“Think about what would happen in event of an emergency,” said Hilkey. “A lot of times we don’t anticipate what will happen, but it’s what we have to do as leaders of organizations in the community. An event that is beyond the normal capacity to deal with is an emergency, and beyond our ability for us or our friends to help is a disaster.”
Hilkey said that personal physical fitness was the best way to prepare for a disaster. “If we are physically and emotionally fit, we will be able to do more to ensure that an emergency does not turn into a disaster.” He said that emergency responders nationwide push members of the community to receive basic first aid training including CPR to best respond to a crisis. He added that classes are offered online.
“Families should plan for emergencies. Have a plan to meet and a plan to get a hold of relatives if something happens,” said Hilkey. “How young should you talk about a plan with your kids? As soon as they are talking. Teach first aid to all your kids. There are plenty of 911 shows on TV that show that kids exposed to these things are able to save lives.”
Hilkey said that Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) teaches individuals and groups how to respond and assist professionals in the community if disaster strikes.
“Before an emergency, think about what will be needed. I lived in South Florida when Hurricane Andrew hit. People waited too long for wood for windows, drinking water, and fuel for their generators. Everyone should have some very basic first aid supplies and supplies for and after the disaster itself,” said Hilkey. “If I have my family protected, then I am in a position to help others.”
Hilkey said that the managers of the businesses and industry at the luncheon faced additional challenges of protecting workers, continuing operations and the ability to provide resources for relief efforts.
“Plagiarism is a wonderful thing in disaster preparedness. Touch base with other people,” said Hilkey. He called upon the managers to assess vulnerabilities to specific disasters and create plans to respond to each one.
Get the full story on Hilkey's lecture inside this week's Cadiz Record.