The Importance of Government Response in a Disaster

Watching coverage of the recent Iran earthquakes, you would never know that many of the small villages in the area around Tabriz had been totally destroyed. Figures so far state that 306 people were killed in the magnitude 6.4 and 6.3 quakes that struck East Azerbaijan province on Saturday. What is even more troubling is the response of government and other officials to the crisis.

Within 24 hours of the quakes striking, Iranian officials were declaring that search and rescue efforts had finished and that all survivors had been dug from beneath the rubble. This came as a surprise to some, especially when considering the most far out villages cannot even be reached by car. This was a direct response failure on the part of the Iranian government, according to a www.reuters.com article on the events.

The most important lesson from all this is that businesses or individuals should not rely on others to be there in the case of a disaster. Know what to do to protect yourself and those around you. While we hope that emergency services and even the government can help in extreme emergencies, what if they don’t respond at all? How can you protect yourself more effectively from disasters, such as an earthquake? The following are steps that can be taken to protect yourself before, during, and after an earthquake, according to www.earthquakecountry.info.

  • Create a disaster plan. State what to do in a crisis and who is responsible for doing what.
  • Identify any potential hazards in the environment and fix them before it is too late. This could include securing items that could fall, such as picture frames or shelving, injuring those nearby.
  • Have a disaster supply kit ready and on hand. That way you are not looking for crucial supplies, such as water or first aid kits, when a quake happens.
  • Inspect the building in which you are located for any weaknesses and have them fixed. This might require the services of both a professional inspector and a contractor.
  • When an earthquake does strike, know where to go for maximum safety. This includes doorframes, stairwells, or any strongpoint in a building that is not likely to suffer damage and fall.
  • After a quake has subsided and it is deemed safe, check to see if anyone is injured.
  • Furthermore, once everyone has been deemed okay or taken care of, only then survey for damage to the structure.

Preparation is the best thing anyone can do when it comes to earthquakes, or any disaster for that matter. Also, evaluating any potential trouble spots beforehand and then implementing fixes to address those areas is crucial to effective disaster preparedness.

For more information about the response to the Iran earthquake and how to prepare for an earthquake, visit: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/13/us-iran-quake-idUSBRE87C0OW20120813
and
http://www.earthquakecountry.info/roots/steps.html