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Creating an Emergency Plan

Published on: 2/13/2013 4:18 PM
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During times of disaster, the world as you know it may literally be falling apart.  A simple and realistic plan can help bring some order to the chaos and make the difference in saving lives and property.
 
AWARENESS
Understand the various emergencies that have historically affected or potentially could affect the local area of Santa Clara County:  terrorism, earthquakes, power outages, hazardous materials, fires, floods/storms, extreme heat/drought, tornados, and lightning.
 
HOUSEHOLD
Discuss with your household the importance of being prepared for the next emergency.  Enlist their commitment and contributions.
 
EMERGENCY CONTACTS
Know where to call for an emergency.  Post these numbers near all your telephones:
  • General Emergency…911
  • Poison Control…1-800-876-4766
  • Power Outage…1-800-743-5000
COMMUNITY WARNINGS
Familiarize yourself with local community warning signals and actions you should take.
 
PERSONAL INFORMATION
Keep a list of important information of household members readily available:
  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Medical Information (medication, allergies, specialist doctors, equipment or supplies)
  • Work, school, and other addresses/telephone numbers
EMERGENCY SUPPLIES
Maintain some basic emergency supplies and keep them readily available.
 
FIRE PREVENTION AND SAFETY
Learn what you can do to prevent fires and other tragic accidents through fire prevention and safety.
 
SMOKE DETECTORS
Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
 
FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
Get training from the fire department on how to use fire extinguishers (A-B-C type) and keep it readily available.
 
EVACUATION
Determine the following evacuation routes:
 
  • Two ways out of each room (keep clear).
  • Best routes out of the home (keep clear).
  • Best routes out of the neighborhood.
MEETING PLACES
Designate two places for the family to meet and account for everyone.
  • Immediately outside the home for sudden emergencies (ex: fire).
  • Outside the neighborhood in case you cannot return home.  Everyone should know the address and phone number.
FAMILY CONTACT
Establish an out-of-state family contact to coordinate information.  (After an emergency, it is usually easier to call long-distance.)  Everyone should know the contact’s phone number and email address.  For school-aged children, write the number in their binder or backpack.
 
HOME HAZARDS
Learn simple methods of reducing home hazards.
 
FIRST AID / CPR
Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class.
 
UTILITIES
Learn how to turn off all the utilities (water, gas, and electricity) at the main connections and when or who should turn them back on.
 
INSURANCE
Verify that you have adequate insurance coverage (life, disability, health, home, auto, and other property).
 
IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
Ensure you have copies of important documents in an alternate location (family, friend, safety deposit box, etc…)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Death Certificate
  • Drivers License
  • Passport
  • Social Security Card
  • Wills
  • Deeds
  • Prescriptions
  • Insurance Policies
  • Financial Records
  • Inventory of Your Property (preferably with photographs and receipts)
SPECIAL NEEDS
Consider any special needs of your household for the successful execution of this plan (non-English-speaking people, children, elderly, disabled, medically fragile, animals, etc…).
 
PRACTICE
Learn simple ideas of putting it into practice until everyone knows the plan and feels confident with it.
 
MAINTENANCE
  • Monthly - Test smoke detectors.
  • Every 6 Months - Replace water/food reserves.
  • Annually
    • Replace smoke detector batteries.
    • Test radio, flashlight, etc…
    • Check with local Office of Emergency Services, American Red Cross, and/or Federal Emergency Management Agency for latest emergency preparedness information.
    • Practice and drill.
  • As Needed
    • Test and recharge fire extinguishers per manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Update information/contacts as needed.
    • Practice and drill.
RESPONSE
Think about actually responding to emergencies.
 
IMPROVEMENT
Once you and your family have a general emergency plan in place, you can take additional steps to be better prepared for the specific emergencies that affect Santa Clara County (terrorism, earthquakes, power outages, hazardous materials, fires, floods/storms, extreme heat/drought, tornados, and lightning).
 
OTHER EMERGENCY PLANS
Familiarize yourself with the emergency plans of the places your family spends time (school, business, etc.).
 
COMMUNITY
Learn about volunteering and training opportunities with your local community on how you can better prepare for and respond to the next emergency as a team and neighborhood asset.  Understand the skills (medical, technical, etc.) and special needs (non-English-speaking people, children, elderly, disabled, medically fragile, animals, etc.) of your neighbors.
(Attributions:  American Red Cross)
 
 
For More Information Please Contact:
 
Office of Emergency Services
55 W. Younger Avenue
Suite 450
San Jose, CA 95110
Fax: 408-294-4851
Email: oes@oes.sccgov.org
Phone: 408-808-7800