Citizen's Guide to Mass Disaster
A mass disaster is an unexpected event causing catastrophic damage, injuries, and/or deaths. Mass fatalities may occur as a result of different types of events such as natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, wildfires, pandemic outbreaks), large scale accidents (aviation crashes, bridge/highway collapse, ship accidents, structural collapses), industrial incidents (gas leaks/explosions, poisonous substance contaminations), terrorist acts (weapons of mass destruction, use of chemical, nuclear, biolegical, radiological, or highly explosive agents).
Maintain Safety: Your safety is paramount and you should not risk your own safety in an attempt to recover or move a decedent during or after a mass disaster.
Assess Hazards: Determine if there are any dangerous conditions for you to remain in the area you are in. If so, determine the safest evacuation route.
Scene Evaluation: Scan the area for anyone who appears unresponsive or unable to assist themselves.
Share Information: Immediately notify a first responder as to where you found the injured person(s) or decedent(s).
There are ways you can prepare yourself for a mass disaster that will assist first responders with treating you or notifying your family of your condition. Consider the ways in which a first responder can identify you, know your medical health, and reach your loved ones to report your condition. If you are incapacitated, what are the ways you can still communicate with first responders to get you the help you need. In your wallet, consider placing a business card-sized paper that includes your loved ones' names and contact information. Consider including in your wallet the name of your doctor or dentist. Is your cellular phone accessible or is a passcode required? Consider using a fingerprint or thumbprint passkey for security. A first responder or hospital staff member would be able to access your phone using your own print. Consider filling out the Vial for Life document and placing it on your refrigerator at home. The Vial for Life document would provide a wealth of information for first responders to best treat you, gather medical history, and contact your loved ones.