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Operation abandon ship

I am not a prophet but I need to ask whether we are prepared for another earth rattle. The last time the earth shook here in Barbados what did we witness? All those who could, took off for “home”.

For those who were driving or were being driven did you consider the condition of the roads on which you were driving? Should there be mobile assessment teams whose job it is to check on the condition of roads after an earth shake?

For those of you working on computers and at cash points what is the protocol? Do you save and lock, or grab and go? Do you dive for cover under a sturdy desk or table? Have you had shake or quake drills? If the order is to evacuate immediately does your assembly point take into account proximity to buildings or overhead power cables?

If you are at home, do you have your critical documents or keys safe but handy? If you are in bed do you have a quick change of clothing for outdoors ready? Does your household have a drill so that each knows what to do? Do you really know what to do?

Besides Barbados my previous experience of an earth tremor was in Trinidad some years ago on the tenth floor of the hotel where I was staying. All I could do, according to previous wisdom, was to assemble my body, which was prepared to fly in many directions, between the door jamb.

Now, I am not sure what I should do, so perhaps like most people, wherever I am I will just, metaphorically speaking, carry out “operation abandon ship”. Yet we need to know more about a response to an earth shake.

— Michael Rudder

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