Category - Medical Expenses

How To Prepare For An Active Shooter

About a year ago, on August 31, 2019, there was an active shooter situation here in the Odessa area.  We were lucky that we didn’t have a lot of casualties, because that guy went all over the place. His shooting spree only lasted around 34 minutes.  We need to be prepared in case that happens again.

Image that says, "Are You Prepared?"

Credit: https://mpbstrong.com

A rapid, safe and successful response to a mass shooting requires preparation. In an emergency – managers of businesses need adapt to society’s changes so that the delivery of emergency services is ensured in a crisis. Here are some basic tools and information needed to develop or assess a plan for preparing and responding to a mass shooting.

Some mass shooting events begin with a warning or threat. Threats can be an alarming behavior, statements, actions, or the discovery of physical items (weapons, plans, death lists or notes). The threat assessment process is based on several factors such as behavior, history, intent, and capability.

Call 911 – when it is safe to do so.

Many types of these events can’t be peacefully resolved or negotiated. It must also be recognized that there are serious domestic and international threat groups and individuals that are willing and able use weapons against the public. One important reminder is that there are active hate groups and extremists in all 50 states.  They even live in small communities.

We all share some of the same priorities during a mass shooting. These include the need to make sure that people are safe and secure. Planning should be paramount for all types of situations.

A coordinated effort with all agencies – such as Emergency management, law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS), is necessary to have an effective response.

No two shootings are the same.

Safety is paramount during this type of event. Factors like the shooter’s motive, his or her weapons, familiarity with the location and the number of staff and visitors can all influence an incident’s outcome.

 

Every business should have a crisis kit. These kits can be of great use during a mass shooting or at any other type of critical incident. It is important that these kits be updated and ready for immediate use. The kit should be in a location that is readily accessible to the staff.

Kits can include items such as special keys and diagrams of the business, employee rosters (with photos if possible), blueprints of the  building(s), maps of surrounding area, aerial photos, and other items that are identified by the facility.

Management should also prepare a facility specific multi-hazard emergency operations plan that addresses all hazards including armed attack/violent situations and train their staff to be familiar with the plan.

The likelihood of a mass shooting is low, but we should still prepare for these situations. It’s impossible to plan for every situation that may occur. New best practices and lessons learned are available on an ongoing basis. Emergency response plans should be updated regularly.

 

We recognize that training and preparation for these events sometimes is met with stiff resistance and denial. Nevertheless, they are important. Remember how you train is how you fight.

Block of text that says, "We Will Fight For You + Call the law office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.

 

 

 

 

 

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

A car lands vertically into a snowbank on Interstate 93 during a snow storm north of Salem, New Hampshire.

Credit: https://www.theguardian.com/weather/gallery/2011/feb/02/winter-storms-us-in-pictures#img-5

Yeah, we hit the big one this time! I’m talking at least eight inches of snow in West Texas this past week. Schools were closed and so were many businesses.  Even businesses that wanted to remain open – struggled for lack of employees that were willing to risk driving in the snow.

 

Driving is treacherous in West Texas – even on sunny days. When you add all that snow and drivers that don’t know how to drive in harsh conditions – that makes it all the more dangerous.

 

I lived in one of the Northern states for more than thirty years.  Eight inches of snow is not that big of a deal there.

First off, the state and county Departments of Transportation send out powerful snowblowers to clear the snow that accumulates. Then, they distribute sand – mixed with salt to make the roads less slippery.

It helps quite a bit.  A study made in 1992, found that putting salt on the roads can reduce car accidents by 87 percent both during and after a snowstorm.

 

Second of all, people are used to driving in the snow for six months of the year.  Slow and steady will get you there safely.  We avoid braking as much as possible.  And, we pump the brakes slowly – if we do have to stop.  We keep an eye out for any possible actions that we might need to brake for.

 

I’ve landed in the ditch a few times because I’ve slammed on my brakes.  Unless one is an adrenaline junkie, that is not a good feeling.  Ugh. Teens need to be specifically taught how to drive in the snow. Teen boys think it’s fun to go fast and then slam on the brakes to see what will happen.  Nothing good comes of that experience.

 

Third, if one does start to skid on the slippery road, turn in the direction of the skid.  This is actually difficult to do.  We have a natural tendency to want to turn in the opposite direction.  You wouldn’t want to turn sharply, as that will make things worse. I can cover that in my next newsletter.

 

Final Point:
The Department of Transportation had closed some of the roads for this snowfall. It’s against the law to drive around the barricades.

I knew that it was a bad idea, but I didn’t realize that it’s also a Class B misdemeanor. This is the same as a DWI. If caught, you might be arrested, have your car impounded, or spend up to 180 days in jail and/or be fined up to $2000. You could also be charged for the cost of your rescue.

The powers-that-be only close the roads when they are not safe for driving. Don’t be foolish and think that you are “special” and will avoid a disaster.  You won’t.

 

This was the most snowfall that Odessa and Midland has seen in the last five years.  If you were injured because someone accidentally rammed into you – you should call our office for advice.

 


We Will Fight For You!


Call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.

Snow-Covered house at Christmas time.

Christmas Season Accident Avoidance

Most people travel by car to visit their families to celebrate Christmas. Maybe we don’t travel that much during the year.  But, we definitely need to travel to spend time with our families during this wonderful season.

The National Safety council issues estimates for accidents during specific times of the year. They estimate that 115 people might die during the Christmas season in 2019 (this year). Automobile travel has the highest fatality rate compared to other major forms of transportation.

A big factor that contributes to the car crashes is, of course, alcohol consumption. Even though we enjoy visiting our loved ones, we need to be careful because our holiday plans can be ruined by a car accident. Some years will have more car accidents than others.

Whatever the numbers turn out to be – there are always too many injuries and fatalities on our Texas roads at Christmas time.

If you’ve had your holiday ruined from an auto accident injury, you should hire the experienced Law Office of Gerald K. Fugit at (432) 301-9252. We understand you expected something far different from this season. We won’t be able to bring back Christmas, but we can help you to seek financial compensation for your property damage and personal injuries.

Of course, we believe that it’s better to avoid collisions altogether. But, you have no control over how other individuals operate their vehicles. Here are a few good choices to help you avoid a crash:

  • Avoid peak driving times:You should be aware of when the roads are busiest in your area and how crowded the roads might be. In general though, Christmas Eve and the day after the holiday have particularly heavy traffic periods. It’s a good idea to schedule a longer vacation to leave earlier and later than most other families. Some people think that driving on Christmas Day is best.  I’ve not found that to be true. I guess it depends on where you’re going.

 

  • You should try to take a nap before you drive. Stay overnight with the family if no nap is possible:

Christmas day is a long day for everyone. Most people get up early to open the presents. Family members have expectations when we visit them. Rushing about is the norm.  By the time you’re ready to drive home, you’re probably exhausted.

You need to be careful not to drive while overly tired. Drowsy driving is a major contributor to car accidents. If you are worn out or exhausted, take a nap before you drive. Better yet, if you have a long day planned, make arrangements to stay the night with your hosts or splurge on a hotel nearby.

  • Designate a sober driver: 

It’s easy to overindulge when you’re with loved ones and having a good time. I happen to enjoy homemade eggnog myself. Wine during dinner is always special, too. If you drink too much throughout the day, that can mean you are not in the right state to drive home after dinner. If you know that you’ll need to get back in the car at the end of the day, make sure to have a designated driver – or limit yourself to ONLY ONE alcoholic beverage at mealtime.

Drive cautiously – based on the weather:

Snow is so pretty this time of year! However, snow, wind, and ice make it dangerous to visit friends and family over your holiday vacation. If you have to go somewhere for Christmas and winter weather is acting up, be extremely cautious while driving. Leave for your destination early. Drive slowly and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicles ahead.  Brake much sooner than you normally would. Your braking speed can take up to four hundred per cent – longer, when the road is slippery.

 

  • Avoid distractions:
    If you are lucky, everyone will be tired and sleep on the way home – except for you. This can help you avoid distractions while you drive. However, if other individuals are awake, be sure to keep conversation to a minimum. Yelling and crying kids are definitely a distraction. Remember to tuck that cell phone away. Texts, emails, and apps are all distractions that lead to serious accidents.

Contact the Law Office of Gerald K. Fugit for Help.

 

If a crash puts a damper on your holiday cheer, do not wait to get help with the situation.  Here’s how we do things: after speaking with you during an initial consultation, we can investigate your situation to gather evidence against the at-fault driver.

With documentation that supports your case, we can file the necessary insurance claims and negotiate a settlement on your behalf or take your case to court. Our main priority is to help you recover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Call Gerald Fugit Law Firm at: (432) 332-1661 to schedule your consultation.

Snow-Covered house at Christmas time.