BACK-TO-BASICS SERIES - OVERVIEW-3:
EXAMINING THE WISDOM OF BEING PREPARED BEFORE AN INCIDENT OCCURS.
NOW YOU CAN SEE A DISASTER THAT HAS HAPPENED IN EVERY STATE HERE:
http://www.ready.gov/today (There is a map on this webpage, and when you click the state it will show a date and description of a major disaster that happened within that state)
TOPIC BACKGROUND: “Is Preparedness Ignorance Bliss or Blunder?”
This is obviously a relative question and I would argue that relative to disaster, individuals who do not consume, plan, practice, and utilize “National Preparedness” information are making a big mistake (if not being naive and/or maladaptive). From a position of hindsight we can all learn by examining disasters, and then attempt to uncover mistakes, followed by an attempt to address ways and means to be better prepared in future incidences (COURSE CORRECT).
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: CASE BASED LEARNING (CBL)
Identifying the CONSEQUENCES of not being prepared when disaster strikes, as well as learning the importance of PLANNING, PREPARATION, WARNING SIGNS, AND COMPLYING WITH EVACUATION PROTOCOL.
Much like the approach of recent commercials devised for the anti-tobacco campaign (which pointed to the harsh realities and consequence of cancer), this topic points to a past disaster and the consequences of not being prepared and/or complying with authorities.
Rather than leave the past behind (as a wasted opportunity to learn from our mistakes), this story of Pompeii leverages unfortunate past incidences as teaching points such that the reader will be confronted by the seriousness of being prepared, understand the consequences of not being prepared, and gain insight into the importance of learning and adopting basic methods and tactics that will enhance their outcome in future incidences. The seriousness of my approach to this topic is conceived under the assumption everyone (in an appropriate age range and health status) CAN AND WILL make a difference, when disaster strikes.
A select (simplified) case study is exemplified whereby a disaster occurred that might have been handled better by the local community and/or damages and human losses limited if the victims were properly versed in basic topics of Preparedness and/or complied with local authorities. This topic references some basic ways preparedness could have saved lives and/or property.
This story of Pompeii will reveal some harsh realities, however it is not graphic, and will not exploit or expose anyone or group.
Once the example case has been articulated, I would like to invite the reader to share their own story of how “lack of preparedness” can lead to a worse outcome during an incident than being prepared would, and briefly discuss how they could prepare for the same incident next time. The reader can share their thoughts, comments, and stories at the associated IdeaScale webpage here:
CASE STUDY: THE CITY OF POMPEII (ANCIENT ROME 79AD)
SEE ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION HERE:
THE EXAMPLE INCIDENT:
The city-village of Pompeii (Population 20,000) was buried in 13-20 feet of ash over a 3 month period due to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. In ancient times, Pompeii was located 5 miles from the active volcano.
HARBINGERS AND WARNING SIGNS:
Recent Local Core Samples suggest that there were previous earthquakes and volcanic events observed by Pompeii residents (over a period of 800 years) prior to the main volcanic event (including a magnitude 6 earthquake in 62 AD). Scientists estimate that citizens not only observed landslides and other seismic related events but (preserved Roman records) suggest that they received warnings by authorities that the volcano was becoming more active and orders to evacuate the city, (yet the criticizes of Pompeii did not move to a safer area).
FOUR KEY MISTAKES WERE MADE BY THE PEOPLE OF POMPEII:
MISTAKE#1: Residence failure to move farther from Mount Vesuvius when warned.
MISTAKE#2: Residence failure to evacuate when warned of impending disaster in 79AD.
MISTAKE#3: In prior earthquakes, citizens failed to secure their lanterns, and during the earthquake of AD62 this lead to large fires and devastation.
MISTAKE#4: Failure to adequately plan and prepare for local endemic disaster.
CONSEQUENCES OF NOT BEING PREPARED:
1. The estimated death toll was (HALF OF THE POPULATION).
2. Other records suggest that there were 11th-hour rescue attempts via ships, however, THE ROMAN RESCUE PERSONNEL WERE OVERWHELMED, and could not save everyone.
3. Large fires occurred as well due to “not securing fires” during prior events.
An Estimated 300 inhabitants in the most adjacent village to the volcano (Herculaneum) died in the first 6 hours of eruption and probably couldn’t have done much other than move when warned. However, what about the others? WHAT COULD THE OTHER 19,700 POMPEII RESIDENCE HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY IF THEY COULD GO BACK IN TIME?
1. PREPARE THE COMMUNITY AND HOMES TO BE RESILIENT: i.e. be at a safe distance from the volcano, and homes could be more fire & earthquake resistant.
2. Have a disaster PLAN with a pre-determined meeting point identified by family members.
3. Have a disaster KIT ready.
4. REACT SAFELY: i.e. Comply with warnings and relocate when authorities issue orders.
5. SECURE HOME CONTENTS: i.e. Exercise fire safety during earthquakes.
6. KEEP RESERVE SUPPLIES: i.e. Crates containing clothing, supplies, food, and water.
7. EVACUATION PLAN: i.e. Know how to evacuate efficiently and effectively.
8. CARE FOR OTHERS: i.e. Help anyone you (safely) can.
9. OPTIMIZE, ADAPT, AND EVOLVE PLANS BASED ON OUTCOMES OF PRIOR DISASTERS & LESSONS LEARNED.
FINAL IMPRESSIONS: (CONCLUSIONS)
If the ancient people of Pompeii had access to our modern Preparedness knowledge, and utilized it together with the 9 “course corrections” mentioned above, I believe they could have preserved more life and property during and after the volcanic eruption.
IN MODERN TIMES THE READER CAN DO THE FOLLOWING: (MODERN PLANS AND EVACUATION EXAMPLES)
MODERN ANALOGY-1: (WATER HAZARD)
e.g. Emergency services states that Hurricane surge water will cause dangerous conditions in a given area of Florida and residents must evacuate.
HERE IS THE PLAN (FOLLOW THE PLAN):
MODERN ANALOGY-2: (FIRE HAZARD)
e.g. Emergency services states that a local Fire is moving towards your area and you must evacuate.
HERE ARE THE PLANS (FOLLOW A PLAN):
Or, i.e. Your home is surrounded by fire see USAF Plan HERE:
Or, securing fires in the home or business environment see OSHA fire safety reference HERE:
MODERN ANALOGY-3: (EARTHQUAKE HAZARD)
e.g. You live in an earthquake prone city. Earthquake preparedness information (BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER) are given below.
HERE IS THE PLAN (FOLLOW THE PLAN):
MODERN ANALOGY-4: (VOLCANO ERUPTION)
e.g. There is an active volcano near your home, (what should you do). The USGS tracks U.S. volcano activity, and you can follow information about your volcano here:
Also, for volcano preparedness information HERE IS THE PLAN (FOLLOW THE PLAN): http://www.usfa.fema.gov/pdf/efop/efo38355.pdf
THIS SECTION IS PROVIDED AS A REFERENCE SECTION HERE TO EXEMPLIFY HOW VOLUNTEERS CAN ASSIST DURING DISASTERS (FOR AWARENESS PURPOSES). A PARTIAL LIST OF VOLUNTEER CAPABILITIES DURING SELECT EVENTS REQUIRING EVACUATION AND CLEAN-UP WAS INCLUDED BELOW AS (RESILIENCE CAPABILITY VIEWPOINTS-9, 10, 11, 14, 15, &16).
FILTER CRITERIA = EVACUATION PARAMETER WITH RECOVERY-CAPABILITY
VIEWPOINT-9: UTILIZATION OF VOLUNTEERS SUCH AS CERT AS STATE & LOCAL EXPANSION CADRE OF ESSENTIAL PUBLIC & PRIVATE SERVICES, SEARCH & RESCUE, MEDICAL TREATMENT AND MASS CARE RESPONSES, SEE TOPIC HERE:
CAPABILITY VIEWPOINT-10: UTILIZATION OF VOLUNTEERS SUCH AS CERT IN PUBLIC HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES, SOCIAL SERVICES, & PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT SCENARIOS, SEE TOPIC HERE:
CAPABILITY VIEWPOINT-11: PUBLIC INFORMATION, WARNING, & COMMUNICATIONS PERSPECTIVE, SEE TOPIC HERE:
CAPABILITY VIEWPOINT-14: UTILIZATION OF VOLUNTEERS SUCH AS CERT IN HAZARD SCENARIOS, SEE TOPIC HERE:
CAPABILITY VIEWPOINT-15: UTILIZATION OF VOLUNTEERS SUCH AS CERT IN NATIONAL SEVERE WEATHER SCENARIOS, SEE TOPIC HERE:
CAPABILITY VIEWPOINT-16: UTILIZATION OF VOLUNTEERS SUCH AS CERT IN PUBLIC WORKS EXPANSION CADRE SCENARIOS, SEE TOPIC HERE: