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From The Chicago Tribune (edit 8/3/14: Link is no longer active) comes a story about helping the handicapped become aware of how to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters. The State of Illinois has created a series of eleven prepping video segments using American Sign Language. It covers planning for the household, gathering together a supply kit, decision-making about whether to bug out or bug in, and how to assist the disabled as well. The cost of these videos was covered by the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, and since they are not state-specific, handicapped people living in other states can also find them useful.
Further information about these videos can be found here.
The Cannon Beach Gazette shares an anniversary story of the Japanese tsunami, with a discussion of the prepping lessons to be learned from this terrible event. Some of the take-aways:
There were only 15-20 minutes from the end of the earthquake until the beginning of the tsunami. This event killed some 22,000, of which 92.4% were drowned.
Notice that number. Most of the people who died, did NOT die as a result of the earthquake, even though it was a huge one, and those who waited around, trying to figure out what was going on, were 50% more likely to drown than those who immediately headed for higher ground, not even waiting an extra five minutes for the shaking to stop.
There were other reasons for survival, of course, including whether there was any higher ground to evacuate to. Pre-planning would have been very helpful in this situation, not to build in areas that were likely to be underwater after a tsunami. Although it is too late to change previous building locations, it is certainly not too late to determine the safest place to put new buildings in the future.
It’s sad to read that many of those who stayed a few extra minutes, or went back to get others, died as a result of their charitable actions. The Japanese are now concentrating on teaching people at risk to save their own lives, because it doesn’t do any good to stay behind, if both of you die.
The article concluded that keeping disaster prepping in the forefront of one’s consciousness, practicing disaster drills, and seeing others run for higher ground served as cues to many of the survivors to get out of the way of the tsunami.
Do you belong to a Community Emergency Response Team (or CERT)? An Op-Ed in the SouthOrangePatch encourages community members to attend one of the offered 20-hour prepping courses to educate and train themselves in basic disaster skills. Topics covered are fire hazards, search and rescue , organizing into teams, and handling minor medical emergencies.
The stated goals of CERT are “to increase the knowledge held by everyday citizens of what to do in the case of crisis, natural disaster, or any other emergency situation in which the professional responders are not immediately available to help.” The author of this Op-Ed, who attended one of these classes, found the course not to be too strenuous or demanding.
After attending the training and becoming certified, other courses will be offered to you, and while you may be included in notices requesting volunteers, there is no obligation to attend, volunteer, or assist in any way. You may indeed consider it helpful just to learn the material, with only the intention of putting it to good use with your own family and neighborhood.
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