Below are some examples of disaster level planning.
Level 1: Learn CPR, First Aid techniques and have a first aid, and how to contact local emergency teams i.e. 911.
Level 2: Be familiar with who your local first responders are, where are there Citizen Corps or CERT Teams because in larger events, 911 may be overloaded. Understand the location of alternate clinics and regional hospitals.
Level 3: Learn survival tips for “When there is no doctor” discuss scenarios with friends & families how can you help each other. Join a short wave radio club. Maintain survival items in your vehicle. Store a spare set of keys in an alternative location.
Level 1: learn how to shelter in place, identify a meetup place on or near your home, practice evacuation.
Level 2: Plan for intermediate housing with family, friends. Identify meet up place in or near your community
Level 3: Discuss scenarios with friends or relatives in another state. Provide friends and loved ones with the contact information for your out-of-state destination. Make sure your children know the plan.
Level 1: Practice your escape plan and identify a meetup place on or near your home, program your “ICE” contact in your phone. Keep a spare phone in your vehicle.
Level 2: Identify a meet up place in or near your community, plan checkin times (such as 10, 2 and 4) to save phone battery. Text your loved ones “IMOK”. If you need to check on them text them “RUOK”
Level 3: Identify a family meet up place in another state. Print out and store this information in your vehicle and with friends.
Time may be very limited for some victims. The first 24 hours after a disaster has been called the “Golden Day” that period during which injured or trapped victims have an 80 percent chance of survival if rescued. When disaster strikes to “use common sense”, work as a team and help the person next door. Time is the critical parameter for the rescue of victims buried under collapsed buildings. There is a window in the first 24-hours when people who are injured and trapped can be saved, followed by a three-day period when trapped but uninjured victims can be successfully rescued. But after three days the chances of survival diminish rapidly unless the trapped person has access to drinking water.
Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors such as number of victims, communication failures, and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment’s notice through 911. People will need to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs. Developing and supporting a local Community Emergency Response team is one way to improve survival.
This article is republished and originally appeared in October 2011