Poweshiek, Iowa, Volunteers Sponsor Home Drills
POWESHIEK COUNTY volunteer firemen in Iowa recently instituted a do-it-yourself plan for their citizens called “Operation Edith” (Exit Drills in the Home).
Operation Edith calls for each family in Poweshiek County to conduct a home exit drill on an appointed date and time upon hearing a signal that will be broadcast by Station KGRN-Grinnell.
Prior to the actual drill, each family holds a conference to plan what its members will do when the drill starts, how each member will exit from the room they are in, and where each one will go after they get outside the home so that all can be accounted for.
Operation Edith provides the opportunity for planning family safety when the conditions are not hazardous, and if the family plan needs correcting or changing, it can be done before there is a fire or it is too late.
Working together, the family makes a sketch of the home showing all the rooms, doors, windows and stairways. Each member will have an exit route he will use and then plan an alternate route that can be used in an emergency. The secondary means of exit may be from windows, and if the home is a two-story building, a ladder should be available and plans made for someone to raise it.
Practice in quick unlocking or removing storm windows or screens if window exits must be held; emergency lighting provided (flashlights); and exit paths cleared of furniture.
In case of fire, the Poweshiek volunteers caution their citizens to: (1) Keep calm-don’t panic; (2) call the fire department as soon as possible after making sure everyone is safe and assign some member of the family to do this; (3) if there is dense smoke, stay close to the floor; (4) keep doors and windows closed to reduce drafts;
(5) don’t forget porch roofs can provide temporary safety until rescued;
(6) make emergency exit plans. Review and practice them periodically as a family activity.
The plan was sponsored by the Iowa Farm Safety Council, the Iowa State Fire Marshall, the Poweshiek County Schools, Talleorn Area Boy Scouts and the Poweshiek County volunteer firemen.