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Community Disaster Preparedness
 
Preparedness Tips


As a public safety reminder Nevada Division of Emergency Management/Homeland Security urges the public to be prepared in the event an emergency causes you to be self-reliant for three days without utilities and electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or local services, or maybe even without response from police, fire or rescue. Are you ready?

Ready is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation.


The Nevada Division of Emergency Management/Homeland Security recommends preparing for such an event can start with four important steps:


  • BE INFORMED - Learn what protective measures to take before, during and after an emergency. Know what hazards could happen in your community, and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful. 
  • MAKE A PLAN - Prepare, plan and stay informed for any emergency. http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
  • BUILD A KIT - Build an emergency supply kit for you and your family and be prepared for any disaster. 
  • GET INVOLVED - Find opportunities to support community preparedness. 




Build an Emergency Supply Kit


The first step is to consider how an emergency might affect your individual needs. Plan to make it on your own, for at least three days. It's possible that you will not have access to a medical facility or even a drugstore. It is crucial that you and your family think about what kinds of resources you use on a daily basis and what you might do if those resources are limited or not available.

Think first about the basics for survival - food, water, clean air and any life-sustaining items you require. Consider two kits. In one kit put everything you will need to stay where you are and make it on your own for a period of time. The other kit should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you have to leave your home.


Recommended basic emergency supplies include:


  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and a can opener if kit contains canned food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio, a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert & extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Pet food, extra water and supplies for your pet or service animal



Include Medications and Medical Supplies:

If you take medicine or use a medical treatment on a daily basis, be sure you have what you need on hand to make it on your own for at least a week. You should also keep a copy of your prescriptions as well as dosage or treatment information. If it is not possible to have a week-long supply of medicines and supplies, keep as much as possible on hand and talk to your pharmacist or doctor about what else you should do to prepare.


If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital or if you receive regular services such as home health care, treatment or transportation, talk to your service provider about their emergency plans. Work with them to identify back-up service providers within your area and the areas you might evacuate to. If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity to operate, talk to your health care provider about what you can do to prepare for its use during a power outage.



Additional Items:

In addition, there may be other things specific to your personal needs that you should also have on hand. If you use eyeglasses, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries, wheelchair batteries, and oxygen, be sure you always have extras in your home. Also have copies of your medical insurance, Medicare and Medicaid cards readily available, if you have a service animal, be sure to include food, water, collar with ID tag, medical records and other emergency pet supplies.



Include Emergency Documents:

Include copies of important documents in your emergency supply kits such as family records, medical records, wills, deeds, social security number, charge and bank accounts information, and tax records. It is best to keep these documents in a waterproof container. If there is any information related to operating equipment or life-saving devices that you rely on, include those in your emergency kit as well, and also make sure that a trusted friend or family member has a copy of these documents. Include the names and numbers of everyone in your personal support net- work, as well as your medical providers, if you have a communication disability, make sure your emergency information list notes the best way to communicate with you, also be sure you have cash or travelers checks in your kits in case you need to purchase supplies.



Make a Plan for Any Emergency


The reality of a disaster situation is that you will likely not have access to everyday conveniences. To plan in advance, think through the details of your everyday life. If there are people who assist you on a daily basis, list who they are and how you will contact them in an emergency. Create your own personal support network by identifying others who will help you in an emergency. Think about what modes of transportation you use and what alternative modes could serve as back-ups. Make a plan and write it down. Keep a copy of your plan in your emergency supply kits and a list of important information and contacts in your wallet. Share your plan with your family, friends, care providers and others in your personal support network.



Create a Personal Support Network:

If you anticipate needing assistance during a disaster, make a list of family, friends and others who will be part of your plan. Talk to these people and ask them to be part of your support network. Share each aspect of your emergency plan with everyone in your group, including a friend or relative in another area who would not be impacted by the same emergency who can help if necessary. Make sure everyone knows how you plan to evacuate your home, school or workplace and where you will go in case of a disaster. Make sure that someone in your personal support network has an extra key to your home and knows where you keep your emergency supplies.



Develop a Family Communications Plan:

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different situations. Consider a plan where each family member calls or e-mails the same friend or relative in the event of an emergency. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact, not in the impacted area, may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. You may have trouble getting through, or the phone system may be down altogether, stay calm and remain patient. In an emergency, cell networks may not work, make sure everyone in your family knows how to text. Use social media platforms to update friends & family.



Deciding to Stay or Go:

Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay or go. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information to determine if there is immediate danger. In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should monitor radio, television, official social media sites or call 211 for information and official instructions as they become available. If you're specifically told to evacuate or seek medical treatment, do so immediately. If you require additional travel time or need transportation assistance, make these arrangements in advance.



Create a Plan for Your Pets & Service Animals:

Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance or your service animal and pets. Keep in mind that what's best for you is typically what's best for your animals. If you must evacuate, take your pets with you, if possible. However, if you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that by law only service animals must be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your animals; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area, pet-friendly shelters and veterinarians who would be willing to take in you and your pets in an emergency.



Staying Put:

Whether you are at home or elsewhere, there may be situations when it's simply best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside. Consider what you can do to safely shelter- in-place alone or with friends, family or neighbors, also consider how a shelter designated for the public would meet your needs.

There could be times when you will need to stay put and create a barrier between yourself and potentially contaminated air outside. This process is known as "sealing the room." Use available information to assess the situation. If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if local authorities say the air is badly contaminated, you may want to take this kind of action.



Evacuation:

There may be conditions in which you will decide to get away or there may be situations when you may be ordered to leave. Plan how you will get away and anticipate where you will go. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency. Ask about evacuation plans at the places where you spend time including work, school, community organizations and other places you frequent. If you typically rely on elevators, have a back-up plan in case they are not working.



Fire Safety:

Plan two ways out of every room in case of fire. Check for items such as bookcases, hanging pictures, or overhead lights that could fall and block an escape path. Check hallways, stairwells, doorways, windows and other areas for hazards that may keep you from safely leaving a building during an emergency, Secure or remove furniture and objects that may block your path, if there are aspects of preparing your home or workplace that you are not able to do yourself, enlist the help of your personal support network.



Always Stay Informed:


Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an emergency supply kit and making an emergency plan are the same regardless of the type of emergency. However, it's important to stay informed about what might happen and know what types of emergencies are likely to affect your region.

Be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances and make every effort to follow instructions received from authorities on the scene. Above all, stay calm, be patient and think before you act. With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected.


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.


Stay Informed Disaster Specific Preparedness:

There are important differences among potential emergencies that should impact the decisions you make and the actions you take.


• How to plan with your household and prepare in advance so you are ready  

• Signs of hazardous events that come with very little warning  

• How to protect your household during the disaster  

• Begin recovery following the initial disaster  

 Learn about each type of disaster that could affect you: 

• Natural Disasters

• Technological & Accidental Hazards

• Terrorist Hazards

• Pandemics

• Home Fires


 
 
 
Learn what protective measures to take before, during, and after an emergency 


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. Use this site to learn about potential emergencies that can happen and how to prepare for and respond to them.

Basic Protective Measures for All Hazards


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.