First Aid During an Evacuation

First Aid During an Evacuation.

The world’s weather has become more and more volatile over the past few years. This has been seen on the news with ‘once in 100-year storm surges’ now seeming to happen every few years. Heat waves roll across both the northern and southern hemispheres during their summers. Cyclones and typhoons cause more flooding and landslide events. And bushfires are threatening more and more homes and lives. As this threat increases, so does the need for evacuation. Picking up your family and heading off to an evacuation zone is a very daunting experience.

During this time of upheaval, incidents requiring first aid can and do occur. Do you know what you can do in these situations? Did you remember to pack your first aid kit? Studies have shown that being well-prepared before an emergency helps to reduce stress and psychological trauma during and after a highly traumatic event. The whole process of evacuating and leaving your home behind to be destroyed potentially is scary, and you feel out of control.

Knowing what to pack ahead of time and having better preparedness has been shown to help people take more control and, therefore, recover better. Having a well-stocked first aid kit is one of the simple things a family can carry with them to help out if they need first aid.

Completing a first aid course, either the traditional HLTAID011 or the more advanced HLTAID014 and HLTAID015 courses like the ones the RTS Training Group run, can provide people with the knowledge of how to help the injured casualty or family member. This is especially important during a large weather event such as a cyclone, bushfire, or flood, as travelling to a hospital or healthcare facility is potentially more fraught with risk and danger. Depending upon the hazard that has made you evacuate in the first place, leaving the evacuation centre might not be an option for a while.

A well-supplied first aid kit is important in preparing for the evacuation centre. It is also essential to remember to pack necessary medication, enough to cover that person for a few days and more in case they cannot return home or get to a pharmacy to resupply after the disaster. Planning for pets is another way to improve disaster preparedness. Not all evacuation centres allow for pets to be present. It is important to find out ahead of time where the designated evacuation centres are in your area and what sort of services they can provide.

Ensuring your irreplaceable items are present can help reduce grief and loss on the other side of a disaster. It is also essential to organise all the necessary documents. This includes house insurance, wills and power of attorney. Electronic copies stored on a cloud-type space is very helpful. Having all these already in place has been shown to reduce stress and distress during the very complex nature of a disaster or, worst case loss of home or life. Having adequate home and contents insurance can reduce the impact or potentially prevent a devastating financial burden after the disaster.

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