By The Librarian
• Have access to the phone numbers of friends, both near and far.
• Make and rehearse an escape plan. Know the nearest exits in your building, as well as the emergency plan of your children’s school. Set up family meeting places—such as a school or a library—one nearby and another outside your neighborhood. Authorities recommend that you practice walking with your family to those meeting points.
• Plan to help others, including the elderly and the infirm.
“When fire broke out, most people didn’t panic—they delayed,” relates Joshua, quoted at the outset. “Some turned off a computer or filled a water bottle. One man said, ‘Maybe we should just wait.’” Despite the hesitancy of others, Joshua shouted: “We need to get out of here now!” At that, his coworkers snapped out of denial and followed him down the stairs. “If anyone falls, pick him up and keep moving,” Joshua kept calling out. “We’re all going to make it!”
• In a fire. Stay close to the floor, and move quickly to the nearest exit. Smoke makes it hard to see, and most fire deaths are caused by smoke inhalation. Leave behind personal items. Seconds can make the difference between life and death.
• In an earthquake. Get under sturdy furniture or next to an inside wall. Expect aftershocks, and get outside and away from buildings as soon as you can. Trained rescuers may not arrive for hours, so try to rescue others if you can.
• In a tsunami. If the water suddenly rushes away from the shore, move quickly to higher ground. Expect more and larger waves.
• In a tornado or a hurricane. Go to a storm shelter without delay.
• In a flood. Stay out of flooded buildings. Avoid wading in or driving through water. Floodwater can contain sewage and conceal dangers, including debris, open manholes, and downed power lines.
• Did you know? Two feet [0.6 meters] of moving water can carry a car away. Most deaths in a flood result when people try to drive through moving water.
• If the authorities order evacuation, leave immediately! Let friends know where you are, or they may risk their lives looking for you.
• Did you know? Text messaging may be more reliable than telephone voice service.
• If the authorities direct residents to remain at home or shelter in place, stay inside. In case of an outdoor chemical, biological, or nuclear accident or attack, stay indoors, turn off ventilation, and seal all doors and windows. In a nuclear event, go to the lowest internal part of your building to reduce exposure to radiation. Listen to local TV or radio news. Stay indoors until authorities announce that the threat has passed.
Emergency Survival / Preparedness wiki
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