As was evidenced in the recent shooting incident at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and numerous other Active Shooter incidents, the perpetrators often exhibit disturbing or threatening behavior prior to the incident but it was not dealt with sufficiently to anticipate or prevent the event. Some perpetrators also shared with other persons their intent to do harm or exhibited desires/planning to harm themselves or others.
As an emergency professional, we are prepared to deal with unexpected situations, including disasters. Every time we hear about potential or real crisis, we automatically review the procedures in our minds and the desire to help is enormous. On many occasions, I would like to go directly to a scene to assist the victims and my peers. I believe that this feeling is not different among everyone involved in this field.
Some articles have been written over the years about panic in disasters and fires. The idea that panic rarely occurs in disasters has been readily accepted. When disasters happen, usually, people act in such a way to show solidarity with the other victims. It is common to see some degree of organization in order to assist searches and reconstruction work.
In 1903, a fire killed more than 600 people in the Iroquois Theater in Chicago. Most of the victims were children. Among the causes of this tragedy were inadequate emergency exits, insufficient and poorly signposted, overcrowding, lack of fire protection equipment and even suspicion of bribery of persons responsible for overseen the safety conditions of the Theater.
More than one in four U.S. residents are students, attending kindergarten through college. Most of these 75.8 million children, teenagers and adults - not counting faculty and staff members - are on campuses with written emergency plans.
Most campus administrators regard evacuation drills as a straightforward obligation on the school calendar. Activate the alarm; students file out bored; students file back in really bored; end of drill. A no-brainer, right?
More than one-in-four U.S.residents are students, attending kindergarten through college. Most of these 75.8 million children, teenagers and adults-not counting faculty and staff members- are on campuses with written emergency plans.
Plan, train and exercise your organization's emergency team on premises before, during and after the hurricane.
The alarms are relentless, the lights are flashing, and you're offsite. Will your people respond appropriately to the threat or place themselves in harm's way?
The proverb above has received different versions, including this one credited to Benjamin Franklin. A kingdom lost because of a nail. We could also say, a disaster caused by a simple problem that could have been avoided.