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Old 01-15-2012, 11:02 AM   #1
insureman
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Exclamation Tips for a shipboard emergency while on a cruise.

Since this tragedy with the Costa Concordia I thought it would be helpful to have thread with tips on what to do in an emergency situation while on board. As a former Navy/insurance/Red Cross volunteer guy, I am hardwired as a "hope for the best, prepare for the worse" sort. I have seen tips spread out through various threads but not in one concise location. Looking for help from Truck1, Tonka's Skipper, Extechie and any other people trained in emergency procedures. Also looking for opinions as to whether or not this even concerns some people.

My tips are as follows.

Check your stateroom life preservers for amount and sizes.
Keep cell phone handy for a source of light.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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Thanks for doing this.
Hopefully people now stop complaining about the safety drill and pay more attention.
I would suggest to not only check the vests in your stateroom but try them on if you never done this before.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:20 AM   #3
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We always travel with a working flashlight, in case of power outages. You could also use a charged cell phone to provide a light source.
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:05 PM   #4
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Thoroughly educate your children, age appropriate of course, about what to do in the event of an emergency.

My kids are 12 and 10. I took this recent disaster to educate them about what they should do if they are in the various clubs without Dh and I. I showed them the pictures and they asked several really good age appropriate questions. I want them to feel safe in part because they feel prepared!

I agree completely with trying on the life jackets, especially to be sure they work for your children and or different body types.

Kayla
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insureman View Post
Also looking for opinions as to whether or not this even concerns some people.
I'm extremely concerned!!! I was already stressed out about taking our first cruise, everyone said calm down nothing can happen cruise ships have technology to prevent things from happening. Well now I'm just worried and no longer excited sure the odds are in our favour all will be ok but what if its not AHHHH. I just want to be happy were going on a cruise this week not scared. I'm sure every noise I hear on board will freak me out.

Anyway a few safety tips, we have preordered water for our room (just to drinkg hoping not for an emergency), it may be a good idea to bring a box of granola bars etc. Bring flashlights (also nice for checking on kids in night etc), great tip from a PP to try on life jackets get familiar with them.
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:14 PM   #6
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DCL takes safety VERY seriously. They regularly conduct lifeboat drills and "man overboard" drills for the staff--you'll frequently see this on Castaway. When we were in Italy, the Italian Coast Guard insisted that each team lower every lifeboat (the CMs were way less than thrilled with this experience and felt that they were being jerked around).

My suggestion is that in an emergency, guests need to shut their mouths and listen to the instructions given by the crew. It seems basic, but....I can't hear if the person next to me is talking or screaming.
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insureman View Post
Also looking for opinions as to whether or not this even concerns some people.
One can make appropriate preparations without being "concerned". Every time I get on an airplane I count the number of rows between my seat and the nearest exit in case I had to make my way there in the darkness. I have no anxiety about flying and understand that my odds of being in a plane crash are less than my odds of being struck by lightning. Next time I get on a ship I will probably think about how to get from my cabin to the lifeboat deck by feel. It costs me nothing to be prepared.

You can also have different opinions about what appropriate preparations are. Not saying there's anything wrong with talking to kids about the wreck (I showed the pictures to my preschooler!), but there are some kids who would get more worked up about talking about a shipwreck than is justified by the exceedingly unlikely possibility of it actually happening.

Personally my level of concern about a shipwreck is not high enough that I would fill my suitcase space with a flashlight or a heavy winter coat (in case I end up on the water in a lifeboat). The annoyance of carrying items that I almost certainly won't use isn't worth the minimally increased sense of security to me. No offense to those who feel differently.
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:43 PM   #8
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One thing I have seen posted here by a few folks talking about going back down into the vessel to get a passport?....wallet?. lifevest?....whatever.

IHMO and exprience in a major emergency, I would never go back down into the warrren hole of a passinger ship to get a wallet or anything! The lights go out, the vessel go over......others moving to get up and out............not a good idea!

Go to your muster station, get a lifevest from the ones stored there, meet up with family or group!.

Now that said..........I have to admit if a family member was missing or close traveling friend,I guess the truth be told,I would be looking for them.....everywhere....


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Old 01-15-2012, 01:43 PM   #9
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Insureman -
Great idea, and Thank You! Can you maybe handle consolidating them into a single post that perhaps the mods will either post as a "sticky", or at least link to from the FAQ thread?

Can't stress some of those points enough, even it's already been posted



1. Check your PFD's(personal flotation device) (Life Jackets) Even though no longer required to bring to drill, TRY THEM ON, both for fit and to familiarize yourself with donning them.
Do remember, though, that you may NOT be able to return to a particular stateroom in an emergency. In passing, and as you greet various crewmembers at the beginninbg of your cruise, inquire politely as to locations of "alternate" PFD's

2. We always have an alternate light source - witnesses on the Costa Concordia were reporting lighting outages from the beginning. The new small LED flashlights using 3 AA batteries are great, and cheap. In fact, on our EBTA, I put one in our FE gift packs along with the requisite "fun" stuff for kids, and treats for the adults. Picked them up at Home Depot for about $15 for a pack of a dozen, including 36 Duracell batteries. Now that I have a new phone, one of the first "apps" I added was the flashlight one, along with a compass app. Real cool stuff, still trying a few marine nav programs. Welcome to the Department of Redundancy Department, I'm a charter member!

3. Walk the evacuation route in addition to the time you do it during drill. Familiarity sometimes helps lessen panic. Don't forget to note in your head alternatives.

4. Discuss emergency situations with family. If you've never done a home assessment and emergency or fire planning with them, do one! Then they'll have some familiarity with what to do, and you can extrapolate that when on a ship. The time to plan is NOT when you're up to your neck in alligators.

This is just a quick start.
I'm actually stopping in order to not seem too "preachy", but hopefully this thread will fill out some more.

Thanks again, Insureman!

Oh, and BTW, if it does matter to anyone, my bona fides include years of running my own power and sail vessels ( and now I FINALLY get paid to run other peoples boats - coolest thing I could get paid for until I get to WDW and run the ferry to the TTC!), retired from a career in law enforcement, and many years of practicing and teaching backcountry backpacking - where there is no 911 to call.
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Last edited by disdel; 01-15-2012 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:54 PM   #10
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If for whatever reason you cannot get into a lifeboat, Try to stay with the ship as long as possible, dont rush to jump into the water. Teh vessel maybe listing or down by the head or stern, but she may just stay afloat a long time.

When you must leave, try to get as close to the water as possbile and slip or jump as short a height as possble into the water. Swim away from the ship and get to a lifeboat or raft.

AKK
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:27 PM   #11
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Flashlights? Really? You are going to carry it everywhere with you? The pool? Dinner? Nightclub? Yeah sure!
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCLSecondChance View Post
Flashlights? Really? You are going to carry it everywhere with you? The pool? Dinner? Nightclub? Yeah sure!
Flashlights are now small enough to keep on you key ring. And now that they are LED give off a decent amount of light. Better than nothing at all.
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCLSecondChance View Post
Flashlights? Really? You are going to carry it everywhere with you? The pool? Dinner? Nightclub? Yeah sure!
You can get a good, strong LED flashlight that is smaller than most cell phones. I have one attached to my keychain and I bought it for $5. I've had it for about 3 years and it works like a charm. It goes everywhere my purse does. My husband has one that he carries in his pocket.
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonka's Skipper View Post
If for whatever reason you cannot get into a lifeboat, Try to stay with the ship as long as possible, dont rush to jump into the water. Teh vessel maybe listing or down by the head or stern, but she may just stay afloat a long time.

When you must leave, try to get as close to the water as possbile and slip or jump as short a height as possble into the water. Swim away from the ship and get to a lifeboat or raft.

AKK
What, no posing on the bow, with your arms outspread? (just kidding)


And in the extreme, (no lifeboat or raft) ANY floating piece of debris, the larger the better. Aids in flotation, as well as a larger visual target for rescuers.
DW, after seeing a recent father/son rescued holding on to their floating cooler, remarked that I should always have one aboard when leaving the dock. As if....!
But, it's true - MANY a small boater has clung to one.

But hopefully we're a long way from that - but even reading it once here might pop into your head at a time you need it.

Back to the subject at hand -

repeating myself -
doing an emergency plan at home will give you some more basics - especially fire-related, which is a real, and very serious risk aboard. Familiarize yourself and teach your family how to deal with it and smoke . knowing evacuation route, keeping low, wet cloth over face, feeling door for heat if you are in a space with a door before opening it, etc.
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and waaaay too many visits to WDW to list (including midnight for the "millenium" - Y2K, bah), but never enough
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:42 PM   #15
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If you are instructed to go back to your room to get your lifejacket, make sure to get lifesaving medication, and if you have bottles of water, bring them with you as well (there is water on lifeboats but only a couple litres per person). Food too if you have the room and warm clothes!

The safest place is on the ship - until the abandon ship alarm. Even if you are a strong swimmer, don't jump over board unless you have no other options. If you need to jump overboard, you should find the shortest height as you can injure yourself upon impact.

The best advice - the crew and officers, especially at Disney are VERY well trained. They are going to be your go to people for everything. So listen to their instructions.

There is a good show on Spike TV called surviving disaster. I've seen a couple episodes but not this one - episode (106) but it is called lost at sea.
http://www.spike.com/full-episodes/7...eason-1-ep-106
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