CREATING AN EMERGENCY PLAN

 

Before creating your household emergency plan, learn about the types of emergencies that may affect our community, how you’ll be notified of an event and plans that may already be in place to deal with these events.

Learn about the emergency broadcast warning system – via television, radio or another signal – recognize what it sounds like and what to do when you hear it.  Emergencies may strike when your family members are away from home, so find out about plans at your workplace, school or anywhere else you and your family spend time.

 

STEPS TO TAKE IN CREATING A HOUSEHOLD EMERGENCY PLAN INCLUDE:

 

1.               Meet with household members and discuss the dangers of possible emergency events, including fire, severe weather, hazardous spills and terrorism.

2.               Discuss how you and your family will respond to each possible emergency

3.               If family members are at different locations when an emergency starts disucss in advance who will pick up the children and where you will meet if an evacuation is declared.  You should plan to meet well outside the danger area, probably at a relative’s home.

4.               Discuss what to do in case of power outages or personal injuries

5.               Draw a floor plan of your home.  Mark two escape routes from each room

6.               Teach adults how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at main switches.  If for any reason you turn off natural gas service to your home, call your gas company to restore service.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RESTORE GAS SERVICE YOURSELF.

7.               Post emergency contact numbers near all telephones.  Pre-program emergency numbers into phones with auto-dial capabilities.

8.               Teach children how and when to dial 9-1-1 to get emergency assistance.

9.               Teach children how to make long-distance telephone calls.

10.            Pick a friend or relative that all family members will call if separated (it is often easier to call out-of-state during an emergency than within the affected area).

11.            Instruct household members to turn on the radio for emergency information.

12.            Pick two meeting places:  A place near your home and a place outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home after an emergency

13.            Take a Basic First Aid and CPR class.  Contact the American Red Cross for more information.

14.            Keep family records in a water and fireproof safe.  Inexpensive models can be purchased at most hardware stores.


 

 

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT . . .

 

If any members of your household have disabilities or are elderly, find out what services may be available to aid in their care or evacuation in the event of an emergency.

If you have pets, you should find out whether potential shelters will allow them.  Many will not.  In this case, you may wish to make arrangements for pets in advance of an emergency.  You can also create a survival kit for your pet.  This should include an identification collar and rabies tag, a carrier or cage, a leash, any medications, at least a two-week supply of food, water and food bowls and veterinary records.


 

PREPARE AN EMERGENCY GO KIT

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Often during an emergency, electricity, water, heat, air conditioning or telephone service may not work.  Preparing an emergency go kit ahead of time can save precious minutes in the event you must evacuate or go without electricity, heat or water for an extended period.  You can gather water, food, first aid supplies, clothing, bedding, tools and other essential items to store at any time.  You should consider including the following items in your Emergency Go Kit:

 

1.               At least a three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day).   Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers.  Replace every six months.

2.               A three-to-five day supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non electric can opener.

3.               A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes.

4.               Blankets, bedding or sleeping bags.

5.               A first aid kit and prescription medicines (check the expiration dates).

6.               An extra pair of eye glasses or contact lenses and solution (check the expiration dates).

7.               A list of family physicians, important medical information and the style and serial number of medical devices, such as pacemakers.

8.               Special items for infants, the elderly or family members with disabilities.

9.               A battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.

10.            Identification, credit cards, cash and photocopies of important family documents, including home insurance information.

11.            An extra set of car and house keys.

12.            Tools such as screwdrivers, cutters and scissors; duct tape; waterproof matches; a fire extinguisher; flares; plastic storage containers; needle and thread; pen and paper; a compass; garbage bags; and regular household bleach.


 

NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS


Working with neighbors in an emergency can save lives and property.  Meet with your community members to plan how you could work together until help arrives.  If you’re a member of a neighborhood organization, such as a home association or crime watch group, introduce emergency preparedness as a new activity.  Know your neighbor’s special skills and consider how you could help those with special needs, such as people with disabilities and elderly persons.

 

AFTER AN EMERGENCY STRIKES


During and after an emergency occurs, it is important to stay calm.  Even after an event, there may still be many dangers.  What seems like a safe distance or location may not be.  Stay tuned to your local emergency station and follow the advice of trained professionals.  Unless told to evacuate, avoid roads to allow emergency vehicles access.  What you do next can save your life and the lives of others.

 

            Here are some helpful hints:

 

1.                Remain calm and assist family members or neighbors who may be vulnerable if exposed to extreme heat or cold.

2.                Locate a flashlight with batteries to use until power comes back on.  Do not use candles – this can cause a fire.

3.               Turn off sensitive electrical equipment, such as computers, VCR’s and televisions to prevent damage when electricity is restored.

4.               Turn off major electrical appliances that were on when the power went off.  This will help to prevent power surges when electricity is restored.

5.               Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep cold in.

6.               Do not use the stove to heat your home – this can cause a fire or fatal gas leak.

7.               Use extreme caution when driving.  If traffic signals are out, treat each signal as a stop sign – come to a complete stop at every intersection and look before you proceed.

8.               Do not call 911 to ask about power outage.  Listen to news radio stations for updates.


 

BUSINESS PREPAREDNESS


Business and industry are just as vulnerable to the effects of emergencies as ordinary citizens.  Therefore, there are basic steps that a business should take to prepare for an emergency.

             Some of these steps include:

                        Prepare backups and store offsite all computer records (payroll, inventory
                        records, etc.)

                        Have an evacuation plan in place for staff and customers

                        Maintain sufficient insurance coverage for your business

                        Identify critical business functions that absolutely must continue (i.e. shipping,
                        inventory control, payroll) and come up with procedures to ensure these will
                        carry on.


 

TECHNOLOGICAL HAZARDS EMERGENCIES

 

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If you are notified or become aware of a technological hazards emergency, such as a hazardous spill/release, fire or explosion, do not panic.  If you need to get out of the surrounding area or are directed to evacuate, do so immediately and:

            Take your Emegency Go Kit

            Lock your home

            Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth

            Travel on routes specified by local authorities

            Head up wind of the incident

            If you are sure you have time:

                        - Shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving

                        - Post a note telling others when you left and where you are going

                        - Make arrangements for your pets

            If you are instructed to stay inside and not to evacuate:

                        - Close and lock windows and doors.

                        - Seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels and duct tape.

                        - Turn off ventilation systems, water and gas


 

NATURAL HAZARDS EMERGENCIES


All communiies are vulnerable to a variety of types of severe weather, including thunderstorms, hurricane winds, flash flooding, snow storms and tornodoes.  Because of this, it is important for you to understand the difference between a watch and a warning for severe weather.

            A severe storm watch means that severe weather may develop

            A severe weather warning means a storm has developed and is on its way – take
            cover immediately.  The safest place to ride out any storm is inside a secure building
            or well built home.

            Even in a well built apartment building you should:

            Listen to weather updates and stay informed

            Be ready to evacuate if necessary

            Keep away from windows and doors

            Have Emergency Go Kit handy

           

Tornadoes are dangerous because of their high winds and ability to lift and move heavy objects.  If you receive a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately.  

If you are in your car:  STOP!  Get out and lie flat, face down in a low area.  Cover your head and wait for the tornado to pass.

At Home:  Go to the basement, storm shelter or rooms near the center of the house.  In a high-rise or other public building, move to the interior, preferably a stairwell or hallway.

Flash Flooding can be very dangerous because of strong, swift currents.  Move immediately and quickly to higher ground.  The force of six inches of swiftly moving water can knock people off of their feet!  If flood waters rise around the car, get out and move to higher ground immediately.  Cars can be easily swept away in just two feet of moving water.


 

IF YOU NEED CLEAN WATER


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Flooding can cause contamination of water supplies.  Bad water can contain micro-organisms that cause diseases such as dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis.  If you think your water may be contaiminated, you should purify it before use it.  This includes water used for drinking, cooking, cleaning dishes or bathing.  The best way to purify water is to boil it.

            Boiling is considered the safest method of purifying water.  Bring water to a boil for 3-5 minutes.  Allow it to cool before drinking.  Pouring water back and forth between two containers will improve the taste by putting oxygen back into the water.


 

CRIME PREVENTION TIPS

         
           
Keep alert – be aware of your surroundings

            If you see a suspicious person or vehicle, call the police immediately

            Practice good observation skills

                        Look and make mental notes of:

                                    What was the color of the car

                                    What was the make and model

                                    What was the license plate

                                    What did the driver and occupants look like 

            Don’t rely on others to make the call


 

IMPORTANT LOCAL TELEPHONE NUMBERS

 

            Camp Hill Borough                                           (717)   737-3456

            Camp Hill Borough Ambulance                        (717)  238-9676

            Camp Hill Borough Police Department            (717)   737-1570

            Camp Hill Borough Fire Department                (717)  238-9676

            PPL                                                                     (800)  342-5211
           
(Hearing impaired)                                             (800)  231-7288

            UGI                                                                      (717)  234-5751

            Natural Gas Emergency Number                       (800)  609-4844

            Pennsylvania American Water Company           (800)  565-7292

            United Water                                                        (800)  564-3662

            Verizon                                                                  (800)  275-2355

            PA Emergency Operations Center                       (717)  651-2001

            State Police Terrorism Tip Line                           (888)  292-1919

            American Red Cross, Local Chapter                   (717)  342-5211

 

Additional information on emergency prepardness if available by calling:

 

            FEMA at:  (800)  48-2520 or on the Internet at:

            http://www/fema.gov

            http://www/redcross.org

 

Emergency - Call 9 1 1

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