If a hazardous chemical emergency occurs in your neighborhood, the most important thing to
remember is to take action quickly. During a hazardous chemical emergency, you should go
inside and stay put. This procedure is called Shelter in Place. You can use your entire
house or only a few rooms. Make sure you choose an area that has a telephone, water, a toilet,
and someplace you can seal off easily. A bedroom is an excellent choice.
- Go inside
- Turn off heaters and air conditioners and close fireplace dampers
- Close and seal all doors and windows
- Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth if necessary
- Listen to your radio or TV
- Wait for the all clear signal before you move outside
Be Aware and Prepare
Create an emergency plan just like you do in the event of a fire, tornado or any other
kind of emergency. Include in the plan the steps you will take to protect yourself and
Make a checklist of what needs to be done. Next, assign tasks. Each person in the family should
have a job for which they are capable and responsible.
Add to the emergency kit you may already have for power outages. Inside, keep an updated
emergency phone list that includes the phone numbers for a doctor, the closest emergency room,
fire and police. Also note the local TV channels and radio stations with frequent news broadcasts.
Make sure your emergency kit includes the following:
- two rolls of duct tape
- drinking water
- toilet supplies and any necessary medications
- a portable, battery operated radio
- a flashlight
- extra batteries and once again,
- your checklist
Store your emergency kit in a place you can get to quickly and easily. Then rehearse by
having emergency drills.
Family Meeting Places
- Draw a floor plan of your home.
- Use a blank sheet of paper for each floor.
- Mark two escape routes from each room.
- Make sure children understand the drawings.
- Post a copy of the drawings at eye level in each child’s room.
Where to meet
Establish a place to meet in the event of an emergency, such as a fire.
Your family plan should address the following:
|Near the home
||For example, the next door neighbor’s telephone pole
|Outside the immediate area
||For example, the neighborhood grocery store parking lot
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how
you will communicate in different situations.
Complete a contact card for each family member. Have family members keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse,
backpack, etc. You may want to send one to school with each child to keep on file. Pick a friend or relative who
lives out-of-state for household members to notify during an emergency that they are safe.
Your Family Communications Plan should be completed and posted so the contact information is readily accessible to all family members. A copy should also be included in your family disaster supplies kit.
You can complete your plan online and print it at Ready America
Tips for Communicating Disaster
Click this link to: Download Senior Planning Fact Sheet
Each person's needs and abilities are unique, but every individual can take important steps to
prepare for all kinds of emergencies and put plans in place. By evaluating your own personal
needs and making an emergency plan, you can be better prepared for any situation. A commitment to
planning today will help you prepare for any emergency situation. Preparing makes sense.
Get ready now.
- Consider how a disaster might affect your individual needs.
- Plan to make it on your own, at least for a period of time. It's possible that you will not have access to a medical facility or even a drugstore.
- Identify what kind of resources you use on a daily basis and what you might do if they are limited or not available.
- Get an emergency supply kit.
- Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for you; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you in an emergency.
Create a Support Network
- If you anticipate needing assistance during a disaster talk to family, friends and others who will be part of your personal support network.
- Write down and share each aspect of your emergency plan with everyone in your support network.
- Make sure everyone knows how you plan to evacuate your home or workplace and where you will go in case of a disaster.
- Make sure that someone in your local network has an extra key to your home and knows where you keep your emergency supplies.
- Teach those who will help you how to use any lifesaving equipment, administer medicine in case of an emergency.
- Practice your plan with those who have agreed to be part of your network.
Additional Supplies and Documents:
Medications and Medical Supplies
If you take medicine or use a medical treatment on a daily basis, be sure you have what you need to
make it on your own for at least a week, maybe longer.
- Make a list of prescription medicines including dosage, treatment and allergy information.
- Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about what else you need to prepare.
- If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital or if you receive regular services such as home health care, treatment or transportation, talk to your service provider about their emergency plans. Work with them to identify back-up service providers and incorporate them into your personal support network.
- Consider other personal needs such as eyeglasses, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries, wheelchair batteries, and oxygen.
Include copies of important documents in your emergency supply kits such as family records, medical
records, wills, deeds, social security number, charge and bank accounts information and tax records.
- Have copies of your medical insurance and Medicare cards readily available.
- Keep a list of the style and serial number of medical devices or other life-sustaining devices. Include operating information and instructions.
- Make sure that a friend or family member has copies of these documents.
- Include the names and contact information of your support network, as well as your medical providers.
- If you have a communication disability, make sure your emergency information notes the best way to communicate with you.
- Keep these documents in a water proof container for quick and easy access.
Download Emergency Preparedness for Functional Needs Fact Sheet
If you or someone close to you has a disability or a functional need, you may have to take additional
steps to protect yourself and your family in an emergency.
- Create a support network to help in an emergency.
- Tell these people where you keep your emergency supplies.
- Give one member of your support network a key to your house or apartment.
- Contact your city or county government's emergency information management office. Many local offices keep lists of people with disabilities so they can be located quickly in a sudden emergency.
- Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to help identify your disability.
- If you are dependent on dialysis or other life sustaining treatment, know the location and availability of more than one facility.
- Show others how to operate your wheelchair.
- Know the size and weight of your wheelchair, in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported.
||May be extremely reluctant to leave familiar surroundings when the
request for evacuation comes from a stranger. A guide dog could become confused or disoriented in a
disaster. People who are blind or partially sighted may have to depend on others to lead them, as well
as their dog, to safety during a disaster.
||May need to make special arrangements to receive warnings.
||May need special assistance to get to a shelter.
|Non-English speaking persons
||May need assistance planning for and responding to emergencies. Community and cultural groups may be able to help keep people informed.
|People with special dietary needs
||Should take special precautions to have an adequate emergency food supply.
|People with medical conditions
||Should know the location and availability of more than one facility if dependent on a dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment or treatment.
|People with cognitive disabilities
||May need help responding to emergencies and getting to a shelter.
|People with dementia
||Should be registered in the Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return Program
If you have functional needs: Find out about special assistance that may be available in your community. Register
with the office of emergency services or the local fire department for assistance so needed help can be provided.
Check for hazards in the home
During and right after a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause injury or damage. Anything that
can move, fall, break or cause fire is a home hazard. Check for items such as bookcases, hanging pictures,
or overhead lights that could fall in an earthquake or a flood and block an escape path.
Be ready to evacuate
Have a plan for getting out of your home or building (ask your family or friends for assistance, if necessary).
Also, plan two evacuation routes because some roads may be closed or blocked in a disaster.
- Discuss your needs with your employer.
- If you are mobility impaired and live or work in a high-rise building, have an escape chair.
- If you live in an apartment building, ask the management to mark accessible exits clearly and to make arrangements to help you leave the building.
- Keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, prescriptions, food for service animals, and any other items you might need.
- Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration.
- Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require.
- Know the location and availability of more than one facility if you are dependent on a dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment or treatment.
Download Emergency Preparedness for Pets Fact Sheet
If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. The
likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist
attack depends largely on emergency planning done today.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit
and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in
an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in
mind that what's best for you is typically what's best for your animals.
Prepare a portable disaster supply kit for your pet.
Keep items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy containers that can be carried easily.
- Proper identification, including immunization records, and current photos
- Ample supply of food and water
- A carrier or cage, pet beds and toys
- Medications, veterinary records and a first aid kit
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can't escape.
- Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your
veterinarian in case you have to board your pets.
If you must evacuate, take your pets with you if possible. However, if you are going to a public shelter, it is
important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will
work for both you and your pets.
Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors,
friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to
do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.