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It can seem like a waste of time to develop emergency plans for the most rare or unlikely situations, but when one such event actually happens that planning will have been worthwhile. Take for example the extremely rare tornado that swept through a portion of south Seattle during a recent storm.
An unseasonable September storm dumped record amounts of rain and temporarily knocked out power for thousands in the Pacific Northwest. The National Weather Service confirmed through damage surveyed and eyewitness accounts that an EF1 tornado with a maximum wind speed of 110 mph hit the industrial area of Frederickson.
The state of Washington has perhaps one or two tornados each year but they are typically small. The storm that spawned this particular tornado dropped more rain in a day or two than typically falls in the entire month.
This and many other recent cases of extreme weather are proving the need for emergency planners to have scenarios ready for ANY type of situation, no matter how far-fetched it may seem.
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/winter-weight-storm-slaps-northwest-on-last-weekend-in-september-with-record-rainfall-winds/2013/09/30/5d98c122-29ea-11e3-b141-298f46539716_story.html
It is far too easy to consider workplace emergency training an unwelcome distraction or even an annoyance. You might think to yourself that you will never use the information you are being given, or that someone else will take responsibility when the time comes, and you promptly forget it soon after.
What happened recently at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Georgia proves that training well and often can truly save lives.
When a man entered into the elementary school carrying an assault rifle and began shooting at the ground, the extensive emergency training of Antoinette Tuff kicked in.
Thankfully Tuff and other school staff had received extensive training in dangerous situations involving trespassers and emergency protocol.
While Tuff worked to keep the gunman calm and spoke with him, she signaled a code to her two counterparts, who alerted teachers to lock doors and send children to safety. She then called 911 and began to act as a go-between to relay the shooter’s demands to the police.
Without police ever having directly talked to the gunman, Tuff helped him to surrender peacefully.
Her incredible heroism was recorded in the lengthy 911 call. She stayed calm and expressed empathy toward the gunman while revealing her own personal struggles. Hailed as a hero by President Obama, Tuff truly saved lives that day.