Emergency Survival Solutions
Emergency Survival Solutions

Survival Supplies & Emergency Equipment

Entries Tagged as 'Emergency Prep'

Caring for Animals

August 23rd, 2010 · Comments Off on Caring for Animals · Emergency Prep, Preparedness

Animals also are affected by disasters. Use the guidelines below to prepare a plan for caring for pets and large animals.

Plan for pet disaster needs by:

  • Identifying shelter.
  • Gathering pet supplies.
  • Ensuring your pet has proper ID and up-to-date veterinarian records.
  • Providing a pet carrier and leash.

Take the following steps to prepare to shelter your pet:

  • Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter, or animal control office to get advice and information.
  • Keep veterinary records to prove vaccinations are current.
  • Find out which local hotels and motels allow pets and where pet boarding facilities are located. Be sure to research some outside your local area in case local facilities close.
  • Know that, with the exception of service animals, pets are not typically permitted in emergency shelters as they may affect the health and safety of other occupants.

Guidelines for Large Animals

If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats, or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.

Use the following guidelines:

  1. Ensure all animals have some form of identification.
  2. Evacuate animals whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
  3. Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers. Note: It is best to allow animals a chance to become accustomed to vehicular travel so they are less frightened and easier to move.
  4. Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care, and handling equipment.
  5. If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to shelter or turn them outside.

source: FEMA - Are You Ready? Guide

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Utility Shut-off and Safety

August 20th, 2010 · Comments Off on Utility Shut-off and Safety · Emergency Prep, Preparedness

In the event of a disaster, you may be instructed to shut off the utility service at your home. Below is some general guidance for shutting off utility service:

Modify the information provided to reflect your shut off requirements as directed by your utility company(ies).

Natural Gas

Natural gas leaks and explosions are responsible for a significant number of fires following disasters. It is vital that all household members know how to shut off natural gas.

Because there are different gas shut-off procedures for different gas meter configurations, it is important to contact your local gas company for guidance on preparation and response regarding gas appliances and gas service to your home.

When you learn the proper shut-off procedure for your meter, share the information with everyone in your household. Be sure not to actually turn off the gas when practicing the proper gas shut-off procedure.

If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out quickly. Turn off the gas, using the outside main valve if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home.

CAUTION – If you turn off the gas for any reason, a qualifi ed professional must turn it back on. NEVER attempt to turn the gas back on yourself.

Water

Water quickly becomes a precious resource following many disasters. It is vital that all household members learn how to shut off the water at the main house valve.

  • Cracked lines may pollute the water supply to your house. It is wise to shut off your water until you hear from authorities that it is safe for drinking.
  • The effects of gravity may drain the water in your hot water heater and toilet tanks unless you trap it in your house by shutting off the main house valve (not the street valve in the cement box at the curb—this valve is extremely difficult to turn and requires a special tool).

Preparing to Shut Off Water

  • Locate the shut-off valve for the water line that enters your house.
  • Make sure this valve can be completely shut off. Your valve may be rusted open, or it may only partially close. Replace it if necessary.
  • Label this valve with a tag for easy identification, and make sure all household members know where it is located.

Electricity

Electrical sparks have the potential of igniting natural gas if it is leaking. It is wise to teach all responsible household members where and how to shut off the electricity.

Preparing to Shut Off Electricity

  • Locate your electricity circuit box.
  • Teach all responsible household members how to shut off the electricity to the entire house.

FOR YOUR SAFETY: Always shut off all the individual circuits before shutting off the main circuit breaker.

source: FEMA - Are You Ready? Guide

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Evacuating Yourself and Your Family

August 18th, 2010 · Comments Off on Evacuating Yourself and Your Family · Emergency Prep, Preparedness

When community evacuations become necessary, local officials provide information to the public through the media. In some circumstances, other warning methods, such as sirens or telephone calls, also are used. Additionally, there may be circumstances under which you and your family feel threatened or endangered and you need to leave your home, school, or workplace to avoid these situations.

The amount of time you have to leave will depend on the hazard. If the event is a weather condition, such as a hurricane that can be monitored, you might have a day or two to get ready. However, many disasters allow no time for people to gather even the most basic necessities, which is why planning ahead is essential.

Evacuation: More Common than You Realize

Evacuations are more common than many people realize. Hundreds of times each year, transportation and industrial accidents release harmful substances, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes. Fires and floods cause evacuations even more frequently. Almost every year, people along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts evacuate in the face of approaching hurricanes.

Ask local authorities about emergency evacuation routes and see if maps may are available with evacuation routes marked.

Evacuation Guidelines

Always:

  • Keep a full tank of gas in your car if an evacuation seems likely. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
  • Make transportation arrangements with friends or your local government if you do not own a car.
  • Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
  • Gather your family and go if you are instructed to evacuate immediately.
  • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
  • Be alert for washed-out roads and bridges. Do not drive into flooded areas.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.

If time permits:

  • Gather your disaster supplies kit.
  • Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and a cap.
  • Secure your home:
  • Close and lock doors and windows.
  • Unplug electrical equipment, such as radios and televisions, and small appliances, such as toasters and microwaves. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding.
  • Let others know where you are going.

Community and Other Plans

Ask local officials the following questions about your community’s disaster/emergency plans.

  • Does my community have a plan?
  • Can I obtain a copy?
  • What does the plan contain?
  • How often is it updated?
  • What should I knot know aw about the plan?
  • What hazards does it cover?

In addition to finding out about your community’s plan, it is important that you know what plans are in place for your workplace and your children's school or day care enter.

1. Ask your employer about workplace policies regarding disasters and emergencies, including understanding how you will be provided emergency and warning information.
2. Contact your children’s school or day care center to discuss their disaster procedures.

School Emergency Plans

Know your children’s school emergency plan:

  • Ask how the school will communicate with families during a crisis.
  • Ask if the school stores adequate food, water, and other basic supplies.
  • Find out if the school is prepared to shelter-in-place if need be, and where they plan to go if they must get away.
  • In cases where schools institute procedures to shelter-in-place, you may not be permitted to drive to the school to pick up your children. Even if you go to the school, the doors will likely be locked to keep your children safe. Monitor local media outlets for announcements about changes in school openings and closings, and follow the directions of local emergency officials.

For more information on developing emergency preparedness plans for schools, please log on to the U.S. Department of Education at www.ed.gov/emergencyplan.

Workplace Plans

If you are an employer, make sure your workplace has a building evacuation plan that is regularly practiced.

  • Take a critical look at your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to determine if it is secure or if it could feasibly be upgraded to better filter potential contaminants, and be sure you know how to turn it off if you need to.
  • Think about what to do if your employees can't go home.
  • Make sure you have appropriate supplies on hand.

source: FEMA - Are You Ready? Guide

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Basic Preparedness – Are You Ready?

August 16th, 2010 · Comments Off on Basic Preparedness – Are You Ready? · Emergency Prep, Preparedness

In this part of the Are You Ready? guide, you will learn preparedness strategies that are common to all disasters. You plan only once, and are able to apply your plan to all types of hazards.

When you complete Part 1, you will be able to:

  • Get informed about hazards and emergencies that may affect you and your family.
  • Develop an emergency plan.
  • Collect and assemble disaster supplies kit.
  • Learn where to seek shelter from all types of hazards.
  • Identify the community warning systems and evacuation routes.
  • Include in your plan required information from community and school plans.
  • Learn what to do for specific hazards.
  • Practice and maintain your plan.

1.1 Getting Informed

Learn about the hazards that may strike your community, the risks you face from these hazards, and your community’s plans for warning and evacuation. You can obtain this information from your local emergency management office or your local chapter of the American Red Cross. Space has been provided here to record
your answers.

Hazards
Ask local authorities about each possible hazard or emergency and use the worksheet that follows to record your findings and suggestions for reducing your family’s risk.

Possible Hazards and Emergencies
Risk Level (None, Low, Moderate, or High)
How can I reduce my risk?

Natural Hazards

  1. Floods
  2. Hurricanes
  3. Thunderstorms and Lightning
  4. Tornadoes
  5. Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
  6. Extreme Heat
  7. Earthquakes
  8. Volcanoes
  9. Landslides and Debris Flow
  10. Tsunamis
  11. Fires
  12. Wildfires

Technological Hazards

  1. Hazardous Materials Incidents
  2. Nuclear Power Plants

Terrorism

  1. Explosions
  2. Biological Threats
  3. Chemical Threats
  4. Nuclear Blasts
  5. Radiological Dispersion Device (RDD)

You also can consult FEMA for hazard maps for your area. Go to www.fema.gov, select maps, and follow the directions. National hazard
maps have been included with each natural hazard in Part 2 of this guide.

Warning Systems and Signals
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) can address the entire nation on very short notice in case of a grave threat or national emergency. Ask if your local radio and TV stations participate in the EAS.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from a nearby National Weather Service offi ce to specially confi gured NOAA weather radio receivers. Determine if NOAA Weather Radio is available where you live. If so, consider purchasing a NOAA weather radio receiver.

Ask local authorities about methods used to warn your community.

Warning System What should we do?
EAS
NOAA Weather Radio

source: FEMA - Are You Ready? Guide

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Disaster Information Sources & References

August 13th, 2010 · Comments Off on Disaster Information Sources & References · Emergency Prep, Preparedness

As you work through individual sections if the Are You Ready? guide, you will see reference points. These are reminders to refer to previous sections for related information on the topic being discussed.

FEMA Publications
Throughout the guide are lists of publications available from FEMA that can help you learn more about the topics covered. To obtain these publications, call the FEMA Distribution Center at 1-800-480-2520 or request them by mail from:

Federal Emergency Management Agency
P.O. Box 2012
Jessup, MD 20794-2012
www.fema.gov

Other Publications
Other publications cited throughout this guide can be obtained by contacting the organizations below:

American Red Cross National Headquarters
2025 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 303-4498
www.redcross.org/pubs/dspubs/cde.html
National Weather Service
1325 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
www.nws.noaa.gov/education.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A
Public Inquiries: (404) 639-3534 / (800) 311-3435
www.cdc.gov
U.S. Geological Survey Information Services
P.O. Box 25286
Denver, CO 80225
1 (888) 275-8747
www.usgs.gov

Additional Government Agencies

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration www.noaa.gov

Non-government Sites

source: FEMA - Are You Ready? Guide

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