Disasters change things. When an emergency happens you may have to decide how to react very quickly. By planning ahead, it will be easier to make the right decisions when the worst happens. It is important to know what types of disasters can happen in your area. Living in the City of Medford, we can potentially be impacted by wildfire, earthquake, or severe weather, to name a few. Meet with your family or household members. Discuss how to prepare and respond to these emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, work, and play. Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and work together as a team.
Talking about disasters can be scary, especially with children, or with someone who may have difficulty coping with daily life. Be open and positive. The unknown often causes more anxiety than knowing the facts. Listen to what the individual has to say, learn how they feel, and how your plan can help address those concerns.
Once you know which disasters could happen in your community, there are things you can do to lower your risk of injury or property damage. Here are some suggestions:
WILDFIRE: Use fire-resistant building materials like shingles and siding. Cut back branches and brush within 30 feet of your home. Keep firewood at least 30 feet away. Check into the City’s Fire & Life Safety program for more ideas.
SEVERE WEATHER: If not done so already, elevate your utilities above the base flood level. Use flood-resistant building materials when you build or remodel. Know where to retrieve sand bags, when needed. Finally, keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan ahead before heading out the door.
EARTHQUAKE: Secure your furniture, appliances, and water heater to walls and floors. Install safety catches on cabinets and cupboard doors. Make sure your appliances are connected with flexible connections. Consider using a safety film on your windows or installing laminated glass to prevent injuries from broken glass.
Lastly, plan what to do if you have to evacuate. Choose two places for your family to meet. One should be right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire. The other should be outside of your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate. Decide where you would go and what route you would take to get there. Hold evacuation drills at home. Practice getting out of the house quickly, and drive your planned evacuation route. The more you practice, the more confident you will be if you really have to evacuate.
For a link to create and print out your family’s own Emergency Plan, click on the links at the bottom of the page. We will be updating the website's Community Preparedness section each month in 2019 to include helpful documents, downloads, and examples to use in your home, free of cost. Together, we can make our community better prepared.Click the images to obtain a PDF copy to print at home: