Disaster Knowledge

Well, tonight was the last night of the courses I was taking.

The first course was an emergency preparedness course. It was the second one I had taken and was still a very useful course. There are lots of things around the house that we need to do to be prepared for a disaster. Sue and I still need to prepare our go-bags for our vehicles and work. There are still some things we need to get into our home kit. There are still more things to do around the house to make it safer. Still, we are ahead of lots of people, and we have something.

The second course I took was a disaster first aid course. We covered some basic first aid techniques, some slings, some carries of people, basic patient assessment, then we got into triage. Wow, the last two were eye opening. Even knowing that people were faking injuries caused me to freeze up and to totally forget what I was supposed to do. I am going to spend some more time on what I learned there. Just taking this course made me want to take more first aid courses though. Handy knowledge to have no matter what you do.

The last course I took was a Light Urban Search and Rescue. Tuesday night was the 3 hour classroom sections. We learned about basic damage assessment (whether or not to enter a building), search techniques, and more patient carrying techniques. Tonight we did the hands on search portion of the course in an old building. What an amazing experience that was. Searching the building for victims with the building completely blacked out, and a smoke machine inside to simulate dust. We couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of us. For our last entry they cranked up the machine and I could not 6 inches in front of me. Intense. We learned how to quickly search a room/floor/building and to locate the victims and how to report back where they were.

I had lots of questions about tonight’s session and got them all answered. This is one of those things where I hope to never need to apply this knowledge, but I have it just in case. I plan to review the material every so often. It helps me feel more prepared for when a disaster strikes our area.

Earthquake Interesting

In the past few months there have been a couple earthquakes that have made headlines around the world. The first was in Christchurch, New Zealand, the other in Japan.

The Japan quake has hit home for Sue and I. We have an earthquake kit, but neither of us feel like it is enough. We went through it again, updating the kids clothes, and taking stock of what we have. It’s ok, but needs more food and water supplies. I’ve also gotten the kit necessary to secure the hot water tank to the wall, and now that I have the appropriate drill, will get to that this weekend.

Since the Japanese quake, I’ve done more reading than normal on earthquake preparedness. Thankfully Victoria doesn’t have much of a Tsunami threat.

I’ve been on one emergency preparedness seminar already, and learned a lot of interesting things. A few days ago our daycare provider who is also on the Esquimalt town council sent out a powerpoint presentation about the Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program.

It is a series of three courses over 5 sessions. There is a preparedness seminar, a disaster first-aid course, then a light urban search and rescue course. All three courses sound very interesting, and even if it weren’t for the recent quakes, I likely would have wanted to sign up for them.

As if I wasn’t busy enough already. Two young kids, training for the Tour de Victoria, working, looking for a new job, and now disaster training. 🙂 Sometimes it feels good to be busy.