Sunday, April 30, 2006

Disaster Response 101

Welcome to the first installment of "Responding to a Incident of National Significance"! I figger the beginning of tornado season would be a good time to get you all acquainted with the National Disaster Plan. National disasters like Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Katrina have taught us many things, but the number one complaint/question I still hear is "WHERE'S THE CAVALRY?" (h/t to asshat mayor Ray Nagin)

The Cavalry, my friends, lies within YOURSELF. *YOU* are responsible for *YOU*. Period. No questions asked. If the National Weather Service tells you a hurricane is headed your way, you have plenty of time to board up the windows and get out of Dodge. If the tornado siren goes off, you high tail it to the basement or bathroom. If they tell you a flood is eminent, you move your belongings up high in the house and you bail out before you literally have to bail out. If you're going on a long trip, you get the car tuned up and start out with a full tank of gas (and get batteries for your damn camera, moron). Anywhoo... the point is, YOU PREPARE. You stop, think about the situation, take action, and brace yourself for the impending disaster.

So, my job, as your Resident Disaster Kitty, is to make sure you are PREPARED so that you don't fall into the category of People Who Expect The Farking Cavalry To Save Their Asses Due To Their Own Lack Of Preparedness. Hoooah!

First of all, you need to know what kind of disaster to prepare for. If you have a two story house, do you have a fire escape ladder? If you have kids, have you discussed with them how to "get low and go", "stop, drop, and roll", and identified at least two ways out of their bedroom and the house? If you're in the Midwest, you're in tornado territory. Do you know where you would go in your house? In the grocery? What about if you were in your car when the funnel approaches? If you live along the southern coast, you've probably been through a hurricane or two. Where would you evacuate to? Do you have a full tank of gas? Are your windows boarded up? No matter where you live in the United States, there is always a chance of disaster hitting and affecting your family. Know what the risks are for your area, and prepare accordingly.

Secondly, when you prepare for the possibility of disasters in your area, you should be aware of what your local, state, and federal governments (and non-government agencies) are ready to do to help you. You should know how long it takes for assistance to arrive so that you can be self-sufficient until that time. You should also know where to go for help.

It is the second point that the majority of Americans don't know enough about, and what has prompted me to write this series. Yes, Series. This is not a one-time post, but rather a series of posts to make sure you all know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it in the event of a disaster. Stay tuned for the next installment of "how to survive a disaster in the United States".


Post a Comment

<< Home