Family First In Disasters

I was struck in awe when I saw a story by CNN about a Japanese fireman who rushed to the scene of the tsunami and earthquake zone to do his duty, only to find that his family perished when he returned home several days later.


First, enact a policy and follow up with a procedure geared toward identifying who and how many of your personnel, with their extensions, can be cared for in the short-term. Secondly, survey your government facilities to determine what areas can be used for emergency housing needs if the big one hits. Third, consider what resources your agency currently has in terms of power generation (most PDs already have a back-up generator), fuel depot, toiletries, bedding materials, etc. Over time budget what you need or build up on supplies that already exist. Finally, seek outside assistance from your local emergency management folks, state level EMA, or FEMA regarding planning measures and resource allocation. In many cases discontinued military surplus is available to governmental units for free. Usually police agencies seek assault rifles or armored vehicles for their patrol units or SWAT teams, but have you ever thought of cots, water buffalos, or tents?

Doing Nothing

Sometimes the worst thing we can do is nothing at all. First Responders are the core of our National Response Plan when it comes to disasters, either man-made or by nature. Local leaders will always bear the brunt of an incident simply because it is and always will be a local problem. Before our local police and fire personnel can take care of others, their families need to be taken care of first.



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