1. Prepare for Specific Natural Disaster.....different weather emergencies require different preparation.
2. Have a personal Evacuation Plan, which you have discussed as a family.
3. Listen for Evacuation Notices from the National Weather Service.
4. Listen to a NOAA radio for weather specifics. Have enough batteries, in case of electrical outage.
5. Prepare an emergency supply kit, with supplies for at least 5 days.....water, food, medicines, first-aid supplies, etc.
6. Do not evacuate, unless told to do so. Stay away from windows.
7. Unplug all small appliances, including computer, to prevent electrical surges.
8. Prepare food ahead of time, get some dry ice, to keep it fresh.
9. Fill bath tub and pans with water, in case you need fresh water after the storm.
10. Know you area’s storm history, so you can prepare yourself, and your family for unexpected problems.
11. Bring in all outside furniture, outdoor decorations, or anything that could be picked up by the wind. This would include plants that are in containers.
12. If there is time, caulk any holes on the outside of the house, where water could come in. Get sand bags to be put in from of the doors, where water could come in.
13. Check windows, to be sure they are tight. Especially, check skylights....There may have been Earthquake damage. BE SURE THEY ARE CAULKED AND REPAIRED.
14. Close the chimney vents.
15. Stay inside the house, away from all doors and windows.
16. Have a family communication plan, so that there is an out of the area contact everyone can call, in case cell phone coverage with-in the area is not operative.
17. Check all outside drains, to be sure they are not clogged.
18. Have a buddy system within your neighborhood, so that everyone has someone who is checking up on them to be sure they are safe.
19. IF you are evacuated, do NOT return HOME, until local officials tell you it is safe to do so.
20. For more information, consult, the National Weather Service, (nws.nooa.gov) and the American Red Cross. (redcross.org)
Tips for preparing for a hurricane:
1. Select a safe place for the family to weather the storm.
2. Stock up on food and water.
3. Prepare other disaster supplies.
4. Get your home ready.
5. Develop a family communications plan.
6. Check your insurance coverage.
7. Plan for the family pets.
8. Keep your vehicles gassed up to at least half a tank at all times throughout hurricane season.
What to Do During an Earthquake
Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.
- DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
- Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
- Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
- Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.
- Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
- Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
- DO NOT use the elevators.
- Stay there.
- Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
- Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
If in a moving vehicle
- Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
- Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.
If trapped under debris
- Do not light a match.
- Do not move about or kick up dust.
- Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
- Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
What to Do After an Earthquake
- Expect aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio or television. Listen for the latest emergency information.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
- Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
- Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
- Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. These are also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called "tidal waves"). When local authorities issue a tsunami warning, assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Stay away from the beach.
- Help injured or trapped persons. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
- Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
- Inspect the entire length of chimneys for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire.
- Inspect utilities.
- Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
- Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
- Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by