Office of Emergency Services (OES)

Creating a Disaster Plan

Turn Off Utilities
Plan How Your Family Will Stay In Contact If Separated By Disaster Disaster Supply Kit
Emergency Planning For Children Emergency Preparedness Checklist
Emergency Planning For People with Special Needs Disaster Preparedness for Companion Animals
Create a Medical Emergency Information List  

A Citizen Guide to Disaster Preparedness

One of the most important steps you can take for yourself and your family in preparing for an emergency is to develop a household disaster plan. It will play an integral part in surviving a disaster.

Immediately after an emergency, essential service may be cut-off and local disaster relief and government responders may not be able to reach you right away. Local emergency services generally concede that they cannot fully respond to a major catastrophe in our area in less than 72 hours.

What would you and your family do if a serious disaster happened today? What if you were separated from your family? Are you ready to survive for 3-5 days on your own?
Everyone needs to think about these things before a disaster strikes. And lastly, remember, the best way to protect yourself and your family is to be prepared!

There are several steps everyone can take to help protect themselves, their families, and their property in an emergency or a disaster. The information below will help you get started.

Creating a Disaster Plan

  • Meet with family members and discuss the different types of disasters that could occur,
    such as fire, severe weather, earthquakes, and other types of emergencies.
  • Discuss the dangers of each situation and how to respond.
  • Develop a “buddy” network system with family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
  • Plan how you will help each other in an emergency.

Plan How Your Family Will Stay In Contact If Separated By Disaster

  • Create a plan to reunite with family members in case of separation.
  • Determine family assembly points - establishing one or two reunion location.
  • Designate an out-of-state, or area contact person, for family members to telephone
    informing them of their location and condition.
  • Each person in the family should carry important telephone numbers with them.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by each telephone in the house.

Additional emergency preparedness information can be found on the following web sites.

Disaster Preparedness Web Sites
www.72hours.org San Francisco Office of Emergency Services
www.redcross.org American Red Cross
www.oes.ca.gov Office of Emergency Services
www.preparenow.org Prepare Now

Emergency Planning For Children

One way to establish a sense of control and to build confidence in children before a disaster is to engage and involve them in preparing a family disaster plan.

  • Talk about what actions will be taken both during and after a disaster regardless where they may be when the disaster occurs.
  • Talk to your children about the dangers of each situation and how they need to respond to each one that could occur.
  • Create a list of contact names and telephone numbers for your child (home, work, pager, and cell numbers).
  • Teach them how and when to telephone 911 and the importance of using the number.
  • If children are at school make sure they understand it may take awhile before you can get to them. If you cannot pick them up yourself, plan ahead to have someone from your “buddy” network system pick them up

Practice what you have discussed. Everyone in your home needs to understand what they are supposed to do when a catastrophe strikes. That knowledge is best instilled by rehearsing your emergency response plans.

For more information visit:

www.ready.gov
www.fema.gov - advanced search “Helping children cope with disaster”

Emergency Planning For People with Special Needs

How well you prepare and how much you practice before a disaster occurs will determine how successfully you deal with and recover from a disaster. It helps you and your network of family and friends to identify, get, develop, manage, and maintain the information and resources you may need to deal with a disaster. Also, keep in mind that your usual ways of support and assistance may not be available to you for some time during an evacuation and after the disaster has occurred. Prepare yourself based on the capabilities and limitations you believe you will have after the disaster.

Create a Medical Emergency Information List

  • Medical and emergency contact information.
  • Emergency out-of-town contacts.
  • Names and telephones numbers of everyone in you network.
  • Names of medication, dosage, and times taken. Physician name, prescription number, and pharmacy used.
  • Keep a list of medications you use with you and have at least a seven-day
    supply of your essential medication with you at all times.
  • Record any adaptive equipment and/or body system support equipment you use.
  • List any allergies, sensitivities, communication, and cognitive difficulties.
  • List any special needs.
  • Give a copy to each family member and keep a copy with you at all times. Keep extra
    copies of prescription with you.
  • Hearing impaired may need to make special arrangements to receive a warning.
  • Mobility impaired may need assistance in getting to a shelter.
  • People with special dietary needs should have an adequate emergency food supply.

Additional emergency preparedness information can be found on the following web sites.

Disaster Preparedness Web Sites
www.disabilityresources.org Disability Resource
www.72hours.org San Francisco Office of Emergency Services
www.redcross.org American Red Cross
www.oes.ca.gov Office of Emergency Services
www.preparenow.org Prepare Now

Turn off Utilities

Natural Gas

  • Turn gas off ONLY if you smell gas.
  • If you do smell gas or hear a hissing or blowing sound, open the windows and leave the house immediately. DO NOT use the telephone. DO NOT turn OFF any electrical switches, or anything that will cause a spark.
  • Turn off the main gas shut-off valve.
  • For safety purposes, only the gas company should turn the meter back on.

Electricity

  • Turn electricity off ONLY if you see sparks or a fallen wire, or have reason to believe there is an electrical system malfunction.
  • Locate the main circuit box, and switch the “Main” circuit breaker or fuse to the “Off” position.
  • Make sure everyone in your household knows how and when to shut off gas, and electricity at the main switches. Contact your local utility companies for additional information.

Disaster Supply Kit

The following lists will help you assemble your emergency kit and work and car “go-bag.” Be sure that your bag is easy to carry and that it has an ID tag. Prepare one for each family member. Keep a go-bag at home, at work and in your vehicle. Include the following:

  • Water - one gallon of drinking water per person per day.
  • Food - ready to eat or requiring minimal water such as: canned tuna, canned fruit and
    vegetables, canned beans, raisins, peanut butter, granola bars, canned milk. For children,
    include comfort food and other items your family will eat.
  • Manual can opener.
  • First Aid kit - two pairs disposable gloves, sterile dressing, cleansing
    agent/soap, antibiotic ointment, burn ointment, adhesive bandages, eye wash, scissors, diarrhea medication, prescription medications and prescribed medical supplies.
  • Essential medications.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Battery operated radio with extra batteries.
  • Cash in small denominations.
  • A copy of important documents & phone numbers.
  • Unscented liquid household bleach for water purification.
  • Sturdy shoes, heavy gloves, warm clothes, a hat and rain gear.
  • A local map.
  • Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items.
  • Plastic sheeting, duct tape and utility knife for covering broken windows.
  • Blanket or sleeping bag.
  • Extra keys to your house and vehicle.
  • Large plastic bags for waste and sanitation.
  • Diapers and other items for babies or small children. Special needed items for family members with mobility issues such as an extra cane or a manual wheelchair in case there is no power for recharging and electric wheelchair.
  • Whistle, dust mask, and a pocket knife.
  • Extra keys to your house and vehicle.
  • Paper, pens, and tape for leaving messages
  • Cash in small denominations
  • Copies of insurance and identification cards
  • A recent picture of your family members and pets
  • In your child’s go-bag include a favorite toy, game or book as well as his or her emergency card with reunification location and out-of-area
Disaster Preparedness Web Sites
www.disabilityresources.org Disability Resource
www.72hours.org San Francisco Office of Emergency Services
www.redcross.org American Red Cross
www.oes.ca.gov Office of Emergency Services
www.preparenow.org Prepare Now

Emergency Preparedness Checklist

After a major disaster the usual services we take for granted, such as running water, refrigeration, and telephones, may be unavailable. Experts recommend that you should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days.

Disaster Preparedness for Companion Animals

The single most important thing you can do to protect your pet if you evacuate is to take it with you. It is essential to ensure that pets are wearing up to date identification tags (on a regular collar) at all times. If a frightened indoor pet manages to slip out of the house during a crisis, I.D could be the only link between you and your animal. Citizens are likely to bring lost animals to local shelters, where tagged pets can eventually be reunited with their owners.

Dogs and Cats

  • If possible keep animals inside the house
  • Make sure you have enough water and food for the animal
  • If your are not home, make arrangements well in advance for a trusted neighbor to check on your pets
  • Keep clear and recent color photos of you pet on hand
  • Keep all property fences in good repair. Even a small hole can become an avenue of escape during an emergency
  • Identify the locations of animal welfare organization, veterinarians and other sources of aid. Make notes of addresses and telephone numbers before disaster happens

Assemble a basic emergency kit containing the following:

  • A portable kennel, leash, collar, and small blanket
  • Store enough food and water to last for at least 3 days, preferably one week
  • Up-to-date veterinarian records, and medication with instruction
  • Food dishes, newspapers and/or paper towels

Birds

  • Check birds immediately. Birds can break “blood” feathers. If not treated at once, they could bleed to death. If you notice a bird bleeding from a broken “blood” feather gently pull it out and press finger over removal site until bleeding stops.
  • Keep birds in cage
  • Have plenty of water and food on hand