Nickie Coby (puppybraille) wrote,
Nickie Coby
puppybraille

What the bridge collapse taught me about emergency preparedness

The last few days have been spent praying for the families and victims affected by the bridge collapse. Fewer people are missing than we thought originally, but it is still incredibly sad. The thing is, I learned a lot this week. Being so close to what happened (I've traveled the bridge before), made me pay even more attention. What I learned may be helpful for others, and I tend to remember what I blog, so I've decided to note it here.

First, it's actually true that text messages can get through when voice calls can't. My understanding of what happened is that it was very hard to get a call through on cell phones, but you could get text messages through. I am so glad to have an accessible phone. I didn't have an emergency, but I feel better knowing that I can contact someone through that method. It's also important to note that I felt confident that I could send a text message in a reasonable amount of time. That's why I'm glad I have practiced some. All of those occasional text messages to
Twitter
could be beneficial after all!

Second, I learned that technology is going to play a huge role in what information gets shared. I was able, for example, to let others know I was okay and not on the bridge. But, I also had more people to notify because of the friends I've made through blogging, Twitter, Facebook, BlogHer, instant messenger and email. I know I'm forgetting something, but that's exactly my point. I think we tend to have more relationships because of technology.

Next, I saw that tech increased the accessibility of news. I learned more online about what was happening than I did watching the news or listening to the radio. I, at one point, watched my RSS feeds, listened to the news, read blog posts and had a good friend audio describing the images on the news through instant messenger. And, I did this all without yelling "what's going on?!" to my parents every few seconds. I can't really compare this to previous tragedies (9-11, I was in school and not allowed to watch TV during the day, for example). I do think it's safe to say, however, that this increase in information and communication was helpful for me, because I actually knew what was going on to the extent that sighted peers do.

Last, from a chronic pain perspective, I learned that emergencies will increase pain levels and they won't be predictable. In other words, having enough medication during an emergency, as well as other non-drug methods, will be vital. And no, this probably shouldn't have been a surprise. It did, however, remind me that a medical alert bracelet might be a good idea.

If you were affected by the bridge collapse, know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Either way, I hope my observations are helpful to you.

Tags: accessibility, blogs, chronic pain, disability related, health, mainstream news, technology related
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