Disaster Preparedness Is Always in Season

Reviewed Nov 11, 2021

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Preparing for natural disasters—whether they’re oil spills, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires or floods—can go a long way to relieving anxiety. It’s important to create a family disaster plan and practice it, especially if you have small children. Keeping a first aid kit and emergency supplies in your home also will give you a sense of control.

For help putting together a family disaster plan, contact your local emergency management or civil defense office, or your local Red Cross chapter. Teach your children to recognize danger signals—smoke detectors, fire alarms, and local community warning systems. Explain how and when to call for help. Check the telephone directory for local emergency phone numbers and post these numbers by all phones in the house. Even very small children can be taught how and when to call 911.

Help your children memorize important family information. Children should know their family name, address, and phone number. They should also know where to meet in case of an emergency. If children are too young to memorize family information, they could carry a small index card that lists emergency information to give to an adult or babysitter.

Earthquake safety tips

  • Choose a safe place in every room of your home—under a sturdy table or desk where nothing can fall on you.
  • Practice how to drop, cover, and hold on at least twice a year.
  • Choose an out-of-town family contact.
  • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets, and other tall furniture to wall studs.
  • Install strong latches on cupboards.
  • Consult a professional to find out additional ways to protect your home, such as bolting the house to the foundation or strapping the water heater to wall studs.
  • Prepare a disaster supply kit for your home and car. Include a first aid kit and essential medications, flashlights, canned food and a can opener, battery-operated radio and at least three gallons of water per person.
  • Get training from your local fire department in how to use a fire extinguisher.

Flood safety tips

  • Know your area’s risk. If unsure, call your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office or planning and zoning department.
  • Have a disaster supplies kit, including first aid items, canned food and a can opener, a battery-operated radio, protective clothing and rainwear.
  • Identify where you would go if told to evacuate. Choose several places—a friend’s home in another town, a motel or other shelter.
  • If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood. Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood information.
  • A flood watch means a flood is possible in your area. Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home. Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
  • A flood warning means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.
  • Flash floods can take only a few minutes or a few hours to develop. Evacuate immediately. Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.
  • If your car stalls in rapidly rising water, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

Wildfire safety tips

  • Teach children about fire safety. Keep matches out of their reach.
  • Post fire emergency numbers near each telephone in the house.
  • Plan several escape routes away from your home by car and foot.
  • Regularly clean your roof and gutters.
  • Inspect chimneys twice a year. Clean them at least once a year.
  • Install a smoke detector on each level of your home.
  • Keep handy household items that can be used as fire tools—a rake, ax, handsaw or chainsaw, bucket and shovel.
  • Design and landscape your home with wildfire safety in mind. Select materials and plants that can contain fire rather than fuel it.
  • Identify and maintain an adequate outside water source such as a small pond, cistern, well, swimming pool or hydrant.
  • Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of your home and other structures on the property.
  • If you are warned that a wildfire is threatening your area, listen to your battery-operated radio for reports and evacuation information. Follow the instructions of local officials.
  • Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
    If advised to evacuate—do so immediately. Choose a route away from fire hazards. Watch for change in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.

Hurricane safety tips 

  • A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible in specified areas, usually within 36 hours.
  • A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected, usually within 24 hours.
  • Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose several places—a friend’s home in another town, a motel or other shelter. Keep the phone numbers of these places handy, as well as a road map of your area. You may need to take alternative routes if major roads are closed or clogged.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit, including first aid items, canned food and a can opener, a battery-operated radio, flashlights at least three gallons of water per person, protective clothing and rainwear.
  • Prepare to bring in any lawn furniture, outdoor decorations, trash cans and hanging plants.
  • Prepare to cover all windows of your home. If you don’t have shutters, use precut plywood.
  • Listen to local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions. If told to evacuate, do so immediately.

Tornado safety tips

  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.
  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
  • A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
  • A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit, including first aid items, canned food and a can opener, a battery-operated radio, at least three gallons of water per person, flashlights and clothing.
  • Pick a place where family members could gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement, a center hallway, bathroom or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
  • If you’re in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building. Protect yourself from glass and other flying objects.
  • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
  • If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety.

Oil spill safety tips

  • Do not enter waterways where oil or dispersants can be seen.
  • If oil gets on your skin, use baby oil, mild skin cleaners or soap and water to get it off.
  • If oil gets in your eyes, rinse the eye directly with water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Avoid fishing or eating fish from oil spill-affected areas.
  • Teach young children to stay away from oil-contaminated water, and keep pets away.
  • Fumes may be harmful close to the shoreline. It could aggravate asthma symptoms, and affect the skin, eyes, nose and throat.
  • If you smell the fumes and live close to the affected shore, keep your windows closed and stay indoors when possible.
  • Pay close attention to the TV, radio and newspaper. If you are an affected local resident, adhere to the safety advisements. 
By Rosalyn Kulick
Source:

Preparing for natural disasters—whether they’re oil spills, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires or floods—can go a long way to relieving anxiety. It’s important to create a family disaster plan and practice it, especially if you have small children. Keeping a first aid kit and emergency supplies in your home also will give you a sense of control.

For help putting together a family disaster plan, contact your local emergency management or civil defense office, or your local Red Cross chapter. Teach your children to recognize danger signals—smoke detectors, fire alarms, and local community warning systems. Explain how and when to call for help. Check the telephone directory for local emergency phone numbers and post these numbers by all phones in the house. Even very small children can be taught how and when to call 911.

Help your children memorize important family information. Children should know their family name, address, and phone number. They should also know where to meet in case of an emergency. If children are too young to memorize family information, they could carry a small index card that lists emergency information to give to an adult or babysitter.

Earthquake safety tips

  • Choose a safe place in every room of your home—under a sturdy table or desk where nothing can fall on you.
  • Practice how to drop, cover, and hold on at least twice a year.
  • Choose an out-of-town family contact.
  • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets, and other tall furniture to wall studs.
  • Install strong latches on cupboards.
  • Consult a professional to find out additional ways to protect your home, such as bolting the house to the foundation or strapping the water heater to wall studs.
  • Prepare a disaster supply kit for your home and car. Include a first aid kit and essential medications, flashlights, canned food and a can opener, battery-operated radio and at least three gallons of water per person.
  • Get training from your local fire department in how to use a fire extinguisher.

Flood safety tips

  • Know your area’s risk. If unsure, call your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office or planning and zoning department.
  • Have a disaster supplies kit, including first aid items, canned food and a can opener, a battery-operated radio, protective clothing and rainwear.
  • Identify where you would go if told to evacuate. Choose several places—a friend’s home in another town, a motel or other shelter.
  • If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood. Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood information.
  • A flood watch means a flood is possible in your area. Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home. Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
  • A flood warning means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.
  • Flash floods can take only a few minutes or a few hours to develop. Evacuate immediately. Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.
  • If your car stalls in rapidly rising water, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

Wildfire safety tips

  • Teach children about fire safety. Keep matches out of their reach.
  • Post fire emergency numbers near each telephone in the house.
  • Plan several escape routes away from your home by car and foot.
  • Regularly clean your roof and gutters.
  • Inspect chimneys twice a year. Clean them at least once a year.
  • Install a smoke detector on each level of your home.
  • Keep handy household items that can be used as fire tools—a rake, ax, handsaw or chainsaw, bucket and shovel.
  • Design and landscape your home with wildfire safety in mind. Select materials and plants that can contain fire rather than fuel it.
  • Identify and maintain an adequate outside water source such as a small pond, cistern, well, swimming pool or hydrant.
  • Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of your home and other structures on the property.
  • If you are warned that a wildfire is threatening your area, listen to your battery-operated radio for reports and evacuation information. Follow the instructions of local officials.
  • Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
    If advised to evacuate—do so immediately. Choose a route away from fire hazards. Watch for change in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.

Hurricane safety tips 

  • A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible in specified areas, usually within 36 hours.
  • A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected, usually within 24 hours.
  • Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose several places—a friend’s home in another town, a motel or other shelter. Keep the phone numbers of these places handy, as well as a road map of your area. You may need to take alternative routes if major roads are closed or clogged.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit, including first aid items, canned food and a can opener, a battery-operated radio, flashlights at least three gallons of water per person, protective clothing and rainwear.
  • Prepare to bring in any lawn furniture, outdoor decorations, trash cans and hanging plants.
  • Prepare to cover all windows of your home. If you don’t have shutters, use precut plywood.
  • Listen to local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions. If told to evacuate, do so immediately.

Tornado safety tips

  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.
  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
  • A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
  • A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit, including first aid items, canned food and a can opener, a battery-operated radio, at least three gallons of water per person, flashlights and clothing.
  • Pick a place where family members could gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement, a center hallway, bathroom or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
  • If you’re in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building. Protect yourself from glass and other flying objects.
  • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
  • If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety.

Oil spill safety tips

  • Do not enter waterways where oil or dispersants can be seen.
  • If oil gets on your skin, use baby oil, mild skin cleaners or soap and water to get it off.
  • If oil gets in your eyes, rinse the eye directly with water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Avoid fishing or eating fish from oil spill-affected areas.
  • Teach young children to stay away from oil-contaminated water, and keep pets away.
  • Fumes may be harmful close to the shoreline. It could aggravate asthma symptoms, and affect the skin, eyes, nose and throat.
  • If you smell the fumes and live close to the affected shore, keep your windows closed and stay indoors when possible.
  • Pay close attention to the TV, radio and newspaper. If you are an affected local resident, adhere to the safety advisements. 
By Rosalyn Kulick
Source:

Preparing for natural disasters—whether they’re oil spills, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires or floods—can go a long way to relieving anxiety. It’s important to create a family disaster plan and practice it, especially if you have small children. Keeping a first aid kit and emergency supplies in your home also will give you a sense of control.

For help putting together a family disaster plan, contact your local emergency management or civil defense office, or your local Red Cross chapter. Teach your children to recognize danger signals—smoke detectors, fire alarms, and local community warning systems. Explain how and when to call for help. Check the telephone directory for local emergency phone numbers and post these numbers by all phones in the house. Even very small children can be taught how and when to call 911.

Help your children memorize important family information. Children should know their family name, address, and phone number. They should also know where to meet in case of an emergency. If children are too young to memorize family information, they could carry a small index card that lists emergency information to give to an adult or babysitter.

Earthquake safety tips

  • Choose a safe place in every room of your home—under a sturdy table or desk where nothing can fall on you.
  • Practice how to drop, cover, and hold on at least twice a year.
  • Choose an out-of-town family contact.
  • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets, and other tall furniture to wall studs.
  • Install strong latches on cupboards.
  • Consult a professional to find out additional ways to protect your home, such as bolting the house to the foundation or strapping the water heater to wall studs.
  • Prepare a disaster supply kit for your home and car. Include a first aid kit and essential medications, flashlights, canned food and a can opener, battery-operated radio and at least three gallons of water per person.
  • Get training from your local fire department in how to use a fire extinguisher.

Flood safety tips

  • Know your area’s risk. If unsure, call your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office or planning and zoning department.
  • Have a disaster supplies kit, including first aid items, canned food and a can opener, a battery-operated radio, protective clothing and rainwear.
  • Identify where you would go if told to evacuate. Choose several places—a friend’s home in another town, a motel or other shelter.
  • If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood. Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood information.
  • A flood watch means a flood is possible in your area. Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home. Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
  • A flood warning means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.
  • Flash floods can take only a few minutes or a few hours to develop. Evacuate immediately. Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.
  • If your car stalls in rapidly rising water, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

Wildfire safety tips

  • Teach children about fire safety. Keep matches out of their reach.
  • Post fire emergency numbers near each telephone in the house.
  • Plan several escape routes away from your home by car and foot.
  • Regularly clean your roof and gutters.
  • Inspect chimneys twice a year. Clean them at least once a year.
  • Install a smoke detector on each level of your home.
  • Keep handy household items that can be used as fire tools—a rake, ax, handsaw or chainsaw, bucket and shovel.
  • Design and landscape your home with wildfire safety in mind. Select materials and plants that can contain fire rather than fuel it.
  • Identify and maintain an adequate outside water source such as a small pond, cistern, well, swimming pool or hydrant.
  • Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of your home and other structures on the property.
  • If you are warned that a wildfire is threatening your area, listen to your battery-operated radio for reports and evacuation information. Follow the instructions of local officials.
  • Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
    If advised to evacuate—do so immediately. Choose a route away from fire hazards. Watch for change in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.

Hurricane safety tips 

  • A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible in specified areas, usually within 36 hours.
  • A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected, usually within 24 hours.
  • Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose several places—a friend’s home in another town, a motel or other shelter. Keep the phone numbers of these places handy, as well as a road map of your area. You may need to take alternative routes if major roads are closed or clogged.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit, including first aid items, canned food and a can opener, a battery-operated radio, flashlights at least three gallons of water per person, protective clothing and rainwear.
  • Prepare to bring in any lawn furniture, outdoor decorations, trash cans and hanging plants.
  • Prepare to cover all windows of your home. If you don’t have shutters, use precut plywood.
  • Listen to local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions. If told to evacuate, do so immediately.

Tornado safety tips

  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.
  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
  • A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
  • A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit, including first aid items, canned food and a can opener, a battery-operated radio, at least three gallons of water per person, flashlights and clothing.
  • Pick a place where family members could gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement, a center hallway, bathroom or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
  • If you’re in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building. Protect yourself from glass and other flying objects.
  • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
  • If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety.

Oil spill safety tips

  • Do not enter waterways where oil or dispersants can be seen.
  • If oil gets on your skin, use baby oil, mild skin cleaners or soap and water to get it off.
  • If oil gets in your eyes, rinse the eye directly with water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Avoid fishing or eating fish from oil spill-affected areas.
  • Teach young children to stay away from oil-contaminated water, and keep pets away.
  • Fumes may be harmful close to the shoreline. It could aggravate asthma symptoms, and affect the skin, eyes, nose and throat.
  • If you smell the fumes and live close to the affected shore, keep your windows closed and stay indoors when possible.
  • Pay close attention to the TV, radio and newspaper. If you are an affected local resident, adhere to the safety advisements. 
By Rosalyn Kulick
Source:

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  

 

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