Be Prepared– Disaster and Emergency Safety Tips
With the recent earthquakes, mudslides, and fires in California, it is a good time to consider how prepared you and your family are for a natural disaster. Are you prepared? We’ve got you covered with these safety tips and more to be prepared and stay safe during a disaster or emergency.
Start Preparing Today
You never know when a disaster may strike. It is important to always be prepared. Would you be ready if there was a large fire or earthquake happened right now? Here are some tips on what you should do today to be ready.
· Sign up for emergency alerts (more on this below — keep reading!)
· Make a plan with your household of what you will do, where you will meet, how you will contact each other after an emergency. Remember that phone lines and the internet may be down, possibly for hours.
· Create an emergency kit for your home, car and office. Make sure you have enough food and water (and pet food too for your furry family members) for the next two or three days. Don’t forget extra shoes, clothes, and medical prescriptions. During an emergency, power could also be out for many hours. Make sure you have a flashlight, batteries, and a manual can opener in your emergency kit. A battery-powered or hand radio and an extra charger for your cell phone are important so you will be able to gain emergency updates. Learn what other items should go in your emergency kit here.
Make sure you are signed up to receive emergency alerts through Nixle and SMC Alert. These alert notification system are used to immediately contact you during urgent or emergency situations. These notifications could include items like: inform you where the nearest emergency shelter is, available evacuation routes, ways to keep your family and neighborhood safe and more. After a disaster, phone lines may be down and internet may not be accessible, but text messaging may be available. The City’s emergency alert system allows you to sign-up to receive alerts through multiple formats — email, text messages and more. To learn more and sign up for Redwood City’s emergency alert system text your zip code to 888–777, go here, or check out this flyer.
Emergency Preparedness Tips
For a fire:
· Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
· Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
· Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
· Pick an outside meeting place where your family can gather safely
· Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
· Once you are outside, remain there until public safety officials tell you it is safe.
For an earthquake:
· Drop, take cover under a desk or table, and hold on.
· Stay away from windows.
· If you are in bed, stay there with a pillow over your head.
· Stay indoors until the shaking stops.
· If you are outside, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines.
· If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a safe place. Stay in the car until the shaking stops. Be aware that road conditions may be impacted after an earthquake so be alert once you are back on the road.
For more emergency safety tips go here.
After an Emergency
What you do after an emergency is also very important. Here are some tips on what to do after a disaster.
· Check on your family and have a designated person who your family members can call so you know everyone is safe. Have family or friends in another State or on the East Coast? Perfect, designate them today.
· Check for injuries, home damage, locate your pets and secure them in a safe place, and check in with your neighbors. In the event of an earthquake, do not turn off your or your neighbor’s gas meter unless you smell gas.
Interested in how you can be involved when a disaster strikes? Join Redwood City’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)!
The CERT program provides training and education in disaster preparedness and basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using both classroom training and hands-on exercises, CERT members can assist others following a large emergency event. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. If you would like to learn more about joining Redwood City’s CERT go here.
Looking for more information on how you can prepare yourself and your family? More information and links to organizations like FEMA, American Red Cross, the National Fire Prevention Association, and others can be found here.