For full version of notes and interview, listen to Episode 2 here.
What if you find yourself in the midst of a chaotic, violent event, such as the Boston Marathon terrorist attack? What can you do?
- Unless you are trained as a first responder, get out of the way. When you see these heroic first responders rush to a scene, the last thing you want to do is impede their progress and function by getting in the way, asking questions, or trying to help unless asked.
- Get your kids to safety. If you are able to help because you either having skills, knowledge or supplies, get your kids out of harm’s way immediately. If one of them is old enough to be put in charge, give them orders to call a relative or friend for help and stay put. I wouldn’t do this with a kid under the age of 11 or 12, and maybe even older, depending on the kid.
- Of course if your kids are little, there’s no question about leaving them unless there’s another adult with you, even if you’re a trained medic. Wandering kids will only add to the confusion and, potentially, cause even more tragedy.
- If you are not trained to help and you’re able to get out of the way, begin taking video and photos with your phone or camera.
- Be on the look out for anyone who needs help. They may not be physically injured but dazed, or looking for loved ones, or in need of a cell phone to call home. You may not have many resources with you, but if you can offer a calming presence, an arm around the shoulder, you’ve done something important for that person in the midst of chaos.
- Are there certain EDC (Everyday Carry) items that could come in handy? Your cell phone is critical for documenting the event and communicating. If it’s a smart phone, you’ll be able to get information about the event on the internet or use one of the many helpful apps out there, including ones that tap into police scanners, first aid information. Even FEMA has an app called Are You Ready? Don’t forget that your smart phone can be used as a flashlight. Other items discussed: Swiss army knife, diaper bag contents
- And of course this is assuming that cell phone coverage hasn’t been interrupted. In that case, try to get to a business that has a landline you can use, or just wait it out.
- If you have paper and a pen, jot down anything and everything that comes to mind that you observed or heard up to the event, during, and afterwards. You know how LE often says, “SOMEONE saw SOMETHING…” well, you might be the person to have observed something critical but in the chaos that follows an event like this, you can’t expect your memory to be perfect, so write it down!
Interview with Richard Stephenson, author of Collapse, his first novel. Richard lives in Texas and has experienced first-hand all the chaos and panic caused by major hurricanes. He based his characters and plot on his own experiences.
To listen to the full 60-minute show, click here.
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