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What Our Clients Say

“In developing Powered for Patients, Eric Cote and Cara Klein have demonstrated their out-of-the box strategic thinking and skill in coalition building. This project benefitted from outside creative thinking to bring together disparate interests for a common purpose. The impressive result of the work of Disaster Safety Strategies is a platform that can help tackle the serious challenge of protecting backup power and restoring utility power for critical healthcare facilities impacted by disaster. This is an area of great concern to public health officials and we now have an excellent vehicle in Powered for Patients to address this challenge.”"

—Gerrit T. Bakker
Senior Director, Public Health Preparedness
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

“For over seven years, the DSS team has provided media relations, event management support and website development and maintenance for our Risk Mitigation Leadership Forum series. They have expertly liaised with media and worked closely with our Forum leadership team to help us build partnerships and deliver messaging through multiple channels.”

Emily Ranson-Leverock
Marketing Manager
RenaissanceRe

“Eric Cote and Cara Klein have been partners from the very beginning, helping to build Rx Response from the ground up. Their initial work in opening doors with key state emergency management leaders helped us establish credibility and grow into a highly respected organization. Today, Disaster Safety Strategies plays an important role in leading our communications initiatives which help us maintain visibility with key stakeholders, including emergency management and public health officials."

—Erin Mullen, RPh., Ph.D., Executive Director, Rx Response

“Losing my daughter Baylee in the Oklahoma City Bombing is something I’ll never fully recover from. But thanks to the creativity and sensitivity of Eric Cote and his team, my daughter’s death was not in vain and her memory is serving as a powerful tool in saving lives and making America safer.”

—Aren Almon-Kok
Mother of Oklahoma City Bombing Victim Baylee Almon

“The creativity and passion Eric Cote and Cara Klein bring to disaster safety communications is very unique and has been a wonderful fit for FLASH given our mission of strengthening homes and safeguarding families. They really care about the work we do and their devotion to our mission is very evident in the quality of their work.”

—Leslie Chapman-Henderson
President and CEO, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)

“Eric Cote and Cara Klein have been very helpful in providing high level strategic counsel to the Lightning Protection Institute. They’ve brought great ideas to the table that helped us get the most from our media events. We’ve also appreciated their national network of PR associates which we were able to tap recently for a major event in Texas.”

—Kim Loehr, Communications Director, Lightning Protection Institute


Disaster Safety Related Clients and Initiatives


  DSS Launches Powered for Patients Initiative to Enhance Patient Health
DSS launched Powered for Patients (P4P) in 2013 as a public-private initiative to protect patient health by helping to ensure proper backup power in critical healthcare facilities.  Powered for Patients grew out of the lessons DSS principals learned from their work with other clients responding to Hurricane Sandy. Power outages and generator failures prompted unplanned hospital and nursing home evacuations and caused other significant disruptions in the healthcare delivery system.
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  From The Ruins of Disaster, a Safety Movement is Born
Turning a national disaster into a catalyzing event for a life saving American industry – the story of the Protecting People First Foundation.
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  Disaster Safety Strategies Nominee Receives Outstanding Achievement Award for Preparedness at National Hurricane Conference
Wickford, RI….Eric Cote and Cara Klein’s longstanding disaster safety expertise has given them many opportunities over the years to work with some of America’s most accomplished individuals in the disaster safety movement.
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  Disaster Safety Strategies Provides New Brand Look for Key Disaster Safety Program
Over the past 14 years, DSS and its sister company, CK Communications, has developed many award winning branding solutions that have helped clients differentiate themselves from the competition or create a more memorable name that consumers can more easily remember. In early 2013, DSS put its branding prowess to work for longtime client Rx Response. Developed to help ensure the continued flow of medicine to patients following a major disaster, Rx Response has become an indispensible homeland security asset.
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  Hurricane Sandy Keeps DSS Busy with Media Relations Support of Rx Response
DSS client Rx Response is an unprecedented initiative of America’s bio-pharmaceutical supply system to help ensure the continued flow of medicine to patients in a severe public health emergency – from natural disasters like hurricanes to the H1N1 crisis. DSS principals Eric Cote and Cara Klein have supported Rx Response from the program’s inception over seven years ago. DSS’s initial work centered around introducing the Rx Response concept to state emergency managers across America.
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  Deadly Lightning Strikes Underscore Danger of Nature’s Underrated Risk
While lightning deaths in the United States have declined in recent years thanks to active public education programs, lightning continues to pose a deadly threat in America. DSS helped the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) and the Lightning Safety Alliance (LSA) underscore this deadly and underrated threat with a public awareness campaign that addressed the hazards of lightning at amusement parks and other open air facilities. The campaign involved industry research, a media relations component and a new website dedicated to lightning safety in recreational facilities such as theme parks and arenas. The campaign was highlighted at the kick- off of 2012’s Lightning Safety Awareness Week, an event DSS also supported with event management and media relations services.
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  Mississippi Safe and Sound
DSS principal Eric Cote and his creative team developed the Mississippi Safe and Sound Campaign in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to provide a platform for a public awareness campaign designed to promote post-Katrina rebuilding using fortified construction techniques. The campaign concept and branding was developed for implementation by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), a long-time agency client. Mississippi Safe and Sound was considered a major success in encouraging Mississippians to rebuild using techniques that were stronger than what the building code required.

  Learning from the Public Health Challenges Posed by Katrina
DSS client Rx Response is an unprecedented initiative of America’s biopharmaceutical supply system to help ensure the continued flow of medicine to patients in a severe public health emergency – from natural disasters like hurricanes to the H1N1 crisis. Rx Response was inspired by the public health challenges faced in the aftermath of Katrina.
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  Commemorating 70th Anniversary of the Great Hurricane of 1938
Encouraging enhanced preparation for hurricanes by the citizens of Rhode Island who hadn’t experienced a major hurricane in over 54 years was a major challenge for elected leaders and emergency management officials.
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  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Savings lives through communications has been a passion for Disaster Safety Strategies and the agency’s campaign targeting underage drinking not only won awards, but has hopefully prevented deaths and serious injury.
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  University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography
DSS principal Eric Cote worked with the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography to help develop www.HurricaneDiscovery.org, an unprecedented website that has been heralded as the world’s most advanced hurricane science website.
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  Hurricane Risk Mitigation Leadership Forum Series
DSS provides PR, event management and web development services to the Hurricane Mitigation Leadership Forum series sponsored by RennaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation, WeatherPredict Consulting, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) and the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). The forums have provided our firm the opportunity to develop extensive relationships with highly noted scientists, scholars, and political leaders who endorse the disaster mitigation cause.

  Fabric Based Shutter Manufacturers
DSS principal Eric Cote built a coalition of fabric hurricane shutter manufacturers to secure code changes to ensure the continued compliance of their highly effective product in the face of unintended consequences from a technical change in the building code. DSS recruited a respected code engineer and managed the campaign with success. DSS is also familiar with the Florida Building Code, the ICC, and the Miami-Dade Building Code and their implications for building products compliance.

  Protecting People First Foundation
DSS principal Eric Cote conceptualized and built the Protecting People First Foundation to help raise awareness of the hazards of flying glass, most deadly in bombings and natural disasters. The agency recruited Aren Almon-Kok, mother of Oklahoma City bombing victim Baylee Almon, to serve as the Foundation spokesperson. Baylee Almon’s lifeless body being cradled by a fireman in the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph became an icon of the bombing. Eric Cote worked with Baylee’s mother in arranging national media appearances, Congressional testimony and numerous speeches to promote safety from flying glass hazards.


  Finding the Breaking Point
Throughout the record breaking 2004 hurricane season, Eric Cote led an engineering team to Florida to conduct a performance study of various opening protection technologies. The resulting report, Finding the Breaking Point, was hailed by Max Mayfield, then Director of the National Hurricane Center, as a well documented analysis. Craig Fugate, current FEMA Director, and then Director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, praised the report before an audience of three thousand emergency management officials as “one of the best reports he had seen on the 2004 hurricane season”.