Part II: Color Codes for Emergencies

Last month, we began a series on organizing your neighborhood to be able to work together in case of an emergency. (Part I: Organizing Blocks and Block Captains). This is part two of that series.

In light of recent events along the East Coast – Hurricane Irene and the earthquake in Virginia, our hearts go out to all those affected in the disasters. These types of events also serve as an important reminder about the swiftness and unpredictability of natural disasters. 

September is National Preparedness Month, so we have tried to provide articles that will help families become a little more prepared. I would like to personally challenge everyone to take at least one preparedness item from this newsletter (i.e., color-coded cards, water storage, making a family plan, etc.) and focus on completing that one element of emergency preparedness. 

Emergency preparedness isn’t something that should overwhelm you or put you in debt. It is most easily accomplished by starting in one area, completing that task, and moving to the next. 

Share what you are going to focus on in September by posting it on Sun Ovens Facebook page. Here’s the link: 

http://www.facebook.com/SunOvens 

Jason M. Carlton 

Color Codes Save Time

Color codes

 

In an emergency, time is of the essence. The challenge is weeding out those who need immediate medical attention and those who need basic first-aid. If each household had three colored sheets of cardstock with their 72-hour kits, and if used properly, a lot of time can be saved in an emergency.

Immediately following a disaster, each household should evaluate their injuries and medical needs. Then, using the following descriptions of each color, place either a green, yellow or red sheet of cardstock on the front of their house where it can be easily seen from the street.

RED indicates an immediate need of attention – profuse bleeding, severe life-threatening injury, someone pinned in debris, etc.

YELLOW indicates a delayed need for attention – broken bone, minor cuts or abrasions, someone trapped in debris but not severely injured, etc.

GREEN indicates no need for medical attention or other immediate assistance.

While it is important to use the cards, it is almost more important the cards be used properly. A household using a RED card when the injury is a minor cut can delay responders reaching another household with greater medical needs. This triage system works effectively for the neighborhood only when it is used properly.

One of the ways neighborhoods can assure each resident has these colored sheets on-hand is by encouraging a local Boy Scout to center his Eagle Project around emergency preparedness. The distribution of these cards to each household can be part of that project

September 2011, Every Needful Thing                                                                      Jason M. Carlton

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