Talking About Disaster: A Guide for Standard Messages
Table of Contents
Introduction and Purpose
What Is in This Guide
Using This Guide
Hazard Messages
Chemical Emergencies
Fires, Residential
Fires, Wildland
Floods and Flash Floods
Hazardous Materials Incidents
Heat (Heat Wave)
Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
Nuclear Power Plant Incidents
Thunderstorms, Severe
Winter Storms
Special Populations Messages
Talking to Children About Disasters
Preparedness Action Messages
Family Disaster Plan
Disaster Supplies Kit
Emergency Supplies for your Vehicle
First Aid Kit Contents
First Aid Kit for Pets
Stocking and Storing Food and Water
Smoke Alarms
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Fire Extinguishers
Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)
Home Fire Sprinkler Systems
Portable Generators
Evacuation, Sheltering, and Post-Disaster Safety Messages
Evacuation, Sheltering, and Post-Disaster Safety
What to do if Evacuation is Necessary Because of a Storm
What to do When There is Flooding
“Wind Safe” Room
How to Shelter-in-Place (Chemical Incidents)
Factors for Protection from Radioactive Fallout
Food and Water Safety During/Post Disaster
Emergency Sanitation
How to Recognize and Treat Heat Emergencies
Frostbite and Hypothermia

What to Do if Evacuation Is Necessary Because of a Storm

If you are advised to evacuate or if you think it is appropriate to evacuate, you should:
Leave as soon as possible, preferably in daylight. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges. Evacuation will probably take longer than expected. Give yourself plenty of time.
Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off the electricity and the main water valve. This will reduce potential damage to your appliances from power surges and to your home.
Tell someone outside the storm area where you are going—(the out-of-town contact you identified in your Family Disaster Plan). Relatives and friends will be concerned about your safety. Letting someone know your travel plans will help relieve their fear and anxiety.
If time permits and you live in an identified surge zone or area prone to flooding, move furniture to a higher floor. Moving valuable furnishings helps reduce the potential for damage.
Bring your Disaster Supplies Kit, including warm protective clothing. People frequently arrive at shelters or hotels with nothing. Having these items with you will make you more comfortable. While shelters provide a safe place to stay and food, specialty items for infants and individuals on restricted diets may not be available. It may be several days before permission is given by local authorities to reenter an evacuated area.
Lock your home and leave. There may be individuals evacuating after you, or returning before you. Police may be busy with storm-related emergencies and not able to patrol neighborhoods as usual.

Initial development of this guide was made possible by a grant from the Home Safety Council, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping prevent the nearly 21 million medical visits
that occur on average each year from unintentional injuries in the home. Through national programs and partners across America, the Home Safety Council works to educate and empower families to take actions that help keep them safe in and around their homes. This guide is the product of the hard work and collaboration of many professionals affiliated with the organizations partnering with the American Red Cross, which represents the expertise and commitment of the following organizations:

American Geological InstituteDisability Preparedness CenterHome Safety CouncilThe Humane Society of the United StatesInstitute for Business & Home SafetyInternational Association of Emergency ManagersNational Fire Protection AssociationNational Interagency Fire CouncilNational SafeKids CampaignNational Science FoundationU.S. Consumer Product Safety CommissionU.S. Department of Agriculture -Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service -Extension Disaster Education Network -Food Safety and Inspection ServiceU.S. Department of Commerce - NOAA/National Weather ServiceU.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Food and Drug AdministrationU.S. Department of Homeland Security -Federal Emergency Management Agency -U.S. Fire AdministrationU.S. Department of Interior - U.S. Geological Survey
From: Talking About Disaster: Guide for Standard Messages. Washington, D.C., 2007.

Html Copyright The Disaster Center 2012

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