WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: New Orleans: Everything Has Changed: "'What Rescuers Learned' after the 1990 San Francisco earthquake from Whole Earth Review, Fall 1990, page 14:
Right after an earthquake, nobody's in charge. You self-start, or nothing happens
If you cna smell gas, turn it off.
After an earthquake, further building collapse is not the main danger. Fire is.
When you see a fire starting, do ANYTHING to stop it, right now.
In and collapsed building, assume there are people trapped alive. locate them, let them know everything will be done to get them out.
Searchying a building, call out, 'Anybody in here? Anybody need help? Shout or bang on something if you can hear me.'
Give people wyho are trapped all the information you've got, and enlist their help. treat them not as helpless victims but as an exceptionally motivated part of the rescue team.
Join a team or start a team. Divide up the tasks. Encourage leadership to emerge.
Most action in a disaster is imitative. Most effective leadership is by example.
Bystanders make the convenient assumption that everythign is being taken care of by the people already helping. That's seldom accurate.
If you want to help, ask! If you want to be helped , ask!
Volunteers are always uncertain whether they're doing the right thing. They need encouragement - from professionals, from other volunteers, from passers-by.
I spent over $50 on copying WWII posters to distribute to peace vigilers, farmers markets, and street entertainers I know. Our parents and grandparents knew how to survive. We need to learn from their experience, quickly and all by ourselves.
Prepare yourself for emergency and disaster now. Nobody else is going to do it for you. This fall and winter will be expensive and cold. Get ready and lead by example."