Make A Plan: Natural or man-made emergencies happen beyond anyone’s control. Have a plan and know what to do so you are in control if the unexpected occurs.
Family Emergency Plan
- Identify an out-of-town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
- Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
- Teach family members how to use text messaging. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
Planning to Stay or Go
Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information to determine if there is an immediate danger. In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you
should watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the Internet often for information or official instruction as it becomes available.
Be Prepared for an Earthquake
- Remain calm. Do not panic or run. Most injuries occur when people are entering or leaving buildings. Do not rush outside. Wait until the shaking stops, then carefully exit the building if needed.
- If you are indoors, stay there. Protect yourself by taking cover under a table or desk. If you are not able to get under a table or desk, then stand straight against one of your walls and ride it out. Remember, never use an elevator in an earthquake or fire.
- Stay away from windows.
- Watch for falling objects, such as ceiling tiles, falling light fixtures, pictures, mirrors, free standing file cabinets or equipment, etc.
- If you are outside, stay outside. Stay away from buildings, powerlines and poles.
- If you are in a vehicle, pull over and stop in an open area away from bridges, overpasses, powerlines, and buildings and watch out for pedestrians. Stay in your vehicle until the shaking stops.
Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Cash or traveler’s checks and change
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – when diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
- Plan and practice the best escape route from your home
- Find the safe places in your home
- Plan for transportation if needed