October 30, 2023
Practice makes perfect when preparing for disaster, says experienced indigenous fire captain
And as storms lashed the North overnight, the advice of a visiting indigenous American first responder expert – Ernie Ojeda – the captain of a Los Angeles Fire Department – might have been a huge help for some.
Captain Ojeda, a native Yaqui indian is here in Aotearoa to share his 31 years of disaster risk preparedness with iwi.
He says the two critical things families fail to do are practice emergency drills – and have an emergency go-bag with food, medicines and essential documents stored all the time in a vehicle.
“You take pictures on the phone. You make hard copies. And then you take some food, and absolutely medicines. And once you can take care fo yourself, then you owe it to your neighbour down the street,. or the older person that lives a little bit more remotely that’s gonna need help,” he says.
Ernie Ojeda says he always stresses practice as part of being prepared, so people don’t panic when they have to cope with a real emergency.