If you need to evacuate your home or are asked to "shelter in place," having some essential supplies on hand will make you and your family more comfortable. Prepare a disaster supplies kit in an easy-to-carry container such as a duffel bag or small plastic trash can. Some items to include:
- Flashlights and extra batteries.
- Battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
- First-aid kit.
- Emergency food supplies (non-perishable foods).
- Water (1 gallon per person, per day).
- Can opener (non-electric).
- Essential medicines.
- Cash and credit cards.
- Prescription eye wear.
Prepare to deal with a terrorist incident by adapting many of the same techniques used to prepare for other crises:
- Be alert and aware of the surrounding area. The very nature of terrorism suggests that there may be little or no warning.
- Take precautions when traveling.
- Be aware of conspicuous or unusual behavior. Do not accept packages from strangers.
- Do not leave luggage unattended.
- Learn where emergency exits are located.
- In an unfamiliar building be aware of your immediate surroundings, including your closest exits.
- Be aware of heavy or breakable objects that could move, fall or break in an explosion.
- People who live or work in a multi-level building can do the following: Review emergency evacuation procedures and know where fire exits are located.
- Create an emergency communications plan with an out-of-town family member or friend that will be unlikely to be affected by the same emergency.
In a chemical emergency, first responders may initially asked you to "shelter-in-place". You should know how to seal your house so contaminants cannot enter:
- Close and lock windows and doors.
- Seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels and duct tape.
- Seal gaps around window and air conditioning units, bathroom/kitchen exhaust fans, and stove/dryer vents with duct tape and plastic sheeting, wax paper or aluminum wrap.
- Close fireplace dampers.
- Close off nonessential rooms such as storage areas, laundry rooms and extra bedrooms.
- Turn off ventilation systems.
- Install smoke detectors (check them once a month and change the batteries at least twice a year).
- Make sure all family members know what to do in a fire.
- Draw a floor plan with at least two ways of escaping every room and practice twice a year. Choose a safe meeting place outside the house. Call 911 from outside the house immediately.
- Learn to Stop, Drop, and Roll if clothes catch fire. Use the stairs (not elevators) to escape. If possible, cover mouth with a cloth to avoid inhaling smoke and gases. Close doors in each room after escaping to delay the spread of the fire.
During a Flood
- Indoors -Turn on battery-operated radio or television to get the latest emergency information. Get your pre-assembled emergency supplies. If told by the authorities to leave, do so immediately.
- Outdoors -Climb to high ground and stay there. Avoid walking through any floodwaters. If it is moving swiftly, even water 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
- In a car -If you come to a flooded area, turn around and use an alternate route. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles.
Hazardous Material Accident
- If caught at the scene of an accident, move away from the accident scene and help keep others away.
- Do not walk into or touch any of the spilled substance.
- Try not to inhale gases, fumes and smoke.
- If possible, cover mouth with a cloth while leaving the area.
- Stay away from accident victims until authorities have identified the hazardous materials as safe.
- Try to stay upstream, uphill and upwind of the accident.
- Authorities will determine if evacuation is necessary based on the type and duration of the incident. Other considerations are the length of time it should take to evacuate the area, weather conditions, and the time of day.
- Know about evacuation routes.
- If evacuated: Stay tuned to a radio or television for information on evacuation routes, temporary shelters, and other procedures. Follow the routes recommended by the authorities--shortcuts may not be safe.
- Take pre-assembled emergency supplies.
- Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants, elderly people and people with disabilities.
- Plan to take your pets with you; do not leave them behind. Because pets are not permitted in public shelters, follow your plan to go to a relative or friend's home, or find a location that will allow pets.