Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What to do during a national crisis.

I've been discussing emergency management for citizens on this blog over the past two weeks. Today, however, I want to talk about national crisis and terrorist activity. Do you know how to handle yourself and what information to rely upon?

There are 7 key services you need to be in contact with to know exactly what you can and can't do while the country is processing a crisis or disaster. Does this mean you call each one up? No, but you should follow these resources on social media and have your local office numbers written down (not just in your phone) in case of a true emergency. Typically, these agencies will reach out to citizens on the news, but if you don't know something or have to report an incident- you can call them during a disaster.

Mayor
The mayor is responsible at the administrative level for the smooth running of the response effort.

Fire service
The fire service is the linchpin in disaster response. The fire chief is charged with the operational management of the response effort. Everything that occurs in the disaster area falls under his/her authority.

Regional accident and disaster medical teams
Anyone injured in a disaster will require medical assistance as soon as possible.

Police
The police will ensure that the fire and ambulance services can do their job. They will cordon off the disaster area, manage the traffic, and sometimes set up a safety zone around the disaster area.

Army
The Ministry of Defence can deploy military personnel to respond to a disaster.

Municipal services
Behind the scenes, several municipal services play an important role in disaster response, especially when it comes to the after-effects.

Other services
Which services take part in the response effort will depend on the type of disaster. In the case of flooding caused by burst dykes or heavy rainfall, the water authorities will play a role. If a disaster occurs off the coast, the Coastguard will be involved. But other services will also often take part. The Red Cross cares for the injured in disasters.

Until tomorrow,
Twyla N. Garrett

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