Third Day of 7th Khoryug Conference
7th Khoryug Conference, Day Three
23rd March, 2016
Vajra Vidya Institute, Sarnath
It is dangerously easy to think of disasters as vague and potential threats until one actually strikes. The third day of the Khoryug conference centered on bringing the threat of disaster into reality through experiential hands-on training and disaster scenario planning.
Much of the day was dedicated to first aid training led by Jeff Wagner, a first aid instructor from the well respected and US-based organization National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Jeff taught monastics a variety of topics in first aid, including assessing and addressing immediate threats to life and caring for stable but injured patients.
Through a combination of presentations, demonstrations and partner exercises, participants were introduced to new skills such as opening an airway with the Heimlich maneuver, taking and monitoring vital signs, making a physical examination, lifting a patient with a spinal injury and caring for wounds and burns. The training provided a condensed overview of wilderness first aid and gave monastics a taste of the more extensive education that Khoryug hopes to organize in monasteries and nunneries during the coming months.
Conference participants spent the final sessions of the day beginning to form disaster management plans. Delegates were divided into groups and then worked together to create and draw an imaginary monastery and design a plan to protect that monastery in the case of an earthquake or flood. The groups were guided to brainstorm around specific emergency needs, broken into the categories of immediate response, water and sanitation, food and nutrition, shelter and health.
The groups returned with elaborate designs that allowed them to visualize the specific risks in their monasteries and nunneries as well as the particular measures they could take to prepare for disaster. For example, one group recognized the lack of evacuation areas currently in their monasteries and nunneries and consequently included in their drawing a designated safe area for monastics and community members to use in a disaster.
By sharing their extensive brainstorming the groups prepared to narrow their focus tomorrow, when each group will develop an extensive preparedness, response and recovery plan for one of the emergency need categories.