Some time back a tsunami drill was held in our local area. When the sirens sounded at the appointed time, hundreds of people made their way to high ground and to safe assembly points throughout the city. Organizers claimed it was a resounding success because, just like the fire drills, those who participated will know exactly what to do when the real thing occurs.
There is a reason (and a requirement) airlines go through those recitations before every take-off. You know the one, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is how a seatbelt works, and in the unlikely event of the loss of cabin pressure this mask will drop down…” Seasoned flyers always act bored and almost perturbed that they must endure this one more time, but the truth is, those little briefings save lives. When there is an emergency landing, everyone already knows where the exits are, everyone knows how to open them and that there will be a big, inflatable slippery slide to safety. Passengers know to put their own mask on first, and then attend to the children and others around them. People know what to do ahead of time and lives are spared as a result.
If a fire breaks out in your home in the middle of the night, does your family know the safest way to get out of the house? Do you have a designated assembly point outside so you know immediately when everyone is present and accounted for? It’s all about saving lives and minimizing injury. Fire drills and evacuation drills are all a part of your plan. You may have the most complete “kit” in your neighborhood, but if you haven’t taken the time to make a plan, your preparations may all be in vain.
As always you may send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous columns may be found on my blog at www.disasterprepdave.blogspot.com. Dave Robinson is the Postmaster in Bandon, Oregon, and the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us,” available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and other online booksellers.