Emergency Preparedness : Preparing for the Worst

Overview of the different Hazards and Threats:

  1. Earthquakes
  2. Floods
  3. Volcanic Activity
  4. Winter / Wind Storms
  5. Wild / Home Fires
  6. Terrorism
  7. Tsunamis
  8. Industrial Accidents
  9. Pandemic Diseases
  10. Heat Advisories

Why there is a need to plan?

  • Disasters can strike quickly and without warning.
  • Everyone will know what to do.
  • This encourages confidence and can make everyone comfortable in the event of a disaster.
  • Chances are that members may be separated from each other, and have the possibility of being alone for 3 days.
  • Emergency personnel may be overwhelmed.

Why don’t we prepare?

  • Procrastination
  • “It will never happen to me”
  • Unaware of hazards or how to prepare
  • Overwhelming feeling
  • Costs involved

Four Steps to Disaster Planning

  1. Find out what disasters could happen in your area.
  2. Create a family disaster plan and kit.
  3. Practice and maintain.
  4. Put your plan in to action.

How to create the plan:

  • Meet and discuss with family members on disaster preparedness.
  • Discuss the following:
    • evacuation site / area and/or meeting places
    • identify escape routes and safe spots in your home.
    • emergency contact plan and phone numbers
    • have a disaster kit for a minimum of three days (food, water, medications, and shelter)
  • Undergo training such as CPR and First Aid classes
  • Apply or secure home or business insurances for fire, earthquake and flood.
  • Know how and when to turn off your gas, water, and electricity.
  • Review plans every six months.
  • Replace stored water and food every six months / yearly.
  • Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills.

 

Phases of a Disaster

  1. Preparation
  2. Warning Phase
  3. Impact
  4. Emergency Response
  5. Recovery
  6. Rehabilitation

Components of a Disaster Management:

  • Hazard Analysis is the process of recognizing hazards that may arise from a system or its environment, documenting their unwanted consequences and analyzing their potential causes.
  • Vulnerability Analysis is the process of identifying, quantifying, and prioritizing the vulnerable in a given risk or hazard.
  • Prevention and Mitigation. Mitigation means to reduce the severity of the human and material damage caused by the disaster. Prevention is to ensure that human or natural phenomena do not result in disaster or emergency.
  • Preparedness refers to a very concrete research-based set of actions that are taken as precautionary measures in the face of potential disasters.
  • Prediction and Warning are the most important aspect of this, as this gives people time to evacuate the area and make preparations for the event.
  • Response encompasses the decisions and actions taken to deal with the immediate effects of an emergency. It encompasses the effort to deal not only with the direct effects of the emergency itself (e.g. fighting fires, rescuing individuals) but also the indirect effects(e.g. disruption, media interest).
  • Recovery is defined as the process of rebuilding, restoring and rehabilitating the community following an emergency. Recovery may take months or even years to complete, as it seeks to support affected communities in the reconstruction of the physical infrastructure and restoration of emotional, social and physical well-being.

 

Concepts in Evaluating Disasters

  • Phenomenon: Disaster type and intensity.
  • Vulnerability: Predisposition and capacity of local response.
  • Impact: Effect on population.

Phenomenon    x     Vulnerability   =   Impact

 

Preparing the Emergency Disaster Kit (redcross.org)

At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:

  1. Water: one gallon per person, per day (3 day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  2. Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  3. Flashlight
  4. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  5. Extra batteries
  6. First aid kit
  7. Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  8. Multi-purpose tool
  9. Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  10. Copies of personal documents (birth certificate, passports, insurance policies, deeds to home, etc.)
  11. Cell phone with chargers
  12. Family and emergency contact information
  13. Extra cash
  14. Emergency blanket

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glass, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener

Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools / supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

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