Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) traininggreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Here in my area, the Josephine Emergency Preparedness group, a non- governmental preparedness organization, is just beginning to train people in "CERT". This involves seven, two and one half hour sessions in how to help out in a major disaster, where the "normal" emergency personnel will be overwhelmed. Here is a quote from FEMA's CERT site:
COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM (CERT)
Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors as number of victims, communication failures, and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment's notice through 911. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs.
One also expects that under these kinds of conditions, family members, fellow employees, and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other. This was the case following the Mexico City earthquake where untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800 people. However, 100 people lost their lives while attempting to save others. This is a high price to pay and is preventable through training.
If you are interested, check out these URL's:
Incidently, although the Josephine Emergency Prearedness group was formed following a growing awareness of potential y2k problems, the training is also useful for any type of disaster.
Here on the West Coast of the U.S. we are particularly concerned about earthquakes. The earthquakes which have struck in various places worldwide and have caused severe damage, have generally only been in the low sevens on the Richter Scale. We anticipate that "the big one" will be between eight and nine. An eight is ten times as powerful as a seven; a nine is ONE HUNDRED times as powerful as a seven!
For those of you who live in areas that do not consider themselves at risk of earthquakes--think again! Did you know that the largest known earthquake to ever hit the 48 contiguous states in the US was in New Madrid, Missouri? It was felt as far away as Misoula, Montana, and rang churchbells in Boston, Mass. Large quakes, while rare, are so devastating that it is imperative that folks know how to handle the aftermath.
-- Al K. Lloyd (email@example.com), September 08, 1999
I decided it would be interesting to do a search for info on this earthquake. Found lots of info. Here's some from http://hsv.com/ genlintr/newmadrd/index.htm
The Great New Madrid Earthquake The recent earthquake which struck Kobe, Japan, resulted in the loss of over 5000 lives and millions of dollars in property. However, large parts of the United States are also subject to large magnitude quakes - quakes which could be far more powerful than the Kobe quake! Although we tend to think of California and Alaska as the places where most of our earthquakes occur, the fact is that the central U.S. has been the site of some very powerful earthquakes.
In the past three centuries, major earthquakes outside of California and Alaska generally occurred in sparsely-settled areas, and damage and fatalities were largely minimal. But some took place in areas that have since been heavily built up. Among them are three earthquakes that occurred in 1811 and 1812 near New Madrid, MO. They are among the Great earthquakes of known history, affecting the topography more than any other earthquake on the North American continent. Judging from their effects, they were of a magnitude of 8.0 or higher on the Richter Scale. They were felt over the entire United States outside of the Pacific coast. Large areas sank into the earth, new lakes were formed, the course of the Mississippi River was changed, and forests were destroyed over an area of 150,000 acres. Many houses at New Madrid were thrown down. "Houses, gardens, and fields were swallowed up" one source notes. But fatalities and damage were low, because the area was sparsely settled then.
The probability for an earthquake of magnitude 6.0 or greater is significant in the near future, with a 50% chance by the year 2000 and a 90% chance by the year 2040. A quake with a magnitude equal to that of the 1811- 1812 quakes could result in great loss of life and property damage in the billions of dollars. Scientists believe we could be overdue for a large earthquake and through research and public awareness may be able to prevent such losses.
Los Angeles can expect to be mightily damaged by movement on the San Andreas Fault, or the Newport-Inglewood or other neighboring faults, most probably within the next 25 years. But the Eastern and Midwestern states also face ground shaking of colossal proportions, repetitions of such known upheavals as the 1886 Charleston, S.C., quake, the 1755 Boston quake, and the Jamaica Bay quake hundreds of years ago on New York's Long Island. The granddaddy of them all was the 1811-1812 series of three great quakes on the New Madrid Fault (halfway between St. Louis and Memphis beneath the mississippi), which shook the entire united States. The next time the New Madrid Fault produces such a quake, it is estimated 60 percent of memphis will be devastated, leaving $50 Billion in damage and thousands of dead in its wake. Memphis, you see - like Armenia - has looked down the barrel of a loaded seismic gun for decades, but has done virtually nothing to move out of the crosshairs.
Eyewitness Accounts of the 1811 and 1812 Earthquakes Eliza Bryan, New Madrid, Territory of Missouri, March 22, 1816 John Bradbury, a Scottish naturalist, December 15, 1811 George Heinrich Crist, a Kentucky resident, December 16, 1811
-- Al K. Lloyd (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 08, 1999.