THE MAGAZINE

Protective Actions: Evacuation/Shelter in Place

By Mayer Nudell

***** Protective Actions: Evacuation/Shelter in Place. Produced by Emergency Film Group, www.efilmgroup.com (Web); VHS or DVD; 29 minutes, $425, $150 rental.

The public’s first response to emergency warnings of impending dangers is evacuation. A natural reaction, it is also the focus of much planning by government officials. Another response, sheltering in place, is often given little more than lip service; the planning and preparation for its implementation may amount to little more than a “duct tape and plastic sheeting” approach.

There are exceptions, of course. Some organizations, such as the American Red Cross, pay attention to sheltering and generally do it quite well. Now, government agencies have a tool to help them in the form of a video produced by the Emergency Film Group, titled Evacuation Protective Actions: Shelter in Place.

Available in both VHS and DVD formats, this video focuses on incidents that can occur with little or no warning, such as terrorism, earthquakes, and hazardous materials accidents, as well as traditional emergencies such as fires, hurricanes, and floods.

Footage of realistic training exercises and commentary from a number of veteran first responders provide a wealth of information on matters such as dealing with special populations (such as the disabled, the elderly, and prisoners), traffic control, pets and livestock, and other relevant issues.

The video comes with an instructor’s guide, which is a 72-slide PowerPoint presentation that can be customized by instructors to compliment the video.

Government and private institutions will find this a valuable tool to help them plan for those situations in which evacuation is impossible or ill-advised. If the purchase price for the video is too high, it is worth renting.

Mayer Nudell, CSC, is an independent consultant on crisis management, contingency planning, and related issues. He is a member of ASIS International.

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