Published on Sep 21, 2011 by Edgar Snyder

Freak Accidents Can Happen - Be Prepared

playground freak accident

It's unfortunate, but unusual accidents happen. We've seen it in the news a lot recently, and we even began airing a commercial about freak accidents. The collapse of a stage in Indiana killed several people and injured dozens. A plane went down at an air show in Reno, taking both the pilot's life and the lives of 10 spectators. And in our own city, flash flooding claimed four lives.

Afterward, officials search for ways to make public areas and roads safer. They want to do everything possible to prevent the accidents from happening again. It made me think of some general tips that families can follow to be more prepared in the event of an emergency.

When Severe Weather Hits

When the National Weather Service issues these watches and warnings, it means there are – or there is the potential for – high winds, hail, tornadoes, lightning, and flooding nearby. It's best to stay inside when bad weather approaches. Retreat to a basement or storm shelter if you have one, or move into the interior parts of the house where there are no windows.

Avoid going to large public gatherings if there are severe thunderstorm watches or warnings. If you're at a public gathering and a thunderstorm is coming, take cover under a concrete or solid roof, go indoors if possible, and move away from any portable structures such as stages, canopies, etc.

Talk to your kids about what to do in the case of a natural disaster. No one should ever enter into flood waters, even if it looks like it's standing still. It can turn into tragedy quickly. Never drive in or venture into water when you don't know the depth. Call 9-1-1 if you notice any dangers caused by thunderstorms, flooding, wind, etc.

Eliminate Confusion – Have a Plan

Have a plan of attack for any type of emergency. Kids and all family members should know what to do if an accident or another unexpected event occurs in a public place.

For example, if you're heading to an amusement park for the day and will be separated, plan to meet several times throughout the day at a particular spot. If a fire happens at a store, make sure everyone knows to stay calm and exit, and then to meet at the car. When families have one plan, it can keep them from being caught in a stampede of panicking people and losing track of one another.

Basic Safety Smarts

Always be cautious. Accidents can still occur even if warning signs aren't posted anywhere. Use your head and be smart.

  • Don't enter into any area that looks like it could be even remotely dangerous.
  • If a ride at an amusement park or swing at a local playground look damaged, don't use them. Alert someone to the possible dangers.
  • If an elevator looks like it's having issues, don't ride it – wait for another one.
  • Don't walk underneath scaffolding or people working above you.
  • Follow the rules for elevators and escalators, and avoid being near those who behave in an unsafe manner. If someone is pushing and shoving in a hurry on an escalator, politely stay out of his or her way. It's not worth being injured.
  • Keep smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, RV, mobile home, etc. Be sure to check them periodically.
  • Remove objects that could be fire or explosion hazards from your home. Avoid places that could have those hazards, such as a gas leak or an area with unknown chemicals.

It's impossible to anticipate every emergency that could happen and have everything go according to plan, but having a few guidelines in place may help you, and others you love, have a better chance of avoiding injury.

If you, or someone you love, were injured in a freak accident, you can turn to our law firm. We have experience helping people who were injured in unusual accidents. For more information and safety tips, explore our website.

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