Browse Tag: Emergency management

REALTORS® Relief Foundation Hurricane Sandy Donations

Logo of Realtors Relief FoundationDuring the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando NAR collected donations to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation (RRF) for Hurricane Sandy disaster assistance. At a member forum at the conference, NAR President Moe Veissi announced that NAR would match members’ donations up to $500,000.  Moe later wrote on Realtor.org:

“As REALTORS®, we help build and maintain communities. We aren’t just there when the time comes to buy or sell a home. We are there during periods of need as well. Now—in the wake of Hurricane Sandy—is one of those occasions.

It will take more time to know the full impact of Hurricane Sandy, but the devastation in the mid-Atlantic is widespread. I personally have contacted the state associations in New York, New Jersey, and all the affected areas. At this point, we know that more than 8.2 million homes and businesses lost power in the United States because of Sandy, and there is a significant loss of life attributed to this deadly storm.

For more than 11 years, the REALTORS® Relief Foundation has been dedicated to providing housing-related assistance to victims of disasters. Without a doubt, there are many, many families out there who need our help now. If you can spare even a small amount, now is the time to make that commitment. A little bit can go a long way when we all give.

So please, follow your heart and reach out a helping hand to those in need.”

You can make a donation today to Hurricane Sandy victims through the REALTORS® Relief Foundation.

The REALTORS® Relief Foundation distributes one hundred percent of all funds collected to disaster relief causes. The funds are distributed on an “as-needed” basis by the Foundation’s Directors. The Foundation cannot guarantee donors that donations made in response to a particular disaster will be used for that specific disaster, but the Foundation does guarantee all donors that one hundred percent of their donation will be used for an appropriate disaster relief effort.

For the RRF, REALTORS® have raised and successfully distributed over $23 million in its 11 year history with the grants going directly to victims of disasters to provide immediate & temporary housing related assistance – that’s the mission and focus.  In many disaster situations, RRF checks have been the first forms of aid victims have received.  Because the RRF guarantees that 100% of each donation will go directly to the victims, we do not give our funds to other charities to further distribute.  The majority of charities take administrative fees out of each donation and the final net amount that ultimately reaches the victim is usually less than the original amount donated.   For Sandy, we’ve raised $1.9 million since the beginning of November and have already sent help to 200 members who have been impacted by this superstorm.  There are many more RRF will be assisting in the coming weeks.
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Preparing your Property for an Emergency- Assembling a Response Team

The following is an excerpt from “Before and After Disaster Strikes,” by Debbie and Dave Mistick.   This publication will be available from the IREM bookstore shortly. 

Assembling an emergency management team is critical to emergency planning, as the emergency management team will be called upon to carry out your property’s emergency procedures plan.

When putting together your team, follow these steps:

Establish duties team members

Each team member should be assigned and trained on specific duties, which should be explained in the property’s emergency procedures manual. Remember that not all team members will be available when an emergency arises, so each person should understand the entire emergency plan.

A team leader should be identified.  The team leader will direct the actions of the entire team and will need to know what actions to take for each type of emergency, including what tasks need to be assigned to various team members. During an emergency, all communications should flow from the leader.

Train the team

After the emergency procedures for the property have been written and the team has been assembled, train the team to carry out the plan.

Firstly, take your team on a property tour.  While touring, focus on the following features prominent in emergencies:

• Overall layout of the property

• Configuration of individual floors

• Location of stairwells, entrances and exits

• Roof and basement access

• Mechanical equipment

• Emergency equipment

• Stored chemicals and hazardous waste which are listed on the material safety data sheet (MSDS)

• Location of essential keys

• Telephones and other communications equipment

• Life-safety equipment

Invite representatives of the fire and police departments to participate. Training should also be provided on specific emergency procedures—that is, how some procedures, including evacuation, may differ because of the type of emergency.

Conduct Practice Drills

Scheduling practice drills enables the team members to instinctively respond to emergencies and builds confidence within the emergency management team and among the building’s occupants. To start, practice drills should be announced in advance. Later, the leader can schedule surprise drills to evaluate the team’s performance—separate drills can be scheduled for building occupants and the emergency management team.

Review Drill Performance

Immediately after an emergency drill, the emergency management team should review the team’s performance. Consider the following questions:

• Do members of the emergency management team understand their respective responsibilities?

• Have new team members been adequately trained?

• Are there problem areas and resource shortfalls? If so, they must be identified and addressed.

• Is the plan reflecting structural changes in the facility (including the leased premises)?

• Are photographs, blueprints of the property and other records and documents up to date?

• Are the names, telephone numbers and responsibilities of the team members up to date?

• Does the plan consider ongoing changes in the occupant profile?

Encourage everyone to speak freely. If parts of the plan did not work effectively, the plan should be revised and the staff should be retrained accordingly.

Learn more about emergency preparedness and meet the Misticks at the Global Business Practices Forum on Wednesday, October 17 from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm at the IREM Fall Leadership Conference.