In a disaster you may be asked to either evacuate, or shelter-in-place. In the excitement of an emergency, it can be difficult to focus on what you are doing. Know what to do to keep your family safe. Practice your earthquake and fire safety plans. If your family has practiced, they will be more comfortable doing it when the emergency actually happens.
Notification of an incident can come in many forms. Emergency responders may go door to door in the affected area, if time allows. They may also use loudspeakers from police or fire vehicles to give instructions. Information will also be sent out via the City's emergency notification system, Citizen Alert. Click HERE to sign-up today.
What to do during the incident is the next step regarding 'sheltering-in-place.' The first thing to do when an emergency incident occurs is to get information. Turn on the television or radio to find out if your area is affected and what steps to take. The City's website and social media pages are also a great place to look for developing information. Never call 9-1-1 to get information about an emergency. Only call 9-1-1 if you are injured or need assistance.
If you are told to shelter in place, you should close all doors and windows and shut off fans and air conditioners. Take your family to a room with as few doors and windows as possible. You may be told to put towels or tape around the cracks of the windows and doors. Follow emergency instructions carefully. Make sure you take a battery-powered radio with you so that you will know when the danger has passed. Power in your area may be shut off during the incident.
Choosing the best place in your home or workplace to shelter from an emergency isn’t always easy. Many newer buildings don’t have a really good shelter area. Use these rules of thumb to find the best tornado shelter possible:
Stay away from windows and skylights• Shelter “down and in” - Put as many walls between yourself and the outside as you can (think of the ceiling as a wall).
Avoid rooms with large ceiling expanses.
Find an area large enough for everyone to stay comfortably for at least 45 minutes.
Stay inside until the danger has completely passed.
Sheltering after an emergency is often times a forgotten portion of a family plan. While we are used to thinking of our homes as shelters, living in an impacted area after a natural disaster will be challenging for weeks, and even months. After disasters, most of the time people are better off remaining in their homes and communities as long as it is safe to do so. If you remain at home after a disaster, you may not have any electricity, but may have a gas-powered portable generator. Have a tent,
bedding, and outdoor camping supplies available (search online for “camping checklist” for ideas). Spend a weekend practicing camping in your own backyard. For the full, downloadable brochure, see below or click HERE.