I can't believe it has been ten years since the devastation that was Hurricane Katrina. I may not be American, but I was glued to the coverage of CNN, praying and hoping, just like everyone else.
Since that day, some people have rebuilt or relocated. Honestly, I don't know what I would do if in that situation. It helps knowing that people and companies step out and come forth to lend a helping hand.
In 2005, Johnson Controls and Tulane University have stood together to help rebuild and even managed to resume classes within five months of the storm. I know that sounds like no time at all, but that is what is amazing! Johnson Controls is still proud to help the Tulane City Center, which is a non-profit organization founded by the Tulane School of Agriculture, rebuild and rejuvenate the community. New Orleans residents, with the help of the university and Johnson Controls, are building a better future one project at a time.
Each year, the Tulane City Center reviews and decides on new project designs. Imagine how much time, money and resources has been put into each of these projects. Now, in the sixth year of Johnson Controls' annual donation, The Tulane City Center has successfully started more than 80 projects for New Orleans residents including; Grow Dat Youth Farm.
Grow Dat Youth Farm is an urban garden for local residents that teaches young people valuable life skills. It has also produced more than 10,000 pounds of healthy food each year. These projects help residents sustain life.
This initiative is only one example of the great things fulfilled by Johnson controls and Tulane City Center. It shows us why the initiative is so important.
“Tulane needed help then, and New Orleans continues to need help today. We proudly have committed $1 million to help revitalize the community with projects that advance the lives of Louisiana residents and their families,” says Bill Jackson, president, Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls.This $1 million commitment will help the Tulane University and the residents of New Orleans move forward. Which ten years later, help is still very much needed and appreciated.
Are you ready if disaster strikes? Be prepared.
Remember the domino-effect on operations - Consider the accumulated risks that result from “falling dominoes” in emergency situations. Develop a hazard assessment plan with a buildings expert to understand what may occur if a process fails and how to remedy a subsequent problem.
Audit infrastructure now and avoid future risk - Work with a buildings partner to assess your building or campus-wide infrastructure. Ensure IT and various system integrations have the necessary redundancies designed into your buildings. Also consider developing a supply stockpile that may be needed during a severe weather event.
Assess your notification process - During a weather or safety emergency, far too many institutions learn too late that their notification processes are outdated or unsuccessful. If your organization serves multiple building occupants, such as a college or large commercial building, consult with building experts to audit your mass notification technologies and resources. Educate your in-house emergency response teams on the latest compliance standards, especially as it relates to building evacuation process and protocol.
Contact information is critical - When severe weather hits you may not have access to your online contact directories or cell phone service. Understand, in advance, how you can reach a building expert for rental services, such as emergency generators, chillers and packaged equipment.
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