Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What can you learn from "Into the Storm"? #Skywarn #AltusOK #OKready

Into the Storm is a popular movie now showing in the Altus Area.

From an emergency management standpoint, there are some educational moments in the movie.

1.  During a large disaster, traditional responders, i.e. Police, Fire, Emergency Medical, are overwhelmed.  If there's only one fire truck for 50 fires, for example, your closest help may be your neighbor.  This played out in real life during Hurricane Iselle when folks noted the sound of sirens was replaced, almost overnight, by the sound of chain saws.

If your neighbor or classmate has a mother who was a nurse and they paid attention, that's magnificent.  Otherwise, you AND your neighbor should take Community Emergency Response Team training so you can help one another.  A First Aid and CPR class from the American Red Cross.

2.  Communications will fail.  This was portrayed time and time and time again in the movie.  The movie, however, did not show how Amateur Radio could have helped.  When the cell phone towers crumple from the storm or become overloaded with use from people who really did have foresight to have multiple ways to get their batteries charged, amateur radio operators will be able to talk to one another.  

Check out a local club and study materials from the American Radio Relay League.

There was NO mention of SMS text messaging in the movie.  It seems that the text side of cellular service is less congested in disasters.  Those messages may go through when a phone call can't.

Do you know how to text?

3.  Would you really evacuate a school in school buses and then evacuate those students into a storm drain?  Schools are getting better and better at the severe weather game.  A better plan would have been to be weather aware and adjust events to days when the killer of all tornadoes is not on the table.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers templates and training for school districts nationwide.  It's free.  Your taxdollars are working here.

How is your school, daycare, church applying FEMA information?  What is their plan?

What did you learn from the movie?  What will you do different because of the thinking it caused?

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