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In the Event of a Catastrophy

Natural Disasters Disasters Emergency Planning

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#1 eloisel

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 02:43 AM

I don't know about how NO handled their emergency procedures but here in the City I work for, all City employees - no matter what their jobs - are expected to be on call in the event of an emergency situation - from terrorist attack, Y2K meltdown, tornadoes, flooding, whatever - and we drill regularly.  We have an emergency operations center and the heads of each department and an alternate attend a drill every month and the rest of us are updated frequently on where to find the emergency operations manuals.  Occasionally we all get a 'call' to which we have to respond within a certain amount of time and make calls of our own according to our assignments.  In the event of an emergency, there would be other instructions.  After the tornados that ripped up large chunks of downtown Fort Worth and areas of my city, I had nightmares for months that I was standing in the middle of the destruction in what used to be our law library where my department's manual is kept and talking on a cell phone to the governor:  "Hello.  Its me.  I don't know what to do.  Send in the National Guard!"  Even I know to request the National Guard and I'm just a lowly legal secretary/paralegal/assistant/stuff person (depending on the day).  Of course, if we're ever down to where I'm responsible for calling the shots, then there probably wouldn't be much left of my city.  We don't have a public bus system but we do have handitran buses that are city owned - they'd have been on duty in the event of an emergency.  The school district is separate from the City so I don't know if the City as an entity could somehow have comandeered those vehicles.  

Evacuating myself has not been part of my emergency contingency plan.  However, getting my daughter, son-in-law, and the animals out has been.  Both cars have camping equipment and some emergency supplies in the trunks at all times.  Other items for emergency use are easily available in the house.  The kids are aware of what they should do to get the heck out of town.  I'll be in a place with police, firemen, and medical personnel so they aren't to worry about me if I'm not able to evacuate with them.  If leaving the area isn't an option, we know what local buildings to head for.  Fortunately, we don't live in a high risk area although we've had a couple of floods during which we thought we might have to evacuate, a number of severe storms - ripped part of my roof off and crashed a neighbor's tree down into her kitchen, and then the infrequent tornadoes.

I feel I'm as prepared as I can be given the nature of emergencies.

What are your emergency plans?

#2 D'Monix

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 03:07 AM

everything i learned about emergency survival i learned from watching The Road Warrior.

:tyr:

#3 Manic

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 03:45 AM

Well, I live in Northern California, so I've been drilled in what to do during an Earthquake since kindergarten. Coincidentally, I was in kindergarten during the big quake in 1989. I know what to do during a quake (stay away from shelves, either hide under a desk and stand in a doorway, cover the back of my head & neck, stay away from any huge gaping holes in the ground, ect).

Before a quake even happens, we're expected to keep a stocked supply of canned or dry foods, and some spare water. I've got all that in the garage, plus some flashlights and candles around the house (the latter two came in handy during our series of rolling blackouts).

As for leaving town... well, there's a creek that runs along a few sides of town, so my evacuation would be greatly limited if the bridges collapsed.

We're expecting The Big One to hit sometime before 2010, so we shall see what happens to the bulk of California within the next few years.

#4 Hibblette

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 10:06 AM

D'Monix, on Sep 5 2005, 03:07 AM, said:

everything i learned about emergency survival i learned from watching The Road Warrior.

:tyr:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


And now we have Survivor and Lost.

My emergency planning is usually if you have fair warning get out of harms way.

If not then try to keep a cool head and the rifle nearby. :harper:
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#5 Cyncie

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 10:36 AM

I think you make a very good point, eloisel. We just don't focus enough on preparation, and being prepared starts with the individual, then moves through the community and up to the higher levels of government.

Then, add in the fact that we have more people crowding into these prime coastal communities, and you have a higher human and property toll when a catastrophy occurs.

Found this today, and it's a very interesting perspective on what is going wrong:

http://apnews.excite.../D8CDQ99O0.html

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#6 tennyson

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 12:12 PM

Being from West Virginia about the worst natural diasters that could be expected to happen here would be flooding and the occasonal blizzard. Both are things I try to be well-prepared to deal with. Back when I had a house my main idea for dealing with a breakdown in societal order would involve fleeing to that house with as many provisions and other supplies as possible and if it really came down to it surviving from the land.
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#7 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 12:21 PM

My emergency plans are fairly simple. Get out of harms way.

If a see a tornado, or hurricane going in one direction, I go in the other direction.

Seriously, now.

My main plan is to start saving money so that if I had to leave I'd have the means to do so. It's only about 12-13 hours from my apartment in NC to family in NY. And there are a number of routes I can take to get there, so traffice jams on highways won't be too much of a problem.
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#8 Anarch

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 12:55 PM

Quote

In the Event of a Catastrophy, What are your plans?

Die.

#9 Cheile

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 04:20 PM

when those in charge "strongly suggest" an evacuation is necessary, pack up the cat, the necessaries and GET THE HELL OUT.

a lot of lives would have been saved if the New Orleans police (along with some help) would have MADE people leave the low-dying areas instead of "suggesting" they leave and letting the ones who had no brains to think stick around and drown. :sarcasm:

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#10 Hibblette

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 06:09 PM

It's a known fact that there are a lot of people that are not going to budge.


But a people should never be 'punished' because they survived and didn't do what they were told.

Edited by Hibblette, 05 September 2005 - 06:10 PM.

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#11 Kimmer

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 06:41 PM

Mr. Retired and I have always had an emergency cache of money, canned goods, stuff for the pets, meds, clothes, blankets, water, etc. -- and we rotate the stuff out and replace. Fortunately we've never needed it.

The area we are moving to is subject to Tsunami's, and the evac area for the schools and such is "our hill", so we figure once settled in, we will rebuild our emergency supplies and include powdered milk and other things so that we can handle a few extra folks (especially kids) if need be.

Strangly, as we cleaned out the garage the other day, we found that the one side of our garage had pulled away from the floor ... and that the walls are not actually bolted to the floor at all. The bug inspector guy explained that they used to pour the cement foundation and then "float" the floor into place. So the bolts that we see are FAKES!  :angry: All these years we've thought our house was properly attached for earthquakes and it's not. Talk about a false sense of security. I'm glad we are leaving!  :eek:

#12 Manic

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 07:30 PM

Cheile, on Sep 5 2005, 02:20 PM, said:

when those in charge "strongly suggest" an evacuation is necessary, pack up the cat, the necessaries and GET THE HELL OUT.

a lot of lives would have been saved if the New Orleans police (along with some help) would have MADE people leave the low-dying areas instead of "suggesting" they leave and letting the ones who had no brains to think stick around and drown. :sarcasm:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My Geology professor spent some time in New Orleans a few years back, and the current semester coincidentally began in the midst of Hurricane Katrina. She immediately began the class by talking about her experiences in the area, and the friends she made who were long-time residents of the city.

Basically, she informed us that it was likely that some people who wanted to leave the city just plain couldn't. When you have a population that large hitting the same highway at the same time, traffic is going to get backed up on levels most people couldn't imagine. We're talking about 4 hours in heavy traffic, traveling a total distance of 0.25 miles (an example from a previous, smaller hurricane evac). For some people, it came down to either being caught in the hurricane in their cars, or in their homes.

#13 Cheile

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 10:50 PM

^ still trying to leave is better than staying there claiming nothing will happen.

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#14 Norville

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 12:03 AM

Cheile said:

a lot of lives would have been saved if the New Orleans police (along with some help) would have MADE people leave the low-dying areas instead of "suggesting" they leave and letting the ones who had no brains to think stick around and drown.

No brains to think? Think about this, Cheile. From what I've heard, a lot of those "who had no brains to think" and stuck around were too poor to get transportation out of there. It may be kind of difficult to evacuate when one has no car, hmm?

HookandCrook said:

All these years we've thought our house was properly attached for earthquakes and it's not. Talk about a false sense of security. I'm glad we are leaving!

Ooh. :eek: Gee, that reminds me of how we thought that the foundation had been strengthened to withstand earthquakes, and it hadn't been, or at least not to the extent we'd hoped... (What really unnerved me before that was that the building had withstood the 1989 7.1 quake, but when we were having major renovations done in the 1990s, the foreman looked around in the basement, etc., and decided that it was a good idea to fix the foundation, because it might not withstand another larger quake. And yet, I get the feeling that it was only partially fixed...)
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#15 G1223

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 01:21 AM

Well I am on High Ground so a flood will likely not happen.  I have a decently stock set of shelves and a can opener that is not electrical. I have a gas grill and cooking pots. So I can survive for a while. Water I draw can be boiled and I have neighbors so we can pitch in to help those among us in need.

This is Indiana we have a number of people good about getting things done without FEMA or a handful of FEDS stepping in till they are actually needed.  In fact a couple of years ago when the Tornados hit my neighborhood we were without power for three hours. Somehow we did not need to have the feds roll in and turn them on for us.
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#16 Rhiannonjk

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 05:39 AM

Hm.  I'm totally not prepared for anything.  I have candles!  Oh, and tequila...  
Most of the natural disasters where I am come with warning(hurricane), or are very localized (tornado).  Floods could happen, but my house wouldn't be affected.  
I figure my house is safe for a cat 1 hurricane.  If they think cat 2 or higher winds will be this far inland, I'll look for a friend's place to stay, or head to my parent's house.  My question is, what to pack if I think my house will be destroyed?  I have a little fire-safe that I keep inportant documents in, so I figure I could leave that, as it is likely to still be around, somewhere in the rubble.  But beyond that, if everything was destroyed, I think the best thing to have around is my teddy bear.  Jewelry, pictures, knick-knacks, my large antique trunk, none of that will comfort me if everything was gone.  
So I would grab my teddy bear, and my dog, and lots of clothes.  If I have a chance to go to the barn, I would pack my saddle (that would be a pain to replace).  Then again, if it were that dangerous, I would pack the horse as well.  
So other than my animals, I have no idea what I would take if I had to pack up my life in a rush.  
But for Tornadoes, I figure all the warning I will have is the sound of a train approaching (and I lay awake in thunderstorms saying to myself "Is that the sound of a train?  Is that the sound of a train?")  and perhaps a chance to lock myself in a worthless closet.  I have no faith that my house is safe in that instant, so I'll just try to keep my dog close by and hope for the best.

Edited by Rhiannonjk, 06 September 2005 - 05:40 AM.

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#17 emsparks

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 07:26 AM

What are my plans;

To hope and pray that my death will not be too painfull.
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#18 waterpanther

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 09:26 AM

Cat as what kind of trophy?  I really do object to heads on the wall.

Now, in case of catastrophe, I would, in the following order:

1. Grab cats (and their vaccination records in case we're going to Mexico.)

2. Grab CD's with mss. and photos, and negs.

3. Grab cameras and laptop.

4. Go.
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#19 shambalayogi

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 10:37 AM

I have a store of batteries, candles, but no battery operated radio that is useful in somepower outtages where I live due to summer monsoon thunder and wind storms.  but other than that, I have no preparations.

we also don't have much in the way of natural disasters in Phoenix to worry about, at least sudden disasters. Long term shortage of water, with rationing and electrical interruptions--rolling blackouts--would cause a lot of problems.

Of course, I don't know if the rise in transportation costs is going to cause real problems with the prices of food that has to be shipped in. we could also have a real gasoline problem as all our gas from out of state, California or Texas.

Ideally, you'd have important papers separated out ready to take with you but I've got too many of those of my own and I'd have to have them for my Mom, too.  I'd have to worry about my cats and my Mom in a real evacuating emergency.
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#20 Lin731

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 11:55 AM

We have a store of gas and 2 generators, Kerosene heaters, solar radio, shotguns, a boat, tools up the ying yang, a decent stock of canned goods, a boat if the need arose and a couple vehicles that will handle most terrain.
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