If a situation like the Boston Marathon bombings happened near you, would you know how to respond?
Suddenly your day has drastically changed. Something so far out of your realm of experience you never really thought about it: an explosion, throwing metal shrapnel at high speed all around you.
The debris comes to rest. Maybe you're on the ground. Now what? Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary has some advice.
"Just taking off running may not be the best answer, because what you don't know if there are other hazards in the area. The first thing you should do is slow down and make sure 911 is activated. Make sure help is on the way. The next thing you want to do is check yourself. Make sure there's not something obvious, that you've been injured and the adrenalin has kept you from realizing that injury. Then assess those around you and see if you can render aid. Help calm them because the more chaotic the scene is, the more difficult it is for survivors and the first responders."
"It is going to be chaotic, as with a tornado or any man made or natural event, there is going to become chaos. Slowing down, helping each other would be a great step. Then, following the direction of the first responders, they may want you in a certain area, they're going to assess the scene for more hazards," Johnny said.
The fire marshal's best advice is to shake it off as soon as you can and think before doing anything.
Johnny Zackary also pointed out that if you are not hurt when the first responders arrive, you should be willing to assist them if they ask you to.
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