Family Disaster Plan

General Guidelines

· Learn about your community's warning signals: what they sound like and what you should do when you hear them
· Ask about animal care after a disaster. Animals may not be allowed inside emergency shelters due to health regulations.
· Find out how to help elderly or disabled persons, if needed.
· Next, find out about the disaster plans at your children's school or daycare center and other places where your family spends time.

· Four Steps to Safety
· Emergency Supplies
· Utilities
· Helping Neighbors
· Home Hazard Hunt

· Evacuation
· When Disaster Strikes
· Check for Damage
· Remember

Emergency Supplies

· Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least three days. Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit with items you may need in an evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as backpacks, duffel bags or covered trash containers.
· Include:
· A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won't spoil.
· One change of clothing and footwear per person, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person.
· A first aid kit that includes your family's prescription medications.
· Emergency tools including a battery powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
· An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler's checks.
· Sanitation supplies.
· Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members.
· An extra pair of glasses.
· Keep important family documents in a watertight container.
· Keep a smaller kit in the trunk of our car.

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· Locate the main electric fuse box, water service main and natural gas main.
· Learn how and when to turn these utilities off. Teach all responsible family members. Keep necessary tools near gas and water shutoff valves.
· Remember, turn off the utilities only if you suspect the lines are damages or if you are instructed to do so
· If you turn the gas off, you will need a professional to turn it back on.

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Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Working with neighbors can save lives and property. Meet with your neighbors to plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster until help arrives. If you're a member of a neighborhood organization, such as a home association for crime watch group, introduce disaster preparedness as a new activity. Know your neighbors' special skills (e.g., medical, technical) and consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as disabled and elderly persons. Make plans for child care in case parents can't get home.

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Home Hazard Hunt

During a disaster, ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage. Anything that can move, fall, break or cause a fire is a home hazard. For example, a hot water heater or a bookshelf can fall. Inspect your home at least once a year and fix potential hazards. Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards.

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· Evacuate Immediately If Told To Do So.
· Listen to your battery-powered radio and follow the instructions of local emergency officials.
· Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
· Take your Disaster Supplies Kit.
· Lock your home.
· Use travel routes specified by local authorities--don't use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous.
· If you're sure you have time:
· Shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving, if instructed to do so.
· Post a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
· Make arrangements for your pets.

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When Disaster Strikes

· Remain calm and patient. Put your plan into action.
· Check for Injuries
· Give first aid and get help for seriously injured people.
· Listen to your battery powered radio for news and instructions
· Evacuate, if advised to do so. Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.

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Check for Damage in your home

· Use flashlights -- do not light matches or turn on electrical switches, if you suspect damage.
· Check for fires, fire hazards and other household hazards.
· Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main valve, open windows and get everyone outside quickly.
· Shut off other damaged utilities.
· Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline and other flammable liquids immediately.

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· Confine or secure your pets.
· Call your family contact -- do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
· Check on your neighbors, especially elderly or disabled persons.
· Make sure you have an adequate water supply in case service is cut off.
· Stay away from downed power lines.

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