Aug. 28, 2012 — Friends of mine had to leave their home in Canyon Dam because of a mandatory evacuation during the Chips Fire. They had more than a week to secure important records and select items to move, which was helpful.
As I looked around my home I realized I am not prepared to leave should a forest fire threaten. Yet at a Chips Fire update Rocky Opliger, the incident commander, warned when the fire south of Highway 89 is extinguished there is always a chance another wildfire will threaten homes because the woods are dry.
Fire officials mentioned websites to access information about preparedness, such as wildlandfiresg.org (Ready, Set, Go!) and firewise.org. I think about all the information we have on this topic of preparedness for a great variety of situations — in the event of an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, house fire, blizzard, etc.
I can’t tell you how many times I have watched a video about getting out of an automobile submerged in water but at the moment I cannot remember a single step.
I am reminded of that saying “out of sight, out of mind.” In other words, if the situation is not immediately probable I will think of other things.
I remember an episode of Murphy Brown, a situation comedy that was on television from 1988-1998, in which Brown and a colleague talked throughout the safety message delivered by flight attendants before the plane takes off. Later, when the crew announced engine trouble, they did not know what to do in a plane crash even though they were given instructions at the beginning of the flight. How many times have I been more interested in an article featured in the airline magazine than the location of the emergency exit doors on the airplane?
There are probably hundreds of preparedness documents for a multitude of events and situations. They include how to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke or heart attack; what to do if caught in a riptide; what to do if your car slides on black ice; how to save someone who is drowning; or what to do when someone is choking. I wonder how many millions of dollars are spent on these documents that are tucked away in files, drawers or simply dumped in the wastebasket.
Perhaps we all need to be a little bit more like the Boy Scouts. I was reading the requirements for earning an emergency preparedness badge as a Boy Scout and found they must do more than prepare for an emergency situation. Also they must learn the aspects for response; methods of recovering; and steps for mitigating and preventing emergency situations. To earn the badge they are required to show they can apply all four concepts to the following situations — home kitchen fire; home basement/storage room/garage fire; explosion in the home; automobile crash; and food-borne disease (food poisoning). In addition they must select five situations from the following list for a total of 10. The choices include: fire or explosion in a public place; vehicle stalled in the desert; vehicle trapped in a blizzard; flash flooding in town or in the country; mountain/backcountry accident; boating or water accident; gas leak in a home or a building; tornado or hurricane; major flood; nuclear power plant emergency; avalanche (snow slide or rockslide); violence in a public place.
Perhaps we need to take time to consider emergency scenarios that might occur based on where we live, what we do for a living, and the activities in which we participate. The nearby forest fires are a good reminder on the virtue of preparedness.
Proverbs 27:12 has words of wisdom, “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
|< Prev||Next >|