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Dr. Greg Segment Summary

If a Natural Disaster Strikes While You’re at Work

Being Prepared

Dr. Greg Ketchum, 09/17/05

As some of you know I was trapped in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and it’s ugly aftermath and I experienced first hand how surviving a natural disaster can be just the first step in getting through and how the aftermath of a disaster can be just as much, if not more, of a challenge than the disaster itself. I also saw just how being prepared for a disaster can save your life.

With Hurricane Katrina we had several days to prepare, but with an earthquake we’ll have no warning whatsoever. Chances are very high that an earthquake will strike when most of us are at work and separated from our families.

The most important part of being prepared is having a plan for what you and your family will do during and after a natural disaster. I saw a New Orleans police Lt interviewed on Baton Rouge TV and he said that the New Orleans Police Dept. had NO emergency response plan for disaster like this. I can guarantee you that there would have been much less looting, suffering and loss of life had they had a plan.

I learned that the single best action you can take to boost you and your family’s chances of survival in a natural disaster is to sit down together and create an emergency plan and put together an emergency survival kit.

Emergency Plan

  1. Develop a Plan with Your Family: Sit down and work out your plan together. Print and post it in a central place in the home. Put a laminated copy in your child’s backpack.
  2. Program Important Numbers Into Your Cell Phone: You may not have cell service, but you will have your important numbers with you.
  3. Designate a Central Contact Person: Designate someone out of your area who will be a “communication” contact point. You may not be able to reach your family directly so you need someone you can all call who can relay messages.
  4. Designate a Gathering Point: Designate gathering points where you want your family to go and where you will go after an emergency. Designate trusted adults that your kids can turn to.

Emergency Kit

Both at work & at home. Include these items at a minimum…

  1. Transistor Radio: You can get a hand cranked model that will also charge your cell phone.
  2. Flashlights: Get hand cranked or shake models that require no batteries.
  3. Water & Food: Put aside several gallons of water along with energy bars, nuts & dried fruit, etc. and change them out every 6 months.
  4. Other Essentials: Cash, medication, first aid kit, etc.

For more information on how you can help the victims of Hurricane Katrina and a list of resources go to talentplanet.com and click on Dr. Greg.


®2005 All rights reserved. Gregory A. Ketchum, Ph.D.

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