Wednesday, April 16, 2014

7.5 Earthquake in Juneau!

It happened.... the earthquake we knew would come one day.  A 7.5 hit Juneau on Tuesday, April 15, at 11:00 p.m.  The town shook for five minutes.  Our CERT team assembled outside the home at 2014 Melrose Place.  The apartment on the side had collapsed but the main, single-story building was still intact.

It was dark by the time we got there.  We assembled with our Team Leader, waiting for instructions.  Then it comes.  There are bodies inside..... find them....

With flashlights in hand and head lamps on, we headed inside, hands on the shoulder of the CERT member in front of us.  Like a snake, we carefully move from room to room looking for bodies; assessing damage.   Room 1 was clear.... or so we thought....  We continue on to room 2 where we found the stairwell blocked and victim two buried by debris but alive; she was in shock.  We continue on....  Victim three was at the C wall behind the vehicle.  We continue to weave ourselves throughout the building until we make our way back to the door.
Lions Becky Allison, Mike Norton, Mike Allison, and our Team Leader Sean
Once outside, we assembled to review what we found.  Six victims who did not survive; one who needed assistance.  What?  There were eight bodies inside the building....?  We missed finding a victim because we weren't thorough enough.

This was a great exercise in being observant, working as a team.  Okay, and somewhere along the way we lost a young girl who was part of our team.  Remember how we entered the building, one person in front of the other with our hand on the shoulder of the person in front of us?  That's so we don't lose anyone in a dark building. Somewhere along the way we lost the connection and she didn't make it back out of the building.  Okay, so that was a test but what if it had been real life?
I was the "scribe," the person who took notes of the building condition and persons found.  It looks like scribble but it actually gives details on bodies found, whether they were hurt or deceased, and condition of the building.

This week's CERT course was about light search and rescue.  In real life I'm not certain I could do it....  tri-focals, a dark building, debris laying around, things to step over.... all the while hanging on to the person in front of you isn't an easy task.  I think I'll be the person who keeps the donuts and coffee coming to the Teams!

We Serve!
Lion Nancy

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