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How we need to prepare


Fire Drills

We all do Fire Drills at work. The bell goes and we all have to dutifully walk out calmly from the building to be counted. The times are recorded and we get a pat on the back or a kicking depending on how quick we were. These drills are performed up and down the land because they are recorded procedure. Some places even do these tests at the same time every month. The issue is that everybody is prepared and they already now when a test is coming. It gives a false sense of security. Everyone knows the drill but everyone knows it isn’t a real situation, just a test.

At one site I was on I was the site manager and I decided that we would do a bomb alert. I was told by the Health and Safety guy that it would cause a panic. WTF? An unscheduled test was not allowed because it may cause injuries. What if there was a real bomb? Ah, that is unlikely so if it did injuries were acceptable. I explained what a drill was but to no avail. I ended up taking it to the board who agreed we should schedule random tests but the first few had to be warned in advance and the procedures changed so people got used to it. Lucky for them there was not a real bomb threat. I got my tests and they all wandered out calmly, later when tests occurred without warning they all handled it brilliantly so it worked out fine.

So, what does that mean to us? Well, we spend all our time talking about what we are going to do. Get the Bug Out Bag and scarper or bunker down and prepare to repel boarders are examples. What about if we have a fire or there is an intruder in our home? We have thought about what will happen, we probably even have plans but does everyone now their role? Does everyone have a role? Have you tested it?

If not you need to perform some tests. Start by scheduling some tests to test your readiness for the basic issues, fire drills, intruders then if you intent to do bug outs test how quickly people can be ready from the initial decision to sitting in the car. Check they have what they needed to have and see if there is something you can do to improve the reaction time.

After you have tried this then try some random tests, obviously you have your own procedures and tasks that are specific to your situation. Ensure that these are tested. Then randomise the tests make sure that if a real situation happens then you are ready for it, calm and efficiently handling the stressful situation to serve you and your family best. Obviously you need to take your current situation into consideration when performing a test. Don’t schedule one at midnight just before an exam or something.

Some suggested tests;

  • Fire drill
  • Intruder
  • Medical issue, involving medical care
  • Weapon readiness
  • Bug out situation
  • Run and hide
  • Bunker down situation

Make sure you set up and procedures you need. Make sure everyone understand their role, even if they don’t have one they need instructions, and then test them until they become second nature. The military do it all the time it helps them prepare and makes sure that each participant knows exactly where they should be and what they should be doing. So should we.

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