by E R Haroldsen
People should automatically assume those duties they are qualified to do. They should ensure the safety of their families and then they should help their neighbors.
No one should ever wait for instructions to act. If nobody has taken charge, then you are in charge.
SECURE YOUR CURRENT POSITION
Check for injuries
–Help those with immediate medical needs
Check for fire
Check for structural damage to house and property
Check utilities and secure as needed (gas, electrical, water)
Watch for danger: fallen power lines, unsafe structures, unsecured gas lines
ASSESS THE SITUATION
Listen to TV and radio for news and advice
Assemble your Emergency Committee (See Note 1)
Assign people to go around in pairs to gather information and render assistance.
Determine if housing is habitable, damaged, or destroyed.
REPORT TO YOUR LEADER
Report your condition and observations
Get a count and estimate of injuries and damage
–List the type and extent of injuries
–Account for all people in your group and area
Summarize and report to the next higher organization (See Note 2)
INITIATE CORRECTIVE ACTIONS
Organize your resources
Provide water, food, clothing and housing
Prevent or limit property damage
Fortify social, emotional, and spiritual strength
Meet with the members of your emergency response team frequently to review progress and determine additional corrective actions.
Note 1: The composition of your Emergency Committee is dependent upon where you are when the emergency happens. Your committee might be your immediate family, people in a geographic area such as your street or neighborhood, or the people you are working with.
Note 2: Official groups (Red Cross, Civil Emergency Management) will want specifics on quantity, type of injuries, and extent of damage. If you don’t have that assessment, help will still come, but it will be faster if you are a quantified entry on their logs.