The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) issues safety Tips for Carnival 2020.
The ODPM is advising citizens and visitors to exercise the following.
Upon arrival at the venue:
- Exit Signs – Immediately identify exit signs and quickly plan an exit route so that in an emergency, you can evacuate quickly.
- Meeting Points – If you are with another person/other persons, pair up and agree on a meeting point preferably outside the venue, in case you become separated.
- Accounting for a group – Take a group photo or individual photos of everyone so that persons can remember each other’s attire (people often forget such details in times of crisis). This is helpful in the event you need to identify them to authorities. Ensure that everyone has each other’s cell phone numbers and share the photo(s) among attendees or even with trusted persons who are not attending the event.
In case of a stampede or a sudden mass-evacuation:
- Moving with a crowd – To avoid being trampled so treat the crowd like a riptide. Try to get to the edge of the crowd by moving in a perpendicular direction (at a right angle) to the general direction of travel. If you are with a group, try to hold on to each other’s arms to prevent separation. If there are children with you, carry them if possible. Keep thinking! Remember your evacuation plan and adjust it accordingly.
- Trapped within a crowd – If moving to the edge of the crowd also presents a challenge and you cannot escape, move with the crowd’s momentum in the direction of the exit point(s). Try to remain upright and look out for persons who may be on the ground. Also consider weighing the risks of staying in place until the crowd thins out while scanning around you for other less congested exit points.
- Falling while in a crowd – If you fall and the crowd is surging over you, curl into a ball to protect your internal organs. Public safety officials recommend placing your hands behind your neck to protect your cervical spine from injury.
- Escaping Injury – If you cannot escape the crowd, then escape injury. If possible, find a sturdy place to crouch and protect yourself. If you cannot identify a safe location, do what you can to shield yourself from injury. This can include curling into a ball, as mentioned above,” the advisory stated.
In case of emergencies, use the following hotline numbers:
T&T Police Service: 999
T&T Fire Service: 990
The Ambulance Service: 811
ODPM: 511/ 800-ODPM
The Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA): 211.
For additional safety tips and information, visit the ODPM’s official website at www.odpm.gov.tt.