HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Here we are almost a quarter of the way into a new century. It seems we are constantly inundated with natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms, and wildfires. We have also gained a new “friend” with COVID, and still we must cope with additional concerns such as violent crime and the occasional riot. In spite of that, I continually see people who are not prepared to deal with critical situations whether large or small - community wide or personal. They may be aware of the potential dangers they may be faced with but (shocker) - do little, if anything, to prepare. They believe someone will come to save them when the time comes. I don’t now how to break this gently but, they very well may be mistaken.
In August of 2005, hurricane Katrina devastated portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. I was part of a group that went to New Orleans to assist with the recovery and set up medical assistance and security. What we saw when we arrived was devastating. We set up our initial site at the bottom left of the picture shown. We could see the fires burning in New Orleans, and the neighborhoods we patrolled in borrowed boats were a total loss. We saw cars and trucks left in driveways half packed with doors open but unable to leave because of the sudden onrush of water from the levee failures.
Approximately 1800+ people lost their lives and there was an estimated $170 billion dollars in damage. Since 1971, there have been nineteen Category 1-3 hurricanes that hit the Louisiana coast. Given that record, it seems those who choose to live there would take some precautions and have a plan for evacuation. From what I saw, most did not and many, unfortunately, paid a terrible price. With the technology we have today, and the forewarning we get regarding hurricanes, no one should die – if they evacuate when told to do so, and if they are prepared in advance. Tornadoes, wildfires, and earthquakes give little warning but, there are still things that can be done to be ready.
In the aftermath of these devastating events, most of us must still go about our daily lives working, feeding, and protecting our families. There are things that must be done. However, there are those opportunistic predators who would try and take advantage of the victims of these disasters, and those that deem it appropriate to terrorize and victimize the vulnerable, turning them into victims of crime as well. Let me rephrase that – POTENTIAL victims.
Here is the question - What are we willing to do about that? The answer is: educate, practice, train, and prepare ourselves. Practical training will sustain us during these critical incidents. It's not too late to make a New Year’s resolution that will deem you prepared. Seek out and participate in honest training where you can acquire the skills necessary to get you through the bad times.
GTAC has posted the first quarter of our 2022 schedule. In January, we have scheduled a First Aid/Trauma/Stop the Bleed class. If there is one class you should attend, this is the one! It will give you information and skills you can use every day, not just during a disaster. In February, we have First Shots, Next Shots and ‘pop-up’ seminars upcoming as well.
Having a plan is only half of what you need. You must educate yourself and your family and get some training to be able to use your skills effectively and appropriately in a critical situation. THEN take the next steps and practice these skills and become well prepared now. Don’t wait until it’s too late and the waters are rushing in.
Be Safe · Be Effective · Be Ready