Homeland Security Funded Classes Prepare Iowa Residents for Disasters

volunMost residents in Linn County, Iowa assume that their quiet community is immune to most disasters, but the reality is that disaster can strike at any moment, in which case help for them could be days away. In response to the lingering possibility of a natural disaster, Linn County’s officials are taking this dilemma into their own hands and offering classes to help prepare residents to better deal with a disaster. The class topics focus on how to respond to a disaster, first aid including triage, and assessing and prioritizing patients.

Part of the reasoning behind these classes is that if a disaster should strike, 911 would be overwhelmed. Currently officials believe that the kind of disaster most likely to struck the area is would be a influenza pandemic. However, the county is also vulnerable to earthquakes.

“We just really encourage people to take this,” said Melissa Clark, a Vista volunteer with Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

Aside from fist aid and triage, the classes also emphasize the need to remain calm and to avoid panicking when disaster strikes. “Are you a survivor?….It had a lot to do with attitude. Take a deep breath. Look around and see what’s happening. Don’t give up. A lot of this stuff is psychological.”

The next step is to see that you are all right, and that your family and neighbors are ok. People also need to instinctively protect their head, feet and hands from falling debris, shattered glass and other hazards. It’s also important that neighborhoods work together to plan out a gathering site and to develop a map that provides the whereabouts for resources, skills and equipment within an area. But whether or not you’re a resident of Linn County, everyone should take up the opportunity to take disaster preparation classes if they become available to them in their community. The reality is that you never know when disaster will strike, and it never hurts to be prepared.

(Via the New Era)

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