Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church

St. George, UT


Brown Bag Lunch - Disaster Preparedness

On January 23, 2013, Steve Ikuta, Emergency Preparedness Program Manager of Intermountain Healthcare, gave an excellent program on the 12 Myths of Disaster Preparedness and lessons learned from Super Storm Sandy.

12 Myths of Disaster Preparedness

  • If something happens all I have to do is call 911 - The reality is that a disaster such as an earthquake would overload the system with potentially 9,000 people or 7% of the population needing care. Dixie Regional Hospital can only handle about 300 patients simultaneously. Security like charity, begins at home and the responsibility for your family & safety is yours.
  • All I need is a 72 hour kit with flashlight, first aid kit ,some food, water and a radio - A supply for seventy-two hours is a very minimal amount. You should plan have enough supplies to be self-sufficient for a minimum of two weeks and, preferably, four weeks. Be sure to have a sufficient supply of any medications you need to take regularly.
  • My Insurance company will take care of everything - Insurance companies are more concerned about their bottom line.
  • Good preparedness is too expensive and complicated - It is easy to gather together what you and your family will need. Most of the materials explaining what you need in an emergency kit are quite generic. Be sure to tailor your emergency supplies to meet the needs of your family.
  • We can only form a neighborhood group through FEMA - The American Red Cross has Disaster Assistance Teams (DAT). If you are interested in volunteering for a DAT team, contact Pat Dunsdon at the American Red Cross (435-216-8785). Your local community watch team will be a good resource. Also, you can get CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training. For more information on CERT, contact the City of Saint George by email at cert@sgcity.org or visit their website www.sgcity.org/cert/.
  • In a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) terrorist attack, we're dead anyway - It might kill larger numbers but that doesn't mean total destruction. Most people will be alive and in need of something.
  • Nothing like that could happen here - Some areas are more prone to certain disasters. We are an earthquake-prone area and a major earthquake could cause gas lines to fail creating fires and structural collapses. There are several dams nearby that could fail creating a tsunami.
  • All I have to worry about is my own family - Technically this is true but if there is a disaster, everyone will be in the same situation and the more we can help each other, the better all of us will come through the disaster.
  • If preparedness were really important it would be taught in school - Ideally, this is true, but the schools only have so much time to teach required subjects, leaving little time to teach topics like this.
  • I can get free preparedness information on the Internet - True, but some of the information on the Internet is incomplete or misleading. There are several places in town that have preparedness supplies available: Survival Gear - 867 S. Bluff St. or Your Family Still Matters - 900 S. Bluff St. You can also look on the Internet for information on supplies. One suggested website is Emergency Lifeline www.emergencylifeline.com
  • Full preparedness means I have to get lots of guns and be a survivalist - No, you don't. Most people will work together to get everyone through the disaster.
  • If something really bad happens, no one will help - You'll find that most people are willing and ready to help during an emergency.

LESSONS LEARNED FROM SUPER STORM SANDY

  1. The excitement of power outage gets old by day 3
  2. Each person needs 1 gallon per day of water, a couple flats of water in not enough
  3. Have propane, gas, kerosene, firewood and fire starter.
  4. Cash is King (All the money and in your savings account and your credit cards means nothing) You should have as much as $500 in small denominations

You can listen to an audio recording of Steve's presentation here.