At 6 p.m. you are encouraged to plan on doing the appropriate weeks natural hazard drill in your home or office, followed by a family discussion on the Emergency Preparedness topics of the week (assemble kits if appropriate).
The schedule is:
Sept. 9 – Fire & Get or Make an Emergency Kit
Sept. 16 – Flood & School and Workplace Emergency Plan
Sept. 23 – Severe Winter Weather & Automobile Safety Kit
Sept.30 – Earthquake & Animals in disaster
Wach for plans each week.
According to FEMA, more than 4,000 Americans die and more than 20,000 are injured as a result of fires – many of which could be prevented. Direct property loss due to fires is estimated at $8.6 billion a year.
When there is a fire, do not waste time gathering valuables or making a phone call. Fires can spread quickly, becoming life threatening in two minutes and engulfing a residence in as little as five minutes. While flames are dangerous, heat and smoke can be more dangerous and can sear your lungs. As the fire burns, poisonous gases are emitted that can cause you to become disoriented or drowsy, which could put you into a heavy sleep. The leading cause of fire-related deaths is asphyxiation, outnumbering burns by a three-to-one ratio. It is important to learn about fires in order to protect yourself.
Step 1: Get a Kit
Get an Emergency Supply Kit
Copies of prescription medications and medical supplies;
Bedding and clothing, including sleeping bags and pillows;
Bottled water, a battery-operated radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, a flashlight;
Copies of important documents: driver’s license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.
Step 2: Make a Plan
Planning Your Escape
Make a Family Emergency Plan
Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
Be sure to consider the specific needs of your family members
Notify caregivers and babysitters about your plan.
Make plans for your pets
Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class from your local Citizen Corps chapter
Plan your escape
Review escape routes with your family. Practice escaping from each room.
Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut. Make sure security gratings on windows have a fire safety opening feature so they can be easily opened from the inside.
Consider escape ladders if your residence has more than one level, and ensure that burglar bars and other antitheft mechanisms that block outside window entry are easily opened from the inside.
Emergency escape masks/smoke hoods have the potential to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries by protecting users from smoke inhalation and many other toxic gases, provided they are used properly and perform effectively.
Teach family members to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer in a fire) when escaping from a fire.
Clean out storage areas. Do not let trash, such as old newspapers and magazines, accumulate.
Step 3: Be Informed
Prepare Your Home
Install Smoke Alarms
According to FEMA, properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by 50 percent.
Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence. Place them outside bedrooms on the ceiling or high on the wall (4 to 12 inches from ceiling), at the top of open stairways or at the bottom of enclosed stairs and near (but not in) the kitchen.
Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year – a good way to remember to do this is to replace the batteries during National Preparedness Month which occurs every September. Or, as you set your clock back for daylights saving time, remember to check and replace your smoke detector batteries.
Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years
Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency at www.FoodSaftey.gov
More information on smoke alarm safety and an interactive quiz <www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/focus/smoke_alarms2010.shtm> at USFA.DHS.gov
Listen to Local Officials
Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government
For further information on how to plan and prepare for fires as well as what to do during and after a fire, visit: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Fact BoxFor further information on how to plan and prepare for fires as well as what to do during and after a fire, visit: Federal Emergency Management Agency