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If a Natural Disaster
Strikes While You’re at Work
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.
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.
Program Important Numbers
Into Your Cell Phone: You may not
have cell service, but you will have your
important numbers with you.
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.
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.
Both at work & at home. Include these items
at a minimum…
- Transistor Radio:
You can get a hand cranked model that will also
charge your cell phone.
Get hand cranked or shake models that require
- Water & Food:
Put aside several gallons of water along with
energy bars, nuts & dried fruit, etc. and
change them out every 6 months.
- 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.