Disaster: What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do
When an emergency happens or a disaster strikes, some people seem to know what to do. Others of us can panic or waste time not knowing what to do first. Emergency responders recommend you do a size-up.
What Is A Size-Up?
Conducting a size-up means getting an overall perspective of the emergency, disaster, or situation explains firefighter and author Scott Finazzo. Don’t be totally consumed by what visually appears to be the worst aspect of the situation. In the medical field the example sometimes used is attending someone screaming from a hand injury and not noticing that someone else has a head injury and is losing consciousness. Take in as much information as you can. And ask yourself three questions:
1. What has happened?
2. What is happening now?
3. What is going to happen?
You also want to draw from all five of your senses plus your instinct. What do you see? What’s the extent of the damage? Is anyone yelling for help? Can you hear a dangerous sound like gas leaking or water running? Do you smell smoke or anything suspicious? Is something hot to the touch or cold or abnormal? If you have an odd taste in your mouth you might have inhaled an irritant of some kind.
And trust your instinct. Even if there’s not obvious evidence to take a course of action, if it feels like you should do something (leave the area, get on higher ground, etc.) Scott says it may be wise to follow that gut feeling.
Here are some steps for doing a size-up:
1. Gather facts.
What happened? Where are people and are they safe? Does anyone need help?
2. Assess damage.
How extensive is it? Which part of the facility is damaged?
3. Consider probabilities.
What’s likely to happen next? How can your actions positively affect the outcome?
4. Assess your situation.
Are you safe where you are or should you move? What are you trained and equipped to do? Who do you need to call to get the right type of help?
5. Establish priorities.
What’s most important to do first? Second? Next?
6. Take action.
Considering all the information you have, create a plan, make decisions, and take action.
7. Evaluate progress.
At regular intervals stop and think about your progress. Are your goals being met? Should you change your course of action?
Natural Disaster Information For You
Every month on our blog, SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield publishes educational articles on how to prevent natural disasters and deal with them quickly and effectively should they occur. Here are a few you might find helpful:
50% Are Not Prepared For A Natural Disaster
Surviving A Natural Disaster
You have lots of resources on the web that can help you be prepared for a natural disaster. On the Red Cross website under “Get Help” you’ll find at least seven essays on emergency preparation. The website for the Department of Labor’s OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has a large emergency preparedness and response section.
Here For You
The team at SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield also has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire damage restoration services, mold remediation, commercial services, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield (860-216-2785) anytime, 24/7.
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Bloomfield, Connecticut 06002
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