Saturday 23 March, 2019

ODPM issues crowd safety tips ahead of Carnival

As the nation prepares to observe Carnival, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) has advised of multiple public safety tips ahead of the two-day cultural display. 

If attending a large crowd event, be mindful of the following safety measures:-

Upon arrival at any large venue:

· Exit Signs - Look for exit signs in the venue, so you can evacuate easily and plan a fast egress route.

· Meeting Points - Agree on a meeting area outside the venue in case you are separated from your group.

· Accounting for a group - Take photos of everyone in the group with your phone, so that persons can remember everyone’s wardrobe (people often forget such details in times of crisis). This is helpful in the event you need to identify them to authorities for a lost-person report. Be sure that everyone has each other’s cell phone numbers and send photos to a trusted person in the event your phone is lost.

In case of stampede or mass-evacuation:

· Moving with a crowd - You don’t want to be trampled, so treat the crowd like a riptide and move perpendicular to the direction of travel until you get to the edge of the crowd. If you are with a group, you can try to hold onto each other’s arms while you do this to prevent separation. If there are children with you, carry them if possible.

· If trapped within the crowd - If the edge of the crowd is also a physical wall and you can’t escape, flatten yourself against the wall and begin slowly moving in the direction of the majority of the crowd if it appears to be going toward an exit point. If not, weigh the risks of staying put until the crowd thins if you want to try to find a separate exit point.

· If you fall in a crowd - If you do fall down and the crowd is surging over you, curl into a ball with your hands over your face to protect your face and internal organs. This will minimise internal injuries to your main organs.

· Escape Injury - If you cannot escape the crowd, then escape injury. If possible, find a place to crouch and hide. If there’s nowhere to hide, then do what you can to shield yourself from injury. This can include curling into a ball, as mentioned above. Some authorities recommend placing your hands behind your neck to protect your cervical spine from injury.

The ODPM also reminded citizens to take all precautions to preserve life and property.

For emergencies, please contact the ODPM’s Customer Care Centre at 511 or 211 for the Tobago Emergency Management Agency. Additional emergency hotline numbers include TT Police Service: 999, TT Fire Service: 990 and Ambulance Service: 811.

For additional safety tips and information, visit www.odpm.gov.tt.

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