Plan for Your Risks
Myth: I don’t need to worry about disasters where I live.
Emergency preparedness is not only for Californians, Midwesterners and Gulf Coast residents. Most communities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime. Americans also travel more than ever before to areas with different hazard risks than at home.
Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
Some basic protective actions are similar across many different hazards:
- Physical safety is a concern for all hazards and may involve sheltering or evacuating.
- Develop a family communications plan
- Make an emergency supply kit to be prepared for any type of disaster.
- Learn about receiving emergency alerts and local emergency plans for shelter and evacuation, local emergency contacts, and local advance alerts and warnings.
- When recovering from a disaster, safety as well as mental and physical well-being must be considered.
There are actions that should be taken before, during and after an event that are unique to each hazard. Identify the hazards that have happened or could happen in your area and plan for the unique actions for each. Local Emergency management offices can help identify the hazards in your area and outline the local plans and recommendations for each. Share the hazard-specific information with family members and include pertinent materials in your family disaster plan.
Find out from local government emergency management how you will be notified for each kind of disasters, both natural and man-made. You should also inquire about alert and warning systems for workplace, schools and other locations. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or in rare circumstances, volunteers and emergency workers may go door-to-door.
Get more information about Warning Systems & Signals.
Depending upon the nature of the emergency and your circumstances, one of the first important decisions is whether to stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities.
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