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Raintree21

Job or Family in a Catastrophe?

Commitment to Work or Family in a Catastrophic Event  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. If there was a catastrophic event in your community would you stay at work (or go in as needed) or head home to take care of your family who is in need? By catastrophic, I mean mass disaster after a major terrorist attack (i.e. nuclear, EMP, bio, etc.)

    • Work
      8
    • Family
      10
  2. 2. If you chose to stay at work or go back in, how long would you stay before heading home to care for your own?

    • 1 day
      8
    • 2 days
      2
    • 3 days
      1
    • 4+ days
      7
  3. 3. Is you family prepared to take care of themselves in your absence?

    • Yes
      16
    • No
      2


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Well, depends a bit on severity. I actually worked one flood disaster affecting my home town - I happened to be the standby chief of EMS/medical disaster response at that time. After deciding to get in action (dispatch still wasn't aware what happened in front of our houses) I took the time to wake my wife, made sure my parents (one street away) were alert, checked my house's cellar and went to the local fire house where the command post was for such situations. Where I met the countie's fire chief, my neighbour at that time, who did the same with his family/house...

We then both tried to turn chaos into proper response and regularly checked with our home. in the command post we had all the information about the real danger to our homes, so we felt more comfortable than we would've sitting at home...and we actually had the ability to do much more for our neighbours. Later on, my brother-in-law, responded with his (neighbouring) villages fire department, found the time to look after my (and his wifes) parent house from time to time, since he was assigned to a location nearby.

How would it have looked when my family would've been in actual danger and/or I wouldn't have been able to know the overall situation and/or even communicate? I don't really know, most probably hoping that I could be there to help.

But some other thought: if response is good & organized, then my family will be safe. "Good & organized" includes every provider beeing on his place in service and not abandon his post. I would do the same for other's families....I hope.

In preparation we usually plan the local ressources to vanish if hit by a disaster themselves. Maybe because the responders may not appear (helping their own family, hurt, lost) or equipment is affected (blocked, damaged, lost). Thus, mutual help over medium or large distances is a well-known concept in Germany since the big floodings of the river Elbe in 2002. But in most and even very bad situations (-> river Elbe 2002 and others) history shows that local resources still are the first to respond by any means, trying to save their neighbours and fellow citizens.

Conclusion: never underestimate dedication of local folks / responders, even if they're severely hit. And there my be a large gray area between "Help yourself" and "stay in service". Sometimes you can do both. Beeing prepared & informed surely helps.

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I trust my family members in their ability to make prudent decisions. I would most likely finish the shift I'm on, check on my family, then report back for duty. I say that from the perspective of someone who doesn't yet have children, and who's girlfriend is also a paramedic. Under different circumstances I suspect my views on the subject could change dramatically.

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One year ago I went thru a catastrophic event, the epic flood of the Missouri River. We were notified May 31 about the voluntary evacuation for all county residents near the Interstate. In our case, most of the residents are farmers, so it is not your typical single home to pack up and move. It took a week to move cattle to pasture on high ground, grain had to be moved out of the bins and to the elevators. Then packing up a farm shop, moving tractors, combines and all forms of farm equipment to high ground. I worked on packing up the house during the first week. By the weekend we had purchase what we would be living in for nearly 6 months. It took one day with a group of volunteers to load all the furniture into one of the 53 ft. dry van trailers we purchased. That same day all the contents of my pantry, most of the pots, pans and dishes etc. were loaded into the camper, along with clothing and bedding. Also loaded into the camper was the clothing and everything else my daughter and family needed to survive with us. The afternoon of the 6th of June we relocated to the local state park, to begin life as a flood victim or refugee. The following three weeks my husband and other members of the community struggled daily to ring sand boils and sand bagged soft spots on the levee. We were not fortunate enough to have a army of volunteers to help with the process, we had to do it ourselves, and the idiots from the Corps of Engineers were criticizing every bag thrown. By the end of June the releases from Gavins Point dam at Yankton S. D was nearing 160,000 cubic feet per second. On June 30th it all came to a head when the levee north of our community breached, it was now a mandatory evacuation.

I was sent home from work to do what I needed to do to evacuate. The business was going to close its doors that day and they were going to be packing up as well. I never went back and I am not regretting it.

When faced with pending disasters, whether man had a hand in it, or natural, you would be suprised what your capable of doing and how fast you can do it.

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My husband who is a VFF had this come up when they got the call to attend a fire at the Propane outlet. Of course it was a Saturday so we were all at home, he called as they were getting ready and we left as this outlet is a block away from my home. All worked out for the best and I am here another day :)

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If any agrncy expects to continue in a disaster try should plan to support/shelter/protect the family of its staff.

An excellent idea but I have never experienced any agency that is willing to do so. Does anyone else know of an agency willing to put up IMMEDIATE family members?

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I would imagine that my agency would. Education rooms make great sleep rooms, unless you have a policy to continue to hold CPR refreshers during a zombie apocalypse.

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I already mentioned the NYC Hurricane Irene evac. Mom is, obviously, related. Lady J and her brother? No (not yet, anyway). No clue if, while I was still working, if they'd allow me to.have Lady J in any departmental relocation center.

In the 1993 Nor'easter, I ended up running a medical station at the relocation center. The relocation center was in the Irene evac zone, FYI

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What is your agency's policy on mandatory callbacks or mandatory overtime in the event of a disaster? It is quite feasible for an agency to "shut down" in the event of a large scale event if a large number of employees choose to stay home to care for their families and property.

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I maybe a NOOB here, but I'm not a NOOB to short notice business for extended periods of time. The only way I'm OK with being gone for 4+ days is because I know my family will be OK. The wife and I are accustomed to this type of life.

Its ensuring every moment I'm home and ensuring that moments like those dont completely obliterate my family.

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