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Learning Center Experience
ByJoseph T. Moore, PhD, Kaplan University, School
of Health Sciences, Adjunct Faculty
Hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes are deadly and
venomous weather-related incidents. Understanding how to adequately prepare for
these types of incidents is critical. Various geographic locations have a high
probability of weather-related incidents, subsequently causing a major impact
to communities at any given time. Proper preparation is warranted to prevent
loss of life and further devastation to the community. So how does an
individual prepare for these types of potential disasters? First it is important to recognize that different
locations are subject to different types of weather-related incidents. Understanding
the type of weather-related disaster most common to your geographical location
is essential in preparing for a weather related incident.
For instance, the summer
season is an ideal time for hurricanes to occur since the ocean waters are
warm. Wind speeds of hurricanes can be extremely dangerous and can peak at over
150 miles per hour. This type of excessive winds can devastate communities and
cause a tremendous number of injuries and casualties. In this case, individual
preparedness is vital—it is prudent to listen to localauthorities, stay informed of the weather
forecast, and have an emergency supply kit. An emergency supply kit should
consist of water, canned food, medication, flashlights, extra batteries, and
other supplies. Additionally, objects that are capable of being blown by the
wind should be secured or moved indoors. It is also critical to stay indoors
and away from windows during a hurricane, as flying glass or debris can cause
serious bodily harm.
Tornados often occur
after a hurricane or serious thunderstorms, with dangerous rotating winds that
have an unpredictable pattern. Wind speeds of a tornado can reach over 300
miles per hour. Unlike hurricanes, there is usually no way of predicting in
advance when a tornado will occur. In the event of a tornado it is imperative
to immediately seek shelter. Designate a safe room in your place of residence,
ideally on a lower level floor such as a basement, and make available an
emergency supply preparedness kit. Being cognizant of falling objects is also
warranted in the occurrence of a tornado. In the event that you are separated
from your family during a storm, it is important to have a prearranged meeting
location; this will assist greatly in locating family and friends.
Another type of incident
that has the potential to cause a lot of damages is an earthquake. Earthquakes
are very massive and can cause a tremendous amount of destruction. An
earthquake’s dangerous shakes can cause buildings and homes to shake or even
collapse. Earthquakes can range from a
magnitude of 2.0 on the Richter scale, which will have minimum impact, to more than 9.0, which can
cause widespread devastation. Most
injuries and deaths from an earthquake are due to falling objects and debris.
It is important to protect yourself during these violent shakings: drop to your
knees, cover your head under a sturdy table, and hold on to the object that you
are beneath. This can assist in preventing serious injuries or even death.
Adequate planning is
necessary to mitigate the impact of weather-related disasters. Earthquakes, tornadoes,
and hurricanes can happen in a moment’s notice. Therefore, planning for these incidents should be an ongoing process and should include
coordinating with your local authorities, family members, and neighbors.
Additionally, checking and replenishing your emergency supply kit is relevant. Finally,
it is important to be familiar with your neighbors who may need additional
assistance, such as the elderly or infants. With proper planning, a person can
mitigate the risk and potentially survive these devastating incidents.
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