Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness

All of the information below is from FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness eBrief. 

Prepare for Flooding During Hurricane Season

Stay prepared for possible flooding throughout hurricane season. Whether you live in a hurricane-prone area or not, heavy rains or flooding may still affect you.

Flooding can happen during any season. Some areas of the country are at greater risk at certain times of the year. While coastal areas are at higher risk for flooding during hurricane season, the Midwest is more at risk in the spring and during heavy summer rains. Ice jams occur in the spring in the Northeast and Northwest. Even the deserts of the Southwest are at risk during the late summer monsoon season.

The FEMA 2016 National Household Survey reports that 4 in 10 emergency plans include an evacuation plan. Make sure you and your family prepare with these tips from Ready.gov/Floods:

  • Know your flood risk.
  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, or to evacuate.
  • Make a flood emergency plan for the relevant type of local flood risk with plans such as evacuation, shelter, and locations for high ground.
  • Build or restock your emergency kit, including a minimum of three days of food and water, flashlight, batteries, cash, prescription medications and first aid supplies.
  • Consider buying flood insurance. Homeowners insurance and renters insurance do not typically cover flood damage.
  • Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.

For more flood safety information, download the How to Prepare for a Flood guide and watch the When the Clouds Form video.


Preparedness for Older Americans Month

During Older Americans Month (May), make sure the older adults in your life prepare for emergencies. 

Identify what you and the older adults in your home may need to prepare. Include those needs in your emergency plan. Add any necessary items to your emergency supply kit. The Ready Campaign recommends that seniors consider the following:

  • Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends, and co-workers to help you. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to use any equipment. You may want to discuss your needs with your employer.
  • Be ready with extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, medication, food for service animals, and any other items you might need.
  • Keep written copies of your prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and allergy information in your emergency kit.
  • Make a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you need.
  • Talk with your medical providers about their emergency plans. Work with them to identify back-up service providers.
  • Have copies of health records. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides an online tool to help people locate their electronic health records.
  • Plan with friends, family, or service providers in the event of an evacuation.

Find more information for older adults at www.ready.gov/seniors.  

When a Tornado Hits

Do you know how to react to tornado watch or warning? 

Know how to stay safe by seeking shelter and protecting your head. Most tornado injuries occur because of flying debris.

Do you know if your neighborhood is at risk for tornadoes? The tips to stay safe in a tornado are simple and easy to practice.

Whether you find yourself in a building, in a car or outside during a storm, Ready.gov provides the following actions to stay safe.

In apartments, houses, small buildings, or high-rises:   

  • Go to a designated area or safe room built to Federal Emergency Management Agency P-361 criteria or tornado storm shelter built to ICC 500 criteria.
  • If a safe room is not available or you are unable to move there safely, take shelter in a basement, storm cellar, or in the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.

In a mobile home or office:

  • Go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

Outside with no shelter              

  • Get into a vehicle, buckle your seatbelt, and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas.
  • Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seatbelt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or another cushion if possible.
  • Lie in an area lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head.
  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge.

For more information, visit the Ready.gov/Tornadoes; download the How to Prepare for a Tornado guide, or watch the When the Storm Comes video.

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