For many years, your company has worked on getting what you would need to get your company back up and running after a disaster happened. You more than likely have purchased computerized equipment which the industry has spent millions on. So what is missing? People, your employees. You need to have the people that you have trained to be able to come back and help you get back into full production.
From what I have observed over the past 30 years, very little has been spent on effectively treating those employees that have been injured. Sure you may have purchased the individual kits that they could keep at their desk. If you were to check, I would suspect that most of them are gone either taken home or the employee is no longer there. Those kits do not supply what is needed for someone more seriously injured.
You cannot rely on the local fire department or emergency medical agency to respond to your location in a disaster for two reasons. First, the fire departments first responsibility is to fight fires then medical. The second is that they do not have the supplies needed for a major disaster. What happens is that FEMA will have to come in and survey the need then purchase the items and ship them in. If you are lying there bleeding you can’t wait for five days for the supplies to arrive. The EMS agencies most generally do not have the supplies stocked piled either.
So what are you to do? Not only do you need the supplies, but you need someone that knows how to use them. There are two things that you need to do. Most community fire departments have a training program called Community Emergency Response Teams. (C.E.R.T.) These programs normally are free and will train your employees what to do in an emergency. Second, you need to purchase the equipment and supplies that your C.E.R.T. team will need.
Now the question is where do you store these supplies so that they do not become part of the disaster. You don’t store them in your building because it might become part of the disaster and the supplies are lost. The supplies should be stored in a trailer that is parked as far away from the building, trees and power lines. The other way is in a shipping container, out back, that stores the contents on heavy duty rolling racks. When the disaster happens you simply pull the trailer up to where you want to set up your triage site or roll the racks up from the container. Not only should you prepare with medical supplies but also food, water, lighting, and sanitary needs.
If you company is too small for your own C.E.R.T. team, you should consider supporting your local C.E.R.T. Team. The use there own funds for equipment and supplies and they most generally do not have the type of equipment to treat more seriously injured patients
If you have any questions, I will be glad to help. I have worked with the fire departments nationwide for the past 30 years in their preparedness programs.Gene Maloney is president of Disaster Preparedness Consultants. You can reach him at 480-285-7555.