(2013) - WHAT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY : Part V
by Porterville Post Editor : A. L. "LUCKY" Lucketta
MULTIPLE PLANS FOR MULTIPLE REASONS :
Multiple plans for multiple reasons ? What do you mean ? Great question and I'm glad you asked.
Now, if you live in California, what's the emergency that most authorities ask you to plan for ? Earthquakes, Right ? Right ... and that's the first crisis you and your family need to plan for - earthquakes.
We've already talked about an EMP blast, either from the sun or a nuclear detonation from one of our enemies and how devastating that would be, but in California, everyone talks about The Big One and they say ... it's not a question of if, but when.
So, if you've never experienced an earthquake you're in for a real treat, cause you'll never forget your first one ... until the second one is bigger - as they always are.
Now, the good news for most Californians ... over 40 ... we kinda instinctively know what to do, if we are all by ourselves. Odds are, there's gonna be other people around and that's when you - the experienced earthquake guy - will need to THINK OUT-LOUD for these people. Why ? Well, I'll tell you why. Many who've never had this wonderful wild ride will freeze and then run, screaming to everyone ... EARTHQUAKE, EARTH QUAKE, EARTH QUAKE - as if the no one knows - and by the time they holler earthquake for the third time, they're on the run ... and others will run right after them ... hopefully in the right direction and away from harm
IF YOU'RE IN A WOODEN BUILDING :
If you're in a building, here's what experienced earthquake aficionados listen for ... again ... if you are by yourself. I'm telling you, the building will tell you which way you must go in order to escape harm.
If you're in a wooden building, listen to the sealing and or roof. Try not listen to the roar of the earth quaking as it passes by or through, and listen to the sealing rafters as they may be giving away at any second and getting ready to split. Remember, it not the earthquake that's gonna hurt you, it the stuff around you that breaks and fall on you. Keep that in mind.
Next, notice real quick, which way the building is leaning - if you can - and than make your way in the opposite direction. This way the building may fall away from you on your way out.
Second, leave the windows alone and try to escape through doorways if you can. However, if the doorways are jammed or broken and you can't pry them open in less then 5 seconds, head back to the windows. Odds are if the doors are stuck or jammed, the windows will be as well ... meaning that the structure is already slipping and starting to loose it foundation(s). If this is the case, then break the windows open and clear the glass as quickly as possible. Leaving the window frames intact will shore up the wall of that building a little bit longer, providing a way of escape for you and yours. Simple right ? It is if you've already thought it through and practiced it.
IF YOU'RE IN CONCRETE BUILDING :
If you're in a concrete building, again, try and listen to the sealing and walls. Even though there may be some plaster cracking off in front of you ... stay focused and listen to the sealing and walls. The plaster from the walls is just plaster, it's the structure of the walls behind the plastered walls that will let you know what's going on and if the walls are ready to crumble.
In any case, there won't be much leaning from the walls, they'll just fall straight down, unless of course the earthquake directly effected one of the walls from outside of the building and it caused that whole side of the building to crumble. That's usually the case. The outside wall has been shaken badly and will typically fall down, out and or off. It's the inside walls that appear more stable in a quake, making it more imperative that you leave a concrete building as quickly as possible and do not try to re-enter it until the quake is over.
Yes, people do this all the time, going back into the building until the emergency first responding crews arrive and tell them not to do that. I'm telling you, you ain't gonna stop them so, word of advise ... try and remember the description of what they looked like and how many did go back in 'cause the emergency crews will be asking.
IF YOU'RE AT HOME :
If you're at home and a quake hits, observe the previous paragraphs re: the structure of your building and have multiple plans for escape - like every agency emphasizes.
How many plans should you have for your family in your home ? Answer. As many doors and windows that your home has, you should have at least that many plans. If you have a front door, and back door, and a side garage door, that's three. If you have a window in every room, as codes require, that should multiply the number of plans and routes of escape for you and your family.
IF YOU'RE AT WORK :
If you're at work, OSHA usually requires your business and company to post where the escape routes are located and if your business or company has emergency drills, then they'll also appoint someone as emergency leader - my wording not theirs.
If your work site is a 24 hour a day, seven day a week operation, someones gonna have to stay at work and hold down the fort until the emergency officials announce the "All Is Clear" public notice. Meaning, if you have very little seniority at work, most likely you're gonna be it ... until the boss and his managers come back to work.
In any case, if you are the new kid on the block, you're gonna have to make plans with your family to let them know, you may be stuck at work and might not be able to get home as quickly as they and you would like. This is how it works in real life. If you have this in your emergency plans, staying at work during this emergency crisis, you could end up as the company hero and end up with either a raise or promotion or both. Something to consider.
IF YOU'RE A FIRST RESPONDER :
Well, your job is gonna suck the first 24 - 72 hours. However, if you have all of your plans in place - at home - then once the emergency is all over you'll get a sense that it was all worth it, as most emergency crews will tell you. Hopefully your family won't have to suffer too much because of your absence, if you had already factored in the temporary consequences of your job. If not, this is when the family starts to fall apart because they start feeling that you have now put others in front of the family.
The way around this is to have your next door neighbors help and assist in your absence. And if you really, really must know what's going on, don't call the emergency responders- their gonna be way too busy saving the world - call the local media and have them call one of their on-site reporters or camera man to see if everything is a-okay. For sure they want the inside scoop re: this emergency event and odds are they'll assist you, hoping for a story. I'm sure you can figure the rest out.
FINAL NOTE REGARDING THE FINAL PLAN :
For every person you come in contact with you're gonna have to have a plan for, especially if they're panicky and present with a distracting personality disorder.
Plan, plan, plan. Plan to help yourself - your family - your friends - your neighbors - the criminals - emergency responders and most importantly, PLAN TO MEET YOUR MAKER ... if all else fails.
If you have yet you meet that eternal objective, all of the above plans will be for not. If you can plan for tomorrow, today and plan forever by faith through GOD's, Son JESUS CHRIST, the temporal thing of today, will be righted by the promise of the Promise Keeper ... GOD ALMIGHTY !!!
May GOD prepare and protect your hearts as you prepare to protect you and yours.