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delineates a hypothetical disaster plan in response to a major earthquake and tsunami in New York City. The disaster plan includes pre-disaster / pre-event preparations, actions taken during the disaster, resources available during the disaster, and post-disaster / post-event strategies. The scope of the disaster plan includes establishment of a new residence and survival plan for disasters with long-term effects. Additionally, the disaster plan contains two separate components: One disaster plan is intended for use if conditions indicate the safest strategy is to shelter in place. The second disaster plan is intended for us if conditions dictate moving to another, safer location.
"This awful catastrophe is not the end, but the beginning. History does not end so. It is the way its chapters open." (St. Augustine)
Any effective disaster plan begins with preparations at home, during periods of calm. The most basic disaster plan includes preparing a kit of emergency supplies and daily living supplies to be taken along wherever an individual needs to go just before, during, and after the disaster strikes (FEMA, 2011). Preparation of this emergency kit assumes that the individual will have some warning that a disaster is impending or will recognize an immediate threat to safety and life. A more complete disaster plan will include more than one emergency bag (FEMA, 2011). At a minimum, there should be a disaster bag for the car and the disaster kit, which will ostensibly be larger than the disaster bag for the car, which will be kept in the home.
Emergency supplies kit. The purpose of an emergency supplies kit is to enable me to stay in my home and survive for a minimum of three days on the supplies I have put aside for that purpose. The survival kit that I will assemble will be placed in a special container that will be appropriately marked and stored in the same easily accessible place at all times. The emergency kit will be sufficiently secured to prevent accidental liberation of the supplies or mistaken use of the supplies. In addition, I will post a schedule indicating when supplies should be renewed and will set email alerts on my computer calendar to remind me to carry out this important part of maintaining my emergency supplies. A second strategy is to update the consumables in the emergency kit twice yearly at day-light savings time when I ordinarily change my clocks and the batteries in my smoke-alarms. The items I will store in my emergency supplies kit (OEM, 2011) include the following:
(1) One gallon of drinking water per person per day. For obvious reasons, this part of the emergency supplies kit cannot be stored in a single container along with the food and other supplies -- they are simply too bulky. To ensure that my water supply is portable, I will purchase several heavy-duty, construction-grade net bags in which to store the bottles of water. In this manner, the bottles of water will collected in the bags, each one of which will be sufficiently light for a member to carry should it be necessary to travel quickly and move to another area. The emergency kit will also include iodine tablets and bleach for water purification (plus several eye-droppers for adding bleach to water). In addition, a water-purification pump such as those used by back-packers will be included in the kit, along with water bladder for storing the purified water.
(2) Non-perishable, ready-to-eat canned foods and a manual can opener. Given that children are included in the disaster plan, it is imperative that some foods be of the pre-packaged kind, familiar to the children, and sufficiently good-tasting to ensure that the children will intake sufficient nourishment while undergoing the stress caused by the disaster. It is important not to under-estimate the amount of food that people under stress, and engaging in unaccustomed levels of physical activity, can consume.
(3) A first-aid kit that is commensurate with my skill levels of emergency care and that covers the sorts of injuries that could reasonably be anticipated in the disasters that threaten the area where I live. In addition to over-the-counter items, I will communicate with my physician in order to obtain medications available only by prescription, and of the same nature as the medications that I carry when I travel to developing countries. I will request…[continue]
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