preparedness is a topic/subject people just don't wish to think about! And I don't blame them one bit! Embassy bombings, riots, terrorism on the human face, and hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and more on the natural earth side. It makes it appear that human kind is stuck between a rock and a hard place, and little to no hope in site. Remember though, appearances can be deceiving!

Yes, it is a dark portal I look out of. I see it every day in news reports that pass by my computer screen, and news feeds on my iPad. But I don't dwell upon the negativity there before me. If I did, I would truly go buggy. I've chosen instead, to let these images and stories let me see how positive, good and full of growth can be if we all accepted that those "nasties" are out there and did one thing... PREPARE!

Preparedness planning doesn't take much work. It takes some though, some attention to details, and some good foresight. A home Emergency Plan covers a multitude of scenarios, and provides a family the best possible chances for that happy ending once the storm clouds part. (figuratively and literally). Good business emergency plans ensure Continuity of Operations, rapid Return Time Operations numbers that keep businesses going through and after a crisis. (and, I have to note, great ROI or Return on Investment the first time they are called upon). And Community Emergency Planning, usually done by your Municipality/Town Government, assures critical services are up and running promptly, and the infrastructure is back in place to keep our communities health and prosperous.

I know not one single person (aside from those of us working in the industry) wants to think about the disasters and emergencies that would devastate our lives. That is human nature, and part of the reason we are such a resilient species on this planet. But I would like everyone who reads this to see one thing: Visit the "Dark Side" for a bit, see what you have and might loose, and then understand that planning can and does minimize or even prevent those loses. Planning certainly gets you back to a more "normal state" than not planning. It saves money, time, lives, marriages, businesses and far far more.

So, I will apologize now to those who find thinking about Emergency Planning a dark spot they just can't visit; but understand I only have your best interests in mind. I care deeply for Community, and this is what I was called to do as a result.I'll also ask this of you, Good Followers: Share with me those things that reflect the positive aspect from disaster as a direct impact from planning. Share with me and others here what information YOU would like and need. Ask questions, look for answers and ask for help and guidance. I have found a cornucopia of businesses and people within Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more, who are more than happy to help you and others cope, recover, and prepare for life and Mother Nature.Keep strong: Resilience can be yours. You just have to accept the fact that bad things happen, and know that you will survive them just by planning for them. And I'd like to help you!

Greg Long