Monday, September 28, 2020


Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.

With a cup of coffee in one hand and the morning newspaper neatly displayed on the kitchen table this morning, I begin to riffle through the pages with my right hand.  A morning ritual in this household.  When all of a sudden I see this heading “Volcano tourism on the rise”.  You have to be kidding!

Several tour operators are offering packages to visit, tour and bare witness to a live and very active volcano.   The article goes onto say “you might want to exercise caution.”  You think?

Their idea of caution (no kidding) or preventing harm to visitors is to park their vehicles in a spot for a quick getaway and they go onto say that in case of rock explosions people are encouraged to take shelter under their vehicles.  Now, let’s stop and think about this for a moment.  A road up to a “new” volcanic lookout sounds like a single lane road to me so if we all park for a quick getaway there has to be a traffic jam somewhere.  And hiding under your car waiting for “hot” rock debris to hit the car which is probably filled with gas. Hmmh!  Does this interest any of the blog readers?

But there is a very important message here which we tend to forget:  the tour operator has assessed the risk and offered cautionary exits from danger if the need arises.  Many governmental and other agencies put a lot of emphasis on planning and preparing for emergencies but very few talk about assessing the risks of a natural or manmade disaster in your community.  What type of risks is your community prone too?  Would it be hurricane/tornado winds, torrential down pours, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and/or a possible target for a terrorist attack?  Ask your local emergency management agency or your nearest CEN Chapter leader for guidance on assessing what the risks are.  Once you have identified the risks then, develop your emergency plan accordingly. 

Here are some thoughts about what to look for.  Readers please add to this list if you have suggestions.

a)      Do you live close to an airport?  What is their Disaster Recovery Plan?  How does that impact your community?

b)      What if your property backs onto a railway track and the train derails carrying toxic chemicals.  Ask someone in authority what type of chemicals do these trains carry that go by your house.  What is there spill containment plan?

c)      Is your house close to an oil refinery?  What precautions have they taken?

d)      How many times in a year do you experience a power outage?  Are you prepared for a blackout?  Candles at the ready, blankets, alternative heat sources, cooking, etc.  How does your neighbor plan on dealing with this inconvience.   Maybe share BBQ’s.

Knowing the risks and properly assessing those risks will help any family in developing a better emergency plan.  Your knowledge of the risks in your community will also help with your recovery process.  A 72 Hour Emergency Kit is the center of any emergency plan. 

And remember, look out for the other guy.  He may just need your help but embarrassed to ask.   

J. Douglas Bush

Managing Partner

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