– By Jess Wade, HOA Board Member and newsletter editor
As the program director and volunteer coordinator for the Dallas County Medical Reserve Corps, I spent the last 10 years of a 45-year marketing communications career training hundreds of volunteers to respond to natural and man-made disasters. A catastrophic public health event, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, was but one of the training scenarios utilized. We also benefitted from lessons learned dealing with the all-too real Dallas County Ebola crisis a few short years ago. Yet we never thought to write into our training dire shortages of PPE and the calamity that that lack of planning would cause. Today’s reality has been slow to sink in.
Such an oversight in preparedness is a somber lesson for all of us. I imagine many of you are currently re-assessing the state of readiness for your household. If not, now is a good time for each household in Town Creek to assess its readiness and develop a custom Emergency Plan. No matter the number of people and pets in your house, having a plan can make the difference in your survival.
A well-organized household starts with an Emergency Communications Plan. It’s a simple, self-created, hard-copy (non-electronic) list of names and contact information. It should include family members, your support network (out of the area as well as local), critical sources for medical and financial help, emergency family meet-up locations in the event you have to leave your home, or, can’t get to your home. If you prefer, you can find reference forms such as this one at https://www.ready.gov.
The second section of your plan is an emergency supply of non-perishable food; plenty of drinking water for every household member (including pets), sanitation supplies which include extra water, first-aid materials, and don’t forget face-masks plus latex or vinyl gloves; extra batteries; a “get-ot-of-Dodge quick” kit; plenty of extra cash in small bills and pocket change; you get the idea and can now think through a variety of emergency needs to be added to your list.
Although this is cursory; far from being everything you need, I will stop here with a link to more complete and valuable information: https://www.ready.gov/kids/families
One other timely note regarding readiness:
All parents, or other swimming pool monitors, are encouraged to take or renew their CPR certification through the American Heart Association or American Red Cross. Google “American Red Cross Home Pool Safety” for other important pool readiness and safety reminders.
Also, check out this You Tube video: Instinctive Drowning Response. It could be important: http://mariovittone.com/2011/07/video-of-instinctive-drowning-response/
“Emergency Readiness” is submitted to the Town Creek Crier by HOA member, Jess Wade. Now retired, Jess served for 10 years as Coordinator for the Dallas County Medical Reserve Corps, Public Health Preparedness and Bioterrorism Division of the Dallas County Department of Health & Human Services.