emergency

What Hurricane Sandy taught us about the Urban Apocalypse – Part 2


(Mark Segar – Reuters)

It was unsettling how things changed. From the safety of social feeds, we watched as photoshopped spoofs and Michael Bay rip-offs paled before the quiet aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Smouldering burns scarred into whiteboard neighbourhoods. A suburban block turned to some vast waste dump. A seafront bar dragged across a bay, a boat perched on railroad tracks. More than the Boxing Day Tsunami, this felt uncomfortably close to home.

We may be incredulous of the naive expectations of the massive storm; or the religious leader who blamed Sandy on New York State’s acceptance of gay marriage. Yet, what lay in front of us was a solid lesson in where the future may lead for many cities across the globe.

In Part One of What Hurricane Sandy taught us about the urban apocalypse, we looked at Corporate Sponsorship, Disaster Parasites, and the not-so sweet smell of the apocalypse.

Past the cut, in Part Two, we’ll be looking at the comfort of petty theft, how hipsters decorate their fallout digs, and why it’s not over til it’s over…

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What Hurricane Sandy taught us about the Urban Apocalypse – Part 1


(Spencer Platt – Getty Images)

It was unsettling how things changed. From the safety of social feeds, we watched as photoshopped spoofs and Michael Bay rip-offs paled before the quiet aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Smouldering burns scarred into whiteboard neighbourhoods. A suburban block turned to some vast waste dump. A seafront bar dragged across a bay, a boat perched on railroad tracks. More than the Boxing Day Tsunami, this felt uncomfortably close to home.

We may be incredulous of the naive expectations of the massive storm; or the religious leader who blamed Sandy on New York State’s acceptance of gay marriage. Yet, what lay in front of us was a solid lesson in where the future may lead for many cities across the globe. Past the cut, here’s the first of a two part blog on what Hurricane Sandy taught us about surviving the urban apocalypse.
 
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Apocalypse First Aid – Unconscious (and un-zombied)

The main purpose of First Aid is to keep an injured person stable until the Emergency Medical Services arrive. Of course in the event of apocalypse they might not be available.

In a First Aid situation you should always get help straight away.
If you have a doctor or medic in your team refer to them. If there aren’t any professionals available make sure you have back up, you shouldn’t deal with this on your own.
It is worth having some First Aid knowledge yourself so you can help out injured teammates and keep yourself from danger.



Unconscious Casualty
Whenever you are dealing with an unconscious person remember DRAB.

DangerAlways check if it’s safe to approach. This is especially important during the apocalypse.
If you are dealing with a zompoc your first instinct on seeing an unconscious body should be Double Tap. Remove the head or destroy the brain.

Response – If it is safe to approach see if you can get a response from them. Try talking, shouting, prodding them with something, shaking, light pinching, or your most hilarious joke. If you get no response they are probably unconscious, but be careful it could be a trap.
If they do respond then they are (hopefully) conscious, so something else is probably wrong and hopefully they can tell you what that is.
If they say “Braaains” RUN!

If they are unconscious:

Airway – The airway needs to be as wide as possible to make breathing easier. To extend the airway put a hand on the forehead and use two fingers on the chin to tilt the head right back. This is very important and can help them to breathe again without further action on your part.
Here’s a quick demonstration you can try right now:

  • Put your chin as close to your chest as possible and take a deep breath.
  • Now tilt your head back as far as you can and take another deep breath.

Feel that? That difference is absolutely vital when you can’t move your head and all your muscles are completely relaxed.

Breathing – Check if they are breathing. If you are comfortable doing so put your cheek above their nose and mouth to see if you can feel breath. Look along the body to see if the chest is rising and falling. Do this for no more than 10 seconds.

First Aiders are no longer advised to check for a pulse.
It’s hard to find one if you don’t know how, you can waste time doing it, and you might find your own blood is thundering in your ears too much to find one, especially if it’s weak.

If they are breathing normally put them in the recovery position (see below).
If they aren’t breathing start chest compressions. Here is hard man Vinnie Jones to tell us how.

If you are comfortable doing so you can perform mouth-to-mouth (this is an excellent way of spreading disease, so don’t do it if you aren’t comfortable). Only ever perform mouth-to-mouth on someone who isn’t breathing.

  • Make sure the airway is fully extended, otherwise the air won’t go where it’s needed.
  • Pinch the nostrils closed.
  • Cover their mouth with yours and blow into their mouth steadily.
  • Lift your head to breathe in and check if the chest rises (if it does you got it right, well done you).

Each breath should take 1 second.
Do 2 of these rescue breaths after every 30 compressions.
If you aren’t sure whether you’re doing it right just do the compressions.

It’s worth mentioning that CPR is only a stop gap measure until the professionals arrive. It’s a way of pumping oxygenated blood to the brain while the body can’t do it properly. You aren’t supposed to do it for more than 10 minutes. If help isn’t coming, and the casualty isn’t breathing, stop before you exhaust yourself.

If someone doesn’t have a pulse CPR will not bring them back to life. 

Recovery Position
If a casualty is breathing but unconscious put them in to the recovery position.
There have been various different ways of doing the recovery position, but the most important things are:

  • The casualty is resting stably on their side and can’t roll onto their back.
  • The airway is extended. 
  • The head is supported 
  • The mouth is pointing down.

This is important because any vomit (or other unwanted fluid) should end up outside the body, not sitting in the throat blocking the precious, precious oxygen.

One of the keys things about unconscious people is that they don’t move of their own accord, so you can move them into different positions. One of the other key things is that they have no muscle responses and they are completely floppy, so you will have to do all of the moving for them.

Once someone is in the recovery position you can let go of them and even leave them. Though if there are carnivores around that might not be a good idea.

Here is a lady from the British Red Cross demonstrating what to do.

Remember in an apocalypse situation everyone will be more disheveled and dirty, and something will probably be on fire in the background.

When doing First Aid always get help as soon as possible. Do not do anything to put yourself in danger.
If you want to learn more check professional groups like The Red Cross and St. John’s Ambulance.

I am not a medical professional, simply a well-informed amateur with a background in lifeguarding.

Hekate out.

Visitors since 03/11/11

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