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Disaster is a serious disturbance of the operations of a society or a community leading to a widespread human, economic, material and environmental loss that exceed the capability of the environmental losses and which go further than the capability of the community affected . Natural disasters come in various forms and they come with varying intensities (USA Today.com).

Disaster threats to students. Collapsing buildings may cause severe injuries to students. This may be caused by buildings that are inappropriately located, poorly designed and buildings built ignoring current building codes by ignoring safety standards for safety in case of a disaster and buildings that have been poorly inspected by unqualified structural engineers. Old buildings that have not undergone recent repairs may end up collapsing hence causing a disaster to students. Buildings that are not preventatively maintained to protect them from damp or other damages or lack of repairing damages when they occur may end up collapsing (American red-cross.com).

Earthquakes are a natural Disaster that may affect students severely especially where there unfixed tall and heavy furniture’s, computers that are not secured, unfixed televisions and other electronic equipments, loose hazardous materials, loose supplies, propane gas tanks, roof elements lighting fixtures, railings and parapets, water tanks, heating and cooling devices, storage tanks and other items that could injure, kill, or damage continuity of education.

Flood, storm, tornado are another form of disaster that may injure, kill or impair continuity of students learning process. Lack of warning systems and prior plans to respond to move people and assets to avoid losses may be disastrous.

Smoke can be disastrous. Smoke can injure or affect the learning process of a student. Spills or releases of hazardous materials are also dangerous to students.

Loss of critical information from the computers could disrupt the learning process.

Vehicle accidents may also injure, kill or impair students completely.

Lack of water supplies, food, power, lighting, first aid supplies, basic response, communication means, lack of transport means, lack of sanitation and shelter supplies could be disastrous to students I n the university. Extreme heat is also another natural disaster that may face students at the university. It cause serious damages and can even cause death if it goes to the extremes (USA Today.com).

Disaster plan. To avoid Campus shootings, bombings available avoidance mechanisms include the use lighted walkways, locks, public transportation, security doors, locks, and friends. Don’t be alone at night, be with a friend use a bus or a taxi or call a security escort of the university. Beware of the environment and always avoid hazardous or dark areas by using lighted pedestrian ways.

In preparation for flood it’s advisable to store valuables on the highest possible floor or in the attic. The fuse box or the main breaker to be relocated if possible together with utility meters above the expected flood level. Buying of flood insurance is another way of preparing for the floods. Always avoid faulty buildings and especially those are built far apart. Avoid old and deserted buildings.

In preparation for tornado one has to perfect tornado drills and have disaster supplies ready on hand. It is important to learn the signs of a tornado. Have a communication plan by having somebody as a “contact person” in case of separation.

In getting ready for extreme heat one need to be well versed with signs of heat related illnesses and be set for first aid treatments. There need to be installed window air conditioners insulated for a tight fit. Any floor registers of heat should be closed and air-conditioning ducts properly insulated. Use of box fan is important to increase flow of air. Air conditioning in side the house can be done by fixing reflectors like card board covered with aluminum foil over windows and this reflects heat back. Use of weather-stripping and windowsills is a way of air conditioning. Storm windows should be kept up all year.

Fires and accidents could be experienced at any time. Knowing the steps to take is a key toward survival. Have a list of local telephone numbers that are important and also a list of family contacts is important. You can keep a copy by each phone and one in the wallet. Have a neighborhood map and directory. Ensure that your house is easy to trace and ensure that your address is easily traceable by emergency personnel. Ensure that you have a emergency preparedness kit. Have a copy of vital records and this includes certificates, contract documents, and financial statements in a secure place for in stance the safety deposit box. Always keep a small amount of money for emergency purposes on hand and at all times. Always make and put into practice an evacuation plan out of the university.

One should have personal water storage containers that can supply water for at least 12 hours in case of a water shortage. A student should have a rechargeable torch for use during power or lighting shortages. One should be well versed with exit a route in case there happens to smoke in the buildings and be well versed with the smoke detector sirens. In taking care of effects of earth quakes, have your items well packed in the wardrobe and pictures hanged in closed hooks to avoid injuries (fema.gov).

What the university should take to better inform, warn, and train students.

Locate buildings appropriately and have then designed and constructed according to the present codes of construction and have them inspected by approved engineers. Any repairs should be done with minimal disruptions to students learning. Preventative maintenance on buildings is very important to protect them from dump and various damages. Damages should be repaired when they occur (fema.gov).

University should fasten all tall and heavy furniture, hazardous materials, secured computers, supplies, propane gas tanks,, water tanks lighting fixtures, roof elements, railings and parapets, heating and cooling devices, storage tanks and any other item that could injure kill or impair a student for continuity of education. Latches should be put on cabinets and pictures should be hanged on closed hooks to avoid injuries or replacement of the expensive things.

The university should be aware of the warning systems and be ready to respond to these warnings by moving assets and people to safety in case of floods, storms and tornadoes. There should be detectors of smoke, automatic sprinkler systems, fire alarms, fire horses, automatic emergency lighting and fire extinguishers and they should be maintained. Building exit route should also be marked.

Hazardous materials should be limited, secured and isolated so as to avoid spill or release. The university should establish an off-site back up of important information. Important information includes the student contacts for emergency and release permissions. School vehicles should be inspected for safety purposes, drivers and students should be trained for safety skills. The university should promote seat belts, helmets and other transportation measures for safety should be promoted and advocated for (fema.gov).

Steps that should be taken by the university

University should organize for post-disaster drills to familiarize students and staff in safety skills at least two times in a year. University should have a buddy system to help those in need. There should be organized simulation exercises once a year at least for operational teams to put into practice response organization and also practice skills and procedures in damage assessment, light search and rescue, fire suppression, first aid, and family reunification.

The university should have an evacuation for skills and practice advancement at least twice a year and also valid drills for threats that may be faced for instance drop, first aid skills for life safety, cover, hold for earthquakes, water safety, swimming skills for floods and shelter-in-place for threats that are violent. University should have an access to outside sources of information on potential disasters and to an internal system of communication. There need be a practice to receive updates about cases of emergency, warning the fraternity and informing the concerned authorities.

There should be emergency supplies for staff and for students to last for at least 72 hours. This includes food, first aid supplies, emergency power, emergency lighting, and 12 liters of water per person, alternate transportation, alternate communications, and sanitation and shelter supplies. School can ask student to bring along an emergency supplies container at the beginning of every year and then allow them to take it home again at the end of each year, mass casualty triage, fire suppression, psychological first aid, light search and rescue, wireless communication, community disaster volunteer skills and emergency power operation. The staff should know how to turn off water, gas and electricity. There should be a standard system of organization and there should be an awareness of organizing a post-disaster self-help. University should have set aside resources for psychological support when needed. Resources should also be set aside for supporting the local communities’ response and for mutual aid.

A university should maintain an information resource as a part of an ongoing emergency preparedness endeavors within the campus. The administration should take every possible step in ensuring safety and well being of the students and the entire Indiana University at Bloomington community.

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