Red Cross relief helper explains emergencies
Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 17:10
Students partaking in the Center for Science Excellence program were briefed in disaster preparedness Friday in PS-132 by Rick Palmer, a disaster and relief volunteer for the American Red Cross.
The seminar offered tips and prepared students on what to do in case of a natural or accidental disaster, such as floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and other natural disasters that displace civilians.
Palmer discussed the importance of readiness, emphasizing the importance of having a disaster kit to keep food and water available and a small radio to get timely information. He also discussed plans to meet up with family members, because victims should expect that communication will be down for five to seven days.
"The Contra Costa County Red Cross chapters respond to an average of 125 disasters a year," Palmer said. "And it is surprising to see how many people are not prepared when stricken by a natural disaster."
The American Red Cross has chapters in every Bay Area county, and though they may not be the first responders to disaster, they are there to assist any civilians who may be affected by a natural or accidental disaster.
He said the best thing anyone can do to prepare for disaster is to make a plan.
Palmer said the plan should alert all family members of where to meet up after a disaster, the closest family member to contact, and an out-of-town relative to contact just in case the closest relative to contact is unavailable.
Student Robin Lopez said the event differed from many of the events the CSE normally hosts.
"This was a real good event," Lopez said, "We usually get speakers who have science backgrounds who may cater to the profession many of us are choosing to work in. But this time it was different and it was about getting ready in case of a disaster."
He said the CSE program has opened his eyes to new things and has been a vessel for learning.
"I'm glad we had this event, because sometimes us nerds do not worry about disasters," Lopez said.
Palmer said people have to be prepared, because the estimated time to get through to a disaster victim is five to seven days, and many people don't know they should have one gallon of water a day saved for each person.
"We are trying to get the information out to everyone," Palmer said. "This is why events like this are really good because people can get the information, but they still have to use it."
He said in the event of a disaster there are shelters in place. A shelter is a place that is set up to house displaced civilians.
Palmer said people have to take the first steps in receiving the information and using the information wisely so in the event of an emergency there is a plan and families will be safe.