Posts Tagged ‘CERT’


 

  • Before
  1. Learn & Plan
  2. Prepare
  3. Practice
  • During
  1. Remain Calm
  2. Gather Information
  3. Think
  4. Act
  5. Help
  • After
  1. Help
  2. Talk About It
  3. Resume Normal Life

 

When making preparations for an emergency, we usually just think about surviving the ordeal, not recovering from the incident.  After large-scale disasters like September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina, we have seen communities and the entire nation come together and help those in need.  Emergency responders and other volunteers leave family and home to travel to the other side of the country to render assistance.  Neighborhoods, churches, and business donate time and money to put together disaster, food, and sanitation kits.  Blood donors flock to literally give the gift of life.

When thinking about post-disaster recovery, we often think about search and rescue, removing debris and cleaning, or reconstructing homes and other structures.  Many people don’t have the skills or ability to help in these actions.  So what can these other individuals do?

After an emergency on your area, after you have taken care of the needs of your family and neighbors, it is a good idea to report to CERT, Red Cross or other community action groups.  They are trained in how to organize volunteers to help. 

There are many things that can be done besides heavy lifting, cleaning and building. 

  • Volunteers can help prepare and distribute food, clothing, sanitation, and shelter supplies. 
  • Just as in any organization, there is a lot of paperwork and documentation that needs to be done.  Volunteers can help collect, organize and distribute information. 
  • If traditional communication lines are down, volunteers can act as information runners in cars, on bikes, horses, ATVs, or on foot.
  • In emergencies, children can get separated from parents.  A volunteer experienced in child care can care for these children or for the children of parents who are volunteering in other areas.
  • Sometimes one of the most important jobs a volunteer can do is to hold a hand, listen, and provide a shoulder to cry on.

If a person is willing and able to help, there is always something that he or she can do.  Be proactive and think about what you and your family can do to help others after a disaster.  Remember that when we are helping others, we forget about our own sorrows and can find comfort in serving others.

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Tornado Emergency

Care for yourself, your family & your neighbors.

  • Before
  1. Learn & Plan
  2. Prepare
  3. Practice
  • During
  1. Remain Calm
  2. Gather Information
  3. Think
  4. Act
  5. Help
  • After
  1. Help
  2. Talk About It
  3. Resume Normal Life

You’ve prepared.  You’ve planned.  You have your emergency kits in order and they are ready to go.  You’re staying calm & you’re continually gathering information about the emergency you are now facing.  With that information you are adapting your emergency plans to this specific emergency.  So you have your plan of action, now DO IT!  This is the time that you hoped wouldn’t come, but you prepared for any way.  Don’t hesitate.  Seconds of delay could mean the difference between life and death.  Get going!

You First

Now that the emergency is here, who do you take care of first?  YOURSELF!  Just like they tell you on the airplane, put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your child.  That sounds selfish, but think about it.  How can you care for your child or any other person if you are incapacitated?  Look after your own health and safety FIRST so that you CAN help others.  YOU are your first priority, your family is your second, neighbors and the community are third.

10 Areas of Emergency Preparedness

As you follow your plan, continue to assess the situation and change the plan as needed.  One of the greatest factors in survival is adaptability.  Remember the ten areas of emergency preparedness:

As you adapt your plan to THIS emergency, think about these ten things and how your preparations before hand and your current resources can be used for you and your family.  Your first thoughts should be on SHELTER.  Find shelter from extreme temperatures, elements and physical danger, ie…  escaping from a burning building, shelter from a severe thunderstorm or tornado, car breakdown or lost, earthquake or hurricane, terrorism or intruder.

Because of the nature of emergencies, even the most prepared and self reliant of individuals can find themselves needing help.  In the case of injury, misjudgment or just happenstance that puts us beyond our own means we will need to communicate our needs to others.  That may be verbally or by calling 911, blowing on an emergency whistle or banging on something.  It may require making a signal fire or using a signaling mirror.  The important thing is to make contact and let someone know you need help.

Help Others

After securing yourself and your family, depending on the size and scale of the emergency there are going to be a lot of people that need your help.  Take a volunteer emergency training class like CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) now to learn how to safely and effectively help others in a large scale emergency.

Look at your neighborhood.  You know there are a lot of people who take emergency preparedness for granted or even dismiss it all together.  There are others like you who seriously try to prepare their families for a possible disaster.  If there is a large scale incident, it won’t discriminate between the prepared and the unprepared, everyone is going to be needed to help everyone else.  Think about your neighborhood.  Are there any elderly or people who have difficulty moving unassisted?  Are there any families with many children or who have special needs or disabilities?  Talk to them now and discuss what help they may need in an emergency.

First Aid:  Check, Call, Care

After you have taken care of yourself and your family, is there anyone around that needs first aid?  When you go to help, remember to check the environment around the victim for hidden dangers.  You don’t want to become a second victim and double the problem.  After checking the environment, check the victim to determine what is wrong.  Call for available help and give care to the victim as far as you have been trained.

In an emergency situation, you do what you need to do to help you, your family and those around you to survive the duration.  After the emergency, working together, you can rebuild and return to normal life as quickly and completely as possible.


  • Before
  1. Learn & Plan
  2. Prepare
  3. Practice
  • During
  1. Remain Calm
  2. Gather Information
  3. Think
  4. Act
  5. Help
  • After
  1. Help
  2. Talk About It
  3. Resume Normal Life

Survival SolutionsBefore an emergency strikes, the first thing on your list is to LEARN and PLAN; this is your mental preparation.  Before you run out and buy the kits and the gear, you need to do some research.  Emergency preparedness is 90% mental and only 10% stuff.  You can have all the cool gadgets and gear, but if you don’t know the basics of survival and how to APPLY your supplies to the given situation, you will have a difficult time making it through the incident. 

Find out what emergencies are most likely in your area.  Do you live near a fault line?  Is your area prone to tornados?  Are you in a hilly or mountainous area prone to landslides or avalanches?  What is the weather like?  Are you near a coast and need to worry about hurricanes or tsunamis?  What about flooding?  Do you live near highways or railroads where hazardous chemicals are transported?  Do you live near an area where hazardous substances are stored or manufactured?  Contact your local city or county emergency manager to learn what potential hazards are in your area. 

Once you know what emergencies are likely, learn how the 10 areas of survival needs apply.  You will shelter differently if you are at home in the summer than you would if you are stranded in your car or evacuating with your 72 hour kit in the winter.  You may not need to worry about cooking food in the aftermath of an auto accident, but you would if an earthquake or hurricane stranded your family for a few weeks.  Learn what emergency supplies are necessary and what isn’t.  Apply your family emergency preparedness budget to items that you will REALLY need, not just stuff that looks cool.  Learn how to use your emergency supplies, otherwise they are just taking up valuable space and resources. 

Learn how to gather information in an emergency.  There is the E.A.S. – Emergency Alert System on radio and television.  Learn what channels are the primary emergency information sources for your area.  N.O.A.A. weather channels give a constant update or the weather and emergencies in your area.  Some cities and counties have a REVERSE 911 system that actually sends out an automated call with the emergency information to all the phone numbers in the phonebook.  Mobile numbers have to register to receive this service.  Sometime if there is time, emergency responders may go door to door, street to street informing residents about a coming emergency. 

Be proactive and take training classes in emergency preparedness.  The Red Cross not only teaches different levels of first aid, but disaster prevention, preparedness and response.  C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) classes and certification are offered in many cities.  CERT trains individuals how to organize and how to be safe, effective volunteers in an emergency, doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people in the least amount of time.

For more information on emergency preparedness check out www.ready.gov.  Order the free book Are You Ready? from FEMA Distribution, 1-800-480-2520.  Learn about emergency supplies at http://www.survivalsolutions.com/store/index.html and receive an emergency preparedness solution for the day when you become a fan of Survival Solutions on Facebook.

Develop family emergency communication plans.  Have a FAMILY PHONE TREE that quickly gets information out to family members.  Also have an emergency OUT OF STATE CONTACT.   After a disaster it is often easier to call long distance rather than locally.  Make sure everyone knows who the contact is and when they need to be called.  During an incident, family members “check in” so your contact has everyone’s status and location.  Get permission from your contact beforehand and let them know what their role is. 

Plan and develop your family EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLANS.  Have both near home (walking distance) AND out of area emergency meeting places.  Learn plans for evacuation from work and school.  Are there evacuation shelters in your area?  Where are they? 

What if you can’t or shouldn’t evacuate?  Do you have family SHELTER IN PLACE PLANS?   Consider making emergency safe rooms where you and your family can shelter from toxic gas clouds using plastic sheeting & duct tape.  Also learn about what your family can make it through the isolation of a reverse quarantine during a pandemic.


Prefessional Emergency Responders

In a large emergency, professional emergency responders will not be able to help everyone.

 

 What is an emergency?  Any disruption of normal activities.  These can be naturally occurring emergencies like hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes.  They can be accidental, manmade emergencies like dam breaks, power failures, chemical spills and car accidents or intentional like terrorism.         

Large emergencies can affect nations and states while smaller emergencies affect cities, neighborhoods, families and individuals.  Even a loss of a job can be an emergency.  No matter the size of the incident, it is still an emergency to those affected.         

Depending on the LOCATION, SIZE, and SEVERITY of the incident; professional emergency responders may not be able to give you any assistance – NO MATTER HOW CRITICAL YOUR SITUATION MAY BE.  In large-scale disasters, emergency responders’ first priorities are in areas like schools, businesses, government buildings and areas with large numbers of people.  Individual residencies may be left on their own for days or even weeks.         

So what do we do?        

The answer is Emergency SELF RELIANCE.  We must be prepared to care for ourselves, our families, our property and neighbors for a MINIMUM of 3 days or longer without any professional or outside help.  No matter what the emergency is, no matter where you live, no matter who you are, no matter what resources you have; there are things you can do to help you and your family’s survival and recovery.     

Before, During & After an Emergency  

  •  Before
    1. Learn & Plan
    2. Prepare
    3. Practice
  • During
    1. Remain Calm
    2. Gather Information
    3. Think
    4. Act
    5. Help
  • After
    1. Help
    2. Talk About It
    3. Resume Normal Life

10 Areas of Survival Needs    

  • Food
  • Water
  • Sanitation
  • Shelter/Heat
  • Cooking
  • Light
  • Communication
  • First Aid
  • Personal Items, Clothing
  • Important Papers, Money

  

 Survival Solutions  

I just started this blog to get out the information I have learned in my own research, studies, learning and experience in the emergency preparedness field.  Please feel free to refer us to your friends and neighbors.  The more people are prepared, the less people will be a burden on those who are.  Will you be part of the solution or the problem?