Weekly Safety Topic – Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

When we think about disasters or prepare for them, we tend to think they won’t happen to us. In reality, emergencies can occur anywhere and at any time. Being prepared begins with planning before a disaster or emergency occurs. It is an important step to review the plan annually and update it to reflect any changes. Making sure that everyone understands the plan is also crucial.

These include hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires, ice storms, structural collapses, hailstorms, thunderstorms, snowstorms, terrorist acts, severe flooding, and hazardous material incidents. Some emergencies may require people to shelter in place, while others require evacuation. You may need to leave your community if you live in a disaster-prone area. Make sure your workplace and home are prepared in the event of an emergency.

Make sure to consider the following list of emergencies and ways to respond to them when making your plans:

A hurricane is a tropical cyclone with powerful winds ranging from 74 to 155 miles per hour, such as Katrina in 2005. Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th. Hurricanes give you plenty of time to secure anything that could become airborne, secure your work area or residence, pack up, fill up, and leave. When deciding whether to stay through the storm, ensure you have enough food, water, prescription medications, and other supplies to last at least 72 hours.

Tornadoes are violent storms that can destroy entire neighborhoods in seconds. Go to a safe place as soon as you can if a tornado is approaching. If you live in a single-family home, stay in a bathroom or closet on the lowest level of your home.

Earthquakes are rare, but when they do occur, the effects can be devastating. Be sure to follow any instructions issued by the local authority in the event of an earthquake.

Fires can occur at any time. Being prepared is the key to preventing these fires from occurring. Ensure that flammables are stored in containers that have been approved. Properly dispose of flammable packaging and scrap materials. Never smoke near flammable liquids or combustibles. Review escape routes and post-emergency phone numbers at home and on the job. Install smoke detectors in your home.

Winter storms aren’t here yet but start to think about what to do in case of an ice storm or heavy snowstorm. Have a plan in case you lose power or get snowed in. Get your car or truck tuned up before the winter season begins.

Learn more about how to Plan Ahead for Disasters | Ready.gov. While you are there, download the FEMA Mobile APP.

Learn more about Emergency Preparedness.