Emergency Preparedness Challenge Exercise
by Pinedale Online!
May 4, 2011
Last month, the National Weather Service held a "Test Tornado Warning" as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week. The statewide Test Tornado Warning was issued at 1030 am MDT by National Weather Service offices serving Wyoming. This Test Tornado Warning was followed by a Test Severe Weather Statement at 1045 am MDT which cancelled the test warning.
This annual statewide drill offers government officials, law enforcement agencies, schools and businesses, as well as other private groups and citizens the chance to test their severe weather communications and plans in advance of severe weather season. The National Weather Service encourages participation in this drill.
Here at Pinedale Online, we always participate in this drill and take it seriously. We post the notices as if they were real alerts being issued by the NWS of a real tornado in our county. We watch and listen to see who else is participating and coordinate with the ones who are just as if we would in a real emergency situation.
We like the idea of constantly testing our response and trying to improve things to the best of our ability in how we do things to get information out to our readers. We like that the NWS provides this challenge each year and it is up to us to participate and use it to evaluate our own response and use it to learn how we might do things better. Every year it seems we discover several things that we could do to improve how we do things here. For those of you who arenít aware of it, Pinedale Online has a staff of one.
Based on this yearís Test Tornado Warning exercise, we have decided it might be interesting to issue some additional emergency preparedness challenges for other situations and see if any of our readers might be interested in testing themselves on these situations. This is totally up to you if you want to participate. We will issue a situation and your challenge is to respond to it as if it was real. The important part is to do the follow through on the exercise and take the actions you would do if it was really happening. Test your personal knowledge of how to respond to take action on the situation (Can you help fix it or are you a helpless bystander who might become a casualty?; Do you have the resources to respond to help yourself and those around you? Are you willing to improve your knowledge base and resource tools so you could be a responder instead of a helpless victim in an emergency?) This is a personal challenge. No one else will know you are doing it and there is no test at the end to evaluate how you did. You can respond to it at your convenience when it fits your schedule. You will be your own judge on how you respond to these challenges and whether you pass them or fail.
First challenge: The right rear tire on your vehicle is flat.
(Ladies and teenagers, can you solve this problem without asking for help from anyone else? Does your vehicle have the right tools in it to change the tire and do you know how to use them? To do this challenge completely, you should go out and change your right rear tire with your spare, drive around the block, then take the spare back off and put it back where it belongs in your vehicle. Can you do it?)