Natural, accidental and intentional disaster threats
While some disasters are natural, some are accidental such as fires while others are man-made. Since disasters, irrespective of their cause are prone to occurring, planning to how to deal with their effects is imperative. My disaster preparedness plan will focus on tornadoes as natural disasters, fires as accidental hazards and bombings as intentional threats.
Tornadoes and floods
Tornadoes are localized and fierce rotating wind storms that move at extremely high speed of up to 300 mph and are said to be “the most violent storms on earth” (Kalman & MacAulay16). They typically move in a southwesterly-to-northeasterly direction (FEMA).
They leave unforgettable marks on their paths as we will see later. This illustrates the devastating effects that students in Indiana would suffer from in the event that a tornado strikes.
Floods on the other hand occur because of heavy and steady rain pounding the ground for a long time causing ground saturation (American Red cross).
Flush floods are a specific category of floods that occur abruptly because of fast rising water levels along a stream or in a low-lying area (American Red Cross). However, floods are among the most frequent and expensive natural disasters (American Red Cross).
The American Red Cross, U.S Fire Administration, and National Fire Protection Association, noted that home fire is a major disaster across the nation and 80% of Americans do not acknowledge this fact.
The situation is even serious as the above agencies noted that annually, 20, 000 people get injuries in home fires and someone dies of home fires every two and a half hours (American Red cross, et al). Thus, in IUB, fires are also likely to occur.
After the September 11 terrorist attack, it became apparent that attacks on the American soil can occur anywhere at any time (Crabtree 576). This calls for preparedness of all individuals and the general population to the threats of terrorism bombing.
Three categories of bombing exists namely car bombs, package bombs and suicide bombs (Crabtree 577). The main aspect that is critical of all terrorism and homicidal bomb attacks is that they focus on causing more destruction to people than property (Crabtree 577). As students, one is prone to bombing either directed to the individual or to all students in the university.
Student vulnerability to the specific disaster threats
Student’s vulnerability to any of the above disasters is eminent. In the event that any of the above disaster strikes, the entire students’ community will feel the effects caused by the disaster.
Disruption of communication, structural collapse, contamination of clean water supply, release of hazardous material such as radioactive elements, deaths and physical injury to people are a few of the probable effects associated with the disasters. For instance, bombings release radioactive materials that may persist in the environment for some time.
Although the effects reduce with time, the damages are severe if one is exposed to radioactive materials even for the shortest time (Connor). In addition, tornadoes have devastating effects such as the one that hit Arkansas in 2008 causing destruction of homes and 12 deaths (Dougherty 1).
Of the major outbreaks that have occurred in American History, Indiana has been affected by all the tornados apart from one tornado that occurred in May 3 1999 (Dougherty 1).
Indiana was one of the areas affected by tornado outbreaks in Feb. 1884 that killed 1200 people; April,1965 outbreak that claimed 260 lives and April 1974 that killed 315 people(Dougherty 1). To this effect, preparedness on dealing with the disasters becomes imperative and therefore, a precise personal plan to cope with them becomes mandatory.
Specific plan of action for personal safety
Good preparation is viewed as the best defense against disasters. Upon understanding the type of disasters that are likely in this environment, proper preparation is needed to reduce the extent of devastation. Firstly, I will learn how to disconnect appliances as a preparation step.
A list of my property in order of importance and which are to be saved first in the event of a disaster will be prepared. Important documents will be added to the disaster plan so that they will not be forgotten. In addition, there are two kits that I should have in preparation for the disasters namely, disaster supplies kit, and car emergency supplies kit. These kits will help me in case I will be homebound or compelled to evacuate.
The Disaster Supplies Kit
The kit will contain a 5-day water supply at the rate of 1 gallon per person per day, a pair of changing clothing and footwear, an updated first aid kit with medicine, batteries, a battery-powered radio, and flashlights, sanitary supplies (toilet papers, soap, personal hygiene items etc), credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks and extra spectacles.
Others that I will include are food supplies including foods that can be prepared without cooking and important documents (mortgage papers, insurance policy, birth certificates etc) stored in water proof packets and kept in a safety deposit fire and water proof box as recommended by the American Red Cross.
Car emergency supplies kit
I will install the car with repair kit for tires, a map, a small shovel, bottled water and high energy foods that have a long shelf life, first aid kit with a manual, a blanket, a fire extinguisher and a booster cable. The car’s gas tank will be filled as recommended by the American Red Cross. The first aid kit in the car will also be updated, and flashlights will be installed with new batteries.
Preparation for tornadoes and floods
Tornadoes come in strong storms and may carry any light objects in the homestead. Thus, American Red Cross recommends that the primary step is to ensure that everything that is airborne is brought in the house. Other things like boats that cannot fit in the house will be tied down. Thus, I will need to buy equipment such as ropes and anchoring devices to this effect.
Preparing for fires
To prepare for disasters associated with fires, I will install a smoke alarm on all levels of the home away from bedrooms. Smoke alarm has been proved to reduce the chances of death by 50% in case of fires (American Red Cross, et al).I will prepare a plan showing all possible exit points from the house.
In addition, a fire assembly point away from the house will be established just in case there will be other people in the house during the fire. All of them should be aware of the exit points.
I will practice fire escape plans such as crawling low at least twice a year. Escape ladders that everyone in the house should know how to use will be placed next to the window on the third or second floor. In case of children, I will show them how to stop fire incase their clothes catch fire. Finally, I will learn all rules and safety precautions during fires as suggest by the American Red Cross.
Preparing for bomb attack
Apart from the supplies mentioned earlier, it is also imperative to plan for radioactive fallout that may be associated with bomb attacks. Radioactive fallout from nuclear explosion losses its intensity fast. Specifically, after seven hours of an attack, an explosion’s intensity reduces to a tenth and reduces to a hundredth in two days (Connor). Therefore shielding oneself from the effects is necessary.
Using 2 ft of packed earth, a fallout shelter will be constructed in the basement of the house where occupants can be shielded. This has a potential to stop 99% of the radiation. Thus, with secure source of water, available food and radiation fallout shelter, the survival chance will have increased by 100- times (Connor).
The fallout will be installed with mattresses, cushions, pillows, and blankets. Portable camp toilets will also be needed for disposal of waste while inside the fallout shelter. This will be constructed by modifying a 5-gallon bucket.
Information is key to the proper planning for disaster preparedness. Thus, the University should have training lessons on safety precautions during disasters and also warning signs for various disasters.
The university should also ensure that there are radioactive fallout shelters, which can be constructed at considerable costs. This can prevent risks associated with nuclear bomb attacks. Assembly points should be clearly marked to ease location in case of a disaster.
American Red Cross. Flood Safety checklist. 2009. Web. 7 Dec. 2011. <http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/Preparedness/checklists/Flood.pdf>
American Red Cross, Fire Administration and The National Fire Protection Association. Fire Preparedness. 2007. Web. 6 Dec. 2011. <http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/Preparedness/Fire/FireEscapePlanningFactSheet.pdf>
Connor, Shane. (2010). What to do if a nuclear disaster is imminent. 2010. Web. 6 Dec. 2011. <http://www.ki4u.com/guide.pdf>
Crabtree, James. Terrorist Homicide Bombing: A Primer for Preparation. Journal of Burn Care & Research, 27.5 (2006): 576-588. Print.
Dougherty, Terri. Anatomy of a Tornado. Capstone Press. Minnessotta.2011. Print
Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA). Preparing for Natural Disaster: Floods, Hurricanes, Tornadoes and Earthquakes. 2000. Web. 6 Dec. 2011. <http://www.usna.edu/FamilyServices/NaturalDisasters.pdf>
Kalman, Bobbie and MacAulay, Kelley. Preparing for Disasters. Crabtree PC. Ontario. 2010. Print