Survival Training for Ten Special Hazards
Your family may be prepared for common emergencies. But have you taken the time to think about these ten special hazards?
Checklist of Special Hazards
1. Emergency siren
We’re all used to the weather alert sound that’s tested monthly on the radio. But what if you suddenly heard a siren going off outside? Would you know immediately what it meant, and what to do? In our part of the world, sirens are associated with just one thing: a leak at the nearby nuclear power plant. In Oklahoma, a siren might announce imminent threat of a tornado. In Asia, sirens are used to warn of giant waves or tsunamis. What sirens operate where you live or where you’re planning to travel?
2. Railroad crash
When the track doesn’t run right next to your house, you may not realize how many trains are traveling through your community. Although train accidents are infrequent, every year we hear of derailments, explosions, fires, traffic disruption, and evacuations. Where could a train crash happen in your local neighborhood? What cargo might that train be carrying?
3. Fire at sea
I’ve personally been through two ferry fires, both in the Mediterranean. Any time you’re aboard a ship, or even a boat, there’s danger from fire. Do you think about this possibility BEFORE you board? Do you think about how to respon
4. Airport/aircraft emergency
As a civilian, you’re not likely to be called upon to respond to an emergency at an airport but do you live or work near an airport? In the flight path? What do you know about emergency preparedness at the facility and how you would be impacted if there were a mishap?
5. Unusually heavy rain
Here in Southern California, rain (finally) fell on areas that a year ago had been burned by wildfires. The result: uncontrolled run-off of water and, unfortunately, mudslides. Could you become a victim of such a disaster? Do you know how to protect your property (as best you can) using sandbags and K-rails?
6. Disabled residents
We’ve said it over and over again: many evacuation or disaster response plans overlook people with disabilities. How have you prepared to assist disabled family members, neighbors or co-workers in the case of an emergency?
7. Dam break
A wall of water from a broken dam is a favorite movie image. Reality might look a little different. (It might not be a flood; it might mean seepage or discharge and contamination of the water supply.) Is there a dam or water supply anywhere near you? Or a storage area for industrial liquid waste? It may be well camouflaged! How would you find out?
8. Explosions or release of toxins from industrial plants
We’re pretty aware of the dangers associated with oil refineries and fertilizer plants. What other industrial activities are underway near your community? Do you actually work where you have identified hazards associated with the job? OSHA is the agency where you can seek information and assistance regarding industrial hazards.
9. Dangerous animals
As populations expand, communities come ever more in contact with animals that used to be wild but which now exist nearby. We’ve all seen videos of bears wandering between houses, of coyotes chasing pets and even children, and, of course, snakes that have grown to become life-threatening. Do you and your children know how to recognize a dangerous animal and what to do if you encounter one?
10. Active shooter
Do you know what gunfire sounds like? If you heard it, would you know what to do? What about your children? Your parents? Where might you encounter a shooter? Immediate action could save your life; confusion or a delayed reaction could put you in increased danger.
There is emergency preparedness training available for each of these special circumstances. We’ve discussed some of them here at Emergency Plan Guide and will likely talk about them again.
If you’d like more info on any item in particular, or have personal experience to share, please leave a comment.
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