How prepared are we for unpredictable events?
The Covid-19 pandemic shook the world like no other disease in the last 7-8 decades. Every country was taken by surprise. With no medicine, vaccine, preventive measures in place, governments were experimenting, people were researching, and in the process, we lost countless lives.
It is not just about a disease, are we prepared for natural disasters and if yes how? If technology is capable of doing wonders in life, why can’t it save lives, why can’t it predict an earthquake, a fire, outbreak of a disease, any other threat that is capable of destroying billions of lives in a wink. Technology should make life easy, not complicated. It should not replace humans, it should enable humans to succeed. I don’t call these technological advancement positive development for humanity if it can’t save life on time.
There have been reports since April that northern region of India will face a massive Earthquake sometime soon. There have been many foreshocks of milder magnitude. There have been earthquakes in Delhi, Kashmir, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra in the last two months.
Today, the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology said strong Earthquake can’t be ruled out in Delhi, and effective preparedness is the key to dealing with Earthquake. What are the essential steps for adequate preparation? Are citizens aware? Have mock drills been put in place?
Here are a few steps that I am aware of and would like to share it here with you.
Identify safe places to survive: this is the first step to be taken when an earthquake strikes. Identify a location in every safe room. For example, you can hide under the table, or under any heavy furniture, a corner of the room. Keep these areas free from household items. Protect your head, neck and do not move. Stay away from bookshelves, almirahs, and windows. Let things calm before you start moving.
Keep disaster kit ready – The disaster kit must contain a fire extinguisher, a torch, essential medicines, cash, debit/credit card, mobile phones, first aid kit, and two-three set of clothes
Organize essential supplies: Keep a bag of essential items ready. This can include bread, jam, butter, ready-to-make food packets, fruits etc.
Keep a torch handy while sleeping: Disaster kit and a flashlight must be kept handy while sleeping.
Educate family members not to panic: This is essential if there are children and the elderly at home.
Switch gas knob before sleeping: This should be a habit every night before you doze off to sleep.
Do a Mock drill: Prepare your family with a mock drill. Educate them not to use the elevator, take stairs when everything is calm.
It is better to be prepared than to panic. Take all necessary precautions in times of disaster. If you are outside, stay away from tall buildings, if you are driving, pull over and remain inside your car. Remember not to park near a tree. Be prepared for a few aftershocks. It is normal after an Earthquake.