Sunday, August 12, 2018

Two Minor Disasters in a Span of Four Hours

Yesterday was somewhat eventful.  First we were coming back from our errands intending to stop by one more store before hitting the freeway when not one but more than a dozen cop cars came racing past us--lights, sirens, and well over the speed limit.  That usually means one of two things in this city, either an officer down call or an active shooter call.  Unfortunately the city's police radio has been encrypted so I couldn't listen to Broadcastify to find out what was going on.  We headed toward our destination only to find a perimeter set up around the entire shopping center that we were going to go to.  Since that means something big is happening we just kept going to the freeway.  A quick Twitter search told us that there was an active shooter incident and we were apparently minutes from having been in the middle of it.  Fortunately the only person shot was the shooter (by the police) and the many people in the shopping center did the right thing (hiding, running out of the back of the stores if possible, and taking cover).

A few hours later we were watching TV and an emergency alert came in both on the TV and on our cell phones about getting inside of a house/building because a massive wind storm/dust storm was set to hit in a few minutes.  Usually we shrug off these sorts of alerts as they are pretty common during monsoon season.  Also there was no wind at all and it had been a very calm day, weather-wise.  But after the newscaster broke in reiterating the warning and checking social media for the next town over which was in the middle of the storm (per posts by apparently everyone in town talking about the destructive winds), I high-tailed it outside to secure the garbage cans and patio furniture...basically anything that could fly away was brought into the garage.  Only minutes later, winds of more than 50 miles per hour hit our area.

In both of these incidents, situational awareness was key.  What's happening (by observation, using social media, listening to the news, etc) and how should we respond (stay away from the action in the case of the active shooter, and quickly prep for the wind storm).  Pay attention...react...respond.  That's what we prep for.

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