ANAHEIM FIRE RESCUE REPORT
From the Chief
Fire Chief Roger Smith
This information is produced as part of the Emergency Survival Program. ESP is an awareness campaign that is available through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and designed to increase home, neighborhood, business and school emergency preparedness.
The following are excerpts from the November ESP, which focuses on what to do when the unexpected happens in public places.
Since childhood we have been taught how to “Stop, Drop and Roll” for fires and to “Drop, Cover and Hold” for earthquakes. Also we may have been taught other emergency steps for various natural disasters in our community. Our concentration, until now, has been on what to do in the places where we spend most of our time: home, school, and work.
The era of terrorism presents us two new challenges. One challenge is that large, crowded public places may be specifically targeted for attacks. Terrorism experts tell us that certain types of targets—airports, religious facilities, shopping malls, amusement parks and sporting events—may be singled out. This is because many people could be hurt at once and because those locations symbolize American culture.
Our other challenge is that terrorists rely on shock and surprise. Remember, they want to create the most possible publicity for their social, political or religious causes. They hope that people will forget everything they know about how to react in an emergency and panic instead. So it is wise for us to think how we will transfer what we have learned over the years to emergencies that occur suddenly in crowded, public locations. Terrorists want to disrupt our daily lives. Continue to live your life, but be alert and aware of your surroundings.
What You Can Do Now
The focus of these suggestions is to draw on all the common sense and life-saving tips we have learned over the years about how to respond to earthquakes and other natural events.
Wherever you are
Stop, Look, Think and ACT
When you realize something dangerous is happening resist the urge to panic and run. Wait a moment to get your bearings and to understand what is going on.
Look around you. Where is the source of the problem? What is your most immediate source of danger: broken glass, fire, other people running without thinking, smoke? Where are your safest exits? Are you actually hurt or just really frightened? Are there people around you who need help?
Remember all the things you have learned about safe behavior in emergencies.
q If there is debris falling, drop down; take cover under something sturdy, and hold on to something with one hand while protecting your head and neck with the other.
q If there is smoke, stay low and crawl low under smoke.
q If you need to evacuate, look for marked exits and don’t use elevators.
You know these things; call on them when you need them. Pay attention to what is happening. Make a quick plan to protect yourself and move away from danger
All this may take only seconds; but it could save your life and the lives of others. By pausing first to stop, look and think you can act with a clear goal in mind. Your decisive action and calmness may help others to overcome anxiety and also act appropriately.
The Anaheim Disaster Preparedness Web Site contains much more information to help become prepared for the next big emergency.
For more information check out this website www.oes.ca.gov (California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.)