a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.
"your quick response in an emergency could be a lifesaver"
synonyms:crisis, urgent situation, extremity, exigency; More
arising from or needed or used in an emergency.
modifier noun: emergency
"an emergency exit"
synonyms:urgent, crisis; More
a person with a medical condition requiring immediate treatment.
Emergencies are unpredictable, can be very dangerous, and are often extremely scary. We can't always predict an emergency situation, but we can be prepared for them. Now, I won't lecture you here about being a prepper or stocking a fallout shelter for a dark, rainy day, but I will share with you some of the easy, good-to-know tips that might just save your life and those you love some day. Some of you Endingers will know this stuff already, others might find it useful and fascinating, even, if you're like me.
Now, the disclaimer here is that I am not an expert in anything. I am an informed citizen in my community who attends trainings and learns what they can in order to be more prepared the next time something crazy and unexpected happens where I live. In this series of posts, I will provide you with things I find both interesting and useful, and I will provide for you the links and information you need to do more research on your own, if you so choose.
Why am I learning these things and sharing them with you?
In my neck of the woods, our natural disasters are floods and earthquakes, and I've experiences some doozies in my short lifetime already.
In January 2006, the Napa River flooded, devastating all of downtown--shops, homes, the movie theater. I was devastate :) And though my mom sent us girls away, she wanted to stay behind to protect our animals. So she did, and she was stuck inside our house for nearly two days, with our parrot, our cat, and a bottle of tequila to keep her company. The devastation was horrible at the time--most of our things destroyed, covered in silt and sewage water and other horrible things you can probably imagine. We've recovered and moved on as most people do, but situations like that leave a footprint on your heart and in your mind.
In August 2014, my home was shaken nearly down to its foundation when a 6.0 earthquake hit in the dead of night. Power was out for hours, roads were buckled and broken, buildings had crumbled to the ground, and people were scared out of their minds. Luckily, as most horrifying disasters do, the earthquake hit while most people were asleep in bed (I was at LF's house, staying over for the Before The Dawn release party we'd thrown ourselves) and injuries were minimal. But the city itself still hasn't completely recovered. Building are still condemned, homes are still being repaired, restaurants are finally reopening, but the what if I'd only and next time I'll be more prepareds are starting to fade from people's minds (This is only a portion of the flooded area, but my house is right in the middle of the photo above).
Video of earthquake footage and photos
It's stuck with me enough that I've begun to really consider the what ifs and how angry I would be with myself if something worse were to happen and I'd done nothing to prepare for it. I'm not skilled when it comes to survival, so I wanted to learn the basics should I ever need them. That's why I've become a member of my local Certified Emergency Response Team (CERT) in my community, because you never know when you'll wake up with your bed shaking during another big earthquake or if you'll be stranded due to a tornado or flood, or maybe a close refinery might explode and you're worried about the ramifications and what that means for you and your family. Hell, I didn't even know how to turn off my gas if I needed to or why you should have a special tool to do so.
So, as titillating as this story has been, that's my reasoning for writing this blog series, and why I think it's worth it to share some of the interesting facts and helpful websites that might stick with you one day in a less-than-ideal emergency situation. It's a free training put on by the fire department (in my hometown, at least) paid for by monies allotted to the county through FEMA. You get a hard hat, goggles, gloves, and a vest once you certify, as well, so that you can safely check on your family and neighbors in cases of emergency. You also receive awesome workbooks and cheatsheets and field guides to take home with you like these:
(Please excuse any chicken scratch writing, these are live action materials)
If you're interested in learning more about CERT programs and whether or not there are trainings in your area, you can find more information at the FEMA website HERE.
I'll be posting water purifying tips, items you might not think about to include in your roadside kits, and much more soon. I hope you find it interested and useful!