Compulsory First Aid Training Prepares Citizens for Disaster
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin
There is no authentic way of knowing in advance when a natural disaster is going to hit. When such an incident occurs, do you want to be the person who would pick up one small bag with everything ready or be running around in the house without a clue?
Scrambling at the last minute to find memorable family albums; look for phones, and gathering laptops and all kinds of chargers won’t be good use of your time. Do you even think that nature will give you enough time to pack up everything you need? Of course the answer would most probably be “no”.
Prepare now for the next natural disaster
The preparedness process is actually very easy if you know the types of emergencies that are most likely to occur in your region. If your area is likely to be hit by bushfires you’ll need to know how to deal with burns; for floods you’ll need to know how to manage open wounds.
The most appropriate and authentic place to look for such information would be the district government’s website. While researching, also note the details of the nearest evacuation centers, road closures, and series of actions that will be undertaken in case of emergency.
Sometimes disasters and extreme weather events affect populated areas. Hospitals and urgent care centers may be overwhelmed by the sick and injured. It’s also possible that people will just not be able to access the emergency care they need. In these cases some people consider themselves obligated and required to act as first respondersin their area before, during, and after such events.
We can take it upon ourselves to help our fellow citizens whilealso looking for government help in preparing ahead of time. It’s important to understand that there are measures that both members of the public and governments can do to mitigate the effects of disasters.
Compulsory first aid training
A large number of people should be given first-aid training, well-stocked first aid kits, and other needed supplies. If trained and prepared in advance they would be better able to provide first-aid treatment to the people who are hurt or injured in a natural disaster zone beforeoutside organized help reaches them.
Citizen trainings will save a huge amount of money, and potentially lives,all while keepingthe majority of people in a relatively healthy and normal state. This kind of mass education campaign will also enable ordinary citizens to support their community with health issues before, and well after, the disastrous event has passed.
What the government can do
Something very important and beneficial that governments should do to enhance community resilience from a health perspective is to make first-aid training compulsory. It can be added as a component of school curriculum or be linked with obtaining and renewing drivers' licenses.
In addition to increasing the number of trained qualified responders nationally, continued education and offered refresher courses in first-aid training will enhance the willingness and confidence of first responders. Naturally, the training should be coupled with an awareness of the expectations and realities of what actions would need to be taken during a disaster.
Nurses and doctors
Apart from the frontline emergency services and first-aid providers, community nurses and general practitioners will have a very active and useful role during and after a disaster situation. Nurses and doctors are likely to have knowledge of vulnerable members of the community and know how to access the local health system. Their involvement can take a huge load off the emergency services and paramedics.
What we should do
People who arrive at an evacuation center during and after disasters are not always “health prepared”.
They may be carrying items having some emotional and sentimental value like photo albums, presents, laptops, or a favorite wrist watch, but they may have totally forgotten to bring their medications and other urgently needed items. When leaving the house in such a situation, the following items are a must to carry: doctor’s prescription, medical file (Medical History), phone and battery charger, first-aid kits.
These things can help health professionals in evacuation centers, particularly when a person needs certain medication; for example, for diabetes or hypertension. Gathered medicines may even be shared among other citizens who need them. Keeping all medications and other items close at hand in an evacuation and relocation situation will enable health professionals to adequately respond to their patients.
We can’t escape the next natural disaster, severe weather event, or other emergency situation – but we can be prepared. Make health education and first aid training compulsory for a larger number of citizens and store quality first aid supplies with community partners at strategic locations. This will ensure the best use of health and human resources when the next disaster hits.
About the author: James Smith is a survivalist, who loves to write about survival skills and techniques. He is a featured contributor at Natural News and you can follow him on twitter @jamessmith1609