Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stop where you are right now and think!

On Friday, I attended a safety fair in Hillsboro and as we were handing out our standard preparedness information, we began to talk about disasters. LOL We always do, but this time, we gave ourselves a scenario.

We were over an hour from home and work. What if the big earthquake hit right then? What would we do first. Well obviously we would duck, cover and hold, but what about after?

The roads are probably closed due to power lines being down. The phones aren't working. There is no power for computers.

How do we check on our families? Do we have a family plan in place so that our children and loved ones know where to go or what to do if we are not around?

How do we get back to work? Those of us in Hillsboro work in emergency management and are needed at work when something happens.

Where will we stay if we can't get home for days? What will we eat when restaurants are closed - no ATMs working? Is the water still working in the building or will we need to find the hot water tank?

The chances of us not being at home or work when a big disaster strikes is pretty high. Truthfully for a moment, we - who work for emergency management - just stood there looking at each other. Then our brains kicked in and we decided the following was the best we could do.

First - protect ourselves and those around us.
Next - Help the injured
Try text messaging as that often works when cell phones don't
Listen to the radio in the car for information

If possible use the helicopter that was there on display to shuttle people where they need to be.
(that won't always be a possibility obviously)

Congregate in the nearest building that is safe.

Gather supplies - we were lucky, everyone had lots of supplies - it was a safety fair after all.

Determine our next steps based on information on the radio.

Now - wherever you are right this minute - what would you do if the big one happened NOW?
Studies have shown that the people who have thought through these situations are the ones who survive because the other just freeze up.

You don't want to have to think in an emergency - plan ahead. Talk it over.

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