Lessons from a disaster pt 1: Into the mostly unknown

Lessons from a disaster pt 1: Into the mostly unknown

This is going to be a start of the series talking through our response and lessons learned from a ef3 tornado that directly impacted a close friend of mine.

An ef3 tornado ripped through little rock on March 31st.

Around 4 PM I reached out to one of my closest buddies to verify he was okay. He verified he was okay, but the tornado and damage barely missed him. Almost all of the homes in his area were wiped out and he had been doing search and rescue for the previous few hours. He asked me and another friend to make a plan to come to his house as he needed some extra hands.

here's what we knew.

Roads and site access: The road our friend was on had been completely blocked off by police. The entire area had strict controls on access. One friend coming to aid was forced to park his car on a random street and hike in over half a mile to meet our friend.

Damage: Had very little information coming in, but apparently some areas were completely totaled with houses left as nothing but slabs. Coming in we didn't know how close any of the damage is to our friend's house as he was tied up with disaster recovery efforts and cell coverage was spotty. He had no power, and didn't expect power to be restored for over a week

Security concerns: For those unfamiliar, Little Rock has an incredibly high crime rate. Residents have a 1 in 49 chance of being a victim of a violent crime, and 1 in 19 chance of property crime in an average year. My friend's area has been a victim of peaceful protests in the past, and there were already reports of major looting going on in the area. We were unsure of what the first night after this major event would go.

The plan: Talking to my friend we agreed that we would meet up at my house and then take a single car into the area. He wanted a navigator in car to assist as neither of us were familiar with the area, and we didn't know how many roadblock and debris we would have to navigate. We also wanted to minimize the number of cars abandoned on the side of the road if we were also forced park somewhere and hike in.
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