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In an Emergency: No one is coming to save you

Not-so-fun fact: You're on your own. No one is coming to check on you. It's a fact and something you should engrain into your mind. You should always be prepared to rely on yourself.

Did you know that if a disaster should happen the following would almost certainly be true:

  • If there's a fire and you're in a hotel higher than the 4th floor, you will not be rescued. Fire ladders don't go higher than that so ALWAYS know where the exits are.

  • Expect communication failure--the ability to call first, texting would eventually fail due to overloaded systems.

  • Hospital won't function properly like they do in the movies. If you're in the hospital, it must be bad, and only 3 people are likely to be seen in a day during disaster situations.

  • You think you will rush to the grocery store to stock up on food? Think again because a) everyone else has the same idea and b) they don't have enough for everyone. Typically, in a utopian world where everyone shares and portions things out fairly during drastic times, there would still only be enough food to last you 1-2 days max and who knows how many people you have in your household.

Well, most likely. Something I never new before taking this CERT course was jus show unlikely it is that local officials--fire, police, EMT--will come to check on you within a reasonable amount of time, if at all. As I mentioned before, for some eerily strange reason, most disasters tend to happen at night and they are always unexpected. Think about how many people might be in need to assistance? How many neighborhoods there are to check and how many people are in a single family alone.

In my hometown (which granted it small compared to most), there were less than a handful of police and firefighters on duty when the earthquake rocked the entire city into darkness and fear. There was no power for hours, no one to make rounds and make sure people weren't injured. There was no one to make sure that gas wasn't leaking or that the water mains in the area hadn't burst. There were no police or fire vehicles driving up and down the streets to ensure no one was bleeding out or needed emergency care. And that's the case for all city, all sizes, almost all of the time during an emergency situation. That's the horrifying part of the unexpected.

If your gas is leaking, that's your problem. If you or your family is injured, that's your problem, too unless you can get PG&E out there asap, which is not likely. If your neighbor's gas is leaking, that's also your problem. If their house explodes, you're probably screwed too, right? Something to consider if you've never met your neighbors before--say hi and make sure they know who you are and vice versa. You never know when you might need one another.

Here's a video of how to shut off your gas:

** A couple important things about this video to keep in mind. They did not mention that using a common wrench or tool from the garage could be dangerous. The slightest spark if your gas is leaking would be disastrous, not to mention deadly. To ensure your tool is safe to use, I would purchase a shut off tool at any hardware store. Also, if your gas is hissing and the odor is very strong, I would NOT stick around to turn it off. You need to get yourself and loved ones out of the house and call professionals.

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