Emergency survival measures are critical before, during and after any emergency. Emergency survival tips to keep you safe.
Emergency preparedness planning is critical for everyone. Most communities may be impacted by major emergencies during a lifetime: pandemic, drought, wild fire, flood, hurricane, tsunami, civilian unrest or earthquakes are just a few.
Even travel brings different risks and planning. As a country we 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 to your family when minutes count. Use these sites to learn about protective measures that should be in place before the next emergency and how to prepare for and respond.
Most basic protective actions are similar across many different hazards.
1. Shelter in Place vs. Evacuation Plans
Physical safety is a concern for all hazards and may involve seeking shelter. Taking appropriate shelter is critical in times of disaster. Sheltering is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment or other locations when disaster strikes. Sheltering outside the hazard area could include staying with friends and relatives, seeking commercial lodging or staying in a mass care facility operated by disaster relief groups.
For effective shelter, consider the hazard and choose a place in your home or other building that is safe for that hazard. For example, for a tornado, a room should be selected that is in a basement or an interior room on the lowest level away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls.
The safest locations to seek shelter vary by hazard. There may be situations, depending on circumstances and the nature of the disaster, when it’s simply best to “shelter in place” and avoid any uncertainty outside threats.
In some circumstances, local officials decide that the hazards are serious and require mandatory evacuations. When community evacuations become necessary local officials will provide information to the public through the media. In some circumstances, other warning methods, such as sirens, text alerts, emails or telephone calls are used.
The length of time required to shelter or evacuate may be short, such as during a tornado warning, or long, such as during a winter storm, flood or a pandemic.
2. Emergency Alerts & News
It is important to stay in shelter until local authorities say it is safe to leave. Take turns listening to radio broadcasts and maintain a 24-hour safety watch.
3. Managing Water Supplies
During extended periods of sheltering, manage water and food supplies to ensure there are the required supplies and quantities needed.
Many people need more than the Suggested one gallon per day. The individual amount needed depends on age, physical activity, physical condition and time of year.
Drink the amount needed today and try to find more for tomorrow. Under no circumstances should a person drink less than one quart of water each day. Minimize the amount of water the body needs by reducing activity and remaining cool.
Carbonated beverages do not meet drinking-water requirements. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol dehydrate the body, which increases the need for drinking water.
Protect the water sources already in your home from contamination. If there are reports of broken water or sewage lines or if local officials advise you of a problem, close the incoming water source.
4. Emergency Food Supplies
Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Consider the following things when putting together your emergency food supplies: choose foods your family will eat,
plan for any special dietary needs, avoid foods that will make the body thirsty, choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.
The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. Many of these may already be on hand:
Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
Protein or fruit bars
Dry cereal or granola
Salt free crackers
Non-perishable pasteurized milk
Food for children or infants
Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Remember to include a manual can opener and eating utensils.
5. Emergency Survival Sites
Learn more about mandatory evacuation.
Develop a comprehensive family communications plan.
When recovering from a disaster, safety as well as mental and physical well being must be considered.
My Emergency Toolkit; a Ready America web site emergency supply kit suggested items.
Food Safety Gov. web site; how to keep food safe during and after an emergency, such as a flood, fire, national disaster, or the loss of power. Plus, additional links to other articles.
Food Safety Gov. web site with food tips on minimum cooking temperatures, storage times for refrigerator and freezer, food recalls, and other tips for food safety.
Ready America web site; the Federal Emergency Management Agency has brochures and white papers available for family emergency plans, emergency supply list, and older Americans special needs in PDF format for quick downloads, printing and sharing.
Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety from the Earthquake Country web site. Links to articles and brochures for a complete plan for surviving the next big quake.
If a radiation emergency occurs; people can take actions to protect themselves. Information includes: Sheltering in place, evacuation, getting checked for contamination.
Emergency Water Storage information.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) water treatment methods.
Everything Under the Sun is a running blog by Wendy DeWitt on everything imaginable for food storage, cooking without power to living off the grid.
SOS Survival Products: pretty much everything for an emergency.