Disasters and Emergencies can strike anytime, anywhere. If one happened today, what would you do and who would you depend on for the next 72 hours to stay safe?
When an emergency happens, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you depending on the severity of the event. You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours.
Being prepared means:
- Knowing the risks in your community and the most appropriate way to respond to them.
- Making a plan for what your family will do, who they will contact and where they will go in the event of an emergency and practicing it regularly.
- Pulling together a 72-hour kit with enough non-perishable food, water, medication, warm clothing and comfort items for all family members, including your pets.
Once the emergency is over, what is the next step? Resources are available to help you and your family get your lives back to normal as quickly as possible. The County of Newell Fire and Emergency Services have compiled a handbook to assist you both before and after an emergency. Click the link below for a printable handbook.
Did you know that with a wind speed of only 16
KPH. The grass fire can reach speeds of 34 feet per minute and with a 32 KPH wind, the grass fire speeds can reach 80 feet per minute. Your best Protection is Prevention.
- Have a minimum of a 10 meters non-combustible area around buildings and equipment.
- When needed, replace flammable landscaping with fire-resistive counterparts.
- Reduce the density of surrounding trees and branches.
- Keep flammable or combustible materials, such a fuel, well away from buildings and equipment.
- Hot exhaust systems can start a grass fire, clean the grass from your vehicle and do not stop in the grass that can touch your exhaust system.
- You are responsible if you are lighting an outdoor fire to take sufficient precautions to ensure the fire can be kept under control at all times.
If a Flood is Expected
- Turn off basement furnaces and outside gas valve.
- Take special precautions to safeguard electrical, natural gas, or propane heating equipment.
- If there is enough time, consult your electricity or fuel supplier for instructions on how to protect your equipment.
- Shut off the electricity only if flooding has not yet begun and the area around your electrical panel is completely dry. Have a flashlight handy.
If Flooding is Imminent
- Move furniture, electrical appliances, and other belongings to floors above ground level.
- Remove toxic substances such as pesticides and insecticides from the flood area to prevent pollution.
- In some cases, homes may be protected with sandbags.
If you need to Evacuate
- Evacuate your home when you are advised to do so by local emergency authorities.
- Take your emergency kit with you.
- Follow routes specified by officials and report to a reception center if one is opened up.
- Make arrangements for pets.
- Make arrangements for farm animals.
- If you are indoors during a storm, stay away from windows, doors, and fireplaces. Do not use corded telephones.
- If you are advised by officials to evacuate, do so. Delay may make later evacuation difficult or impossible. Take your emergency kit with you.
- If you are in a vehicle, stop the vehicle away from trees and power lines that might fall on you. Avoid unstable slopes and low areas prone to flooding and stay inside your vehicle.
- Before a severe thunderstorm, unplug appliances and listen for weather updates on a battery powered radio. Take shelter immediately and do not go out until 30 minutes have passed since the last lightning strike. If you are outdoors and are not able to get inside, look for low-lying areas but stay away from streams, etc. Make yourself a small target by crouching down with your feet close together and your head down.
- Food and water (enough for everyone)
- Bedding and clothing.
- Light and Fuel.
- Dishes, utensils, can opener, shovel, axe, pen, paper, knife, rope, cell phone and charger.
- Personal supplies and personal documents.
Be prepared as your safety begins at home. Individual and family preparedness can greatly reduce the potential impact of an emergency. Remember that "Safety is an Attitude”.
- Keith R. Martin, Manager of Fire & Emergency Services, County of Newell