Community Preparedness

Community Preparedness


Community, Neighborhoods and Apartments

A community working together during an emergency makes sense.

  • Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together during an emergency.
  • Find out if anyone has specialized equipment like a power generator, or expertise such as medical knowledge, that might help in a crisis.
  • Decide who will check on elderly or disabled neighbors.
  • Make back-up plans for children in case you can't get home in an emergency.
  • Sharing plans and communicating in advance is a good strategy
Work Place

If you are an employer, make sure your workplace has a building evacuation plan that is regularly practiced.
Take a critical look at your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to determine if it is secure or if it could feasibly be upgraded to better filter potential contaminants, and be sure you know how to turn it off if you need to.
  • Think about what to do if your employees can't go home.
  • Make sure you have appropriate supplies on hand.
  • Read more about getting a Kit and if you should Stay or Evacuate.

Shelter in Place

"Shelter-in-place" means to take immediate shelter where you are—at home, work, school, or in between. It may also mean "seal the room;" in other words, take steps to prevent outside air from coming in. This is because local authorities may instruct you to "shelter-in-place" if chemical or radiological contaminants are released into the environment. It is important to listen to TV or radio to understand whether the authorities wish you to merely remain indoors or to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family.

How will I know when I need to "shelter-in-place"?

Fire or police department warning procedures could include:

  • "All-Call" telephoning - an automated system for sending recorded messages, sometimes called "reverse 9-1-1".
  • Emergency Alert System (EAS) broadcasts on the radio or television.
  • Outdoor warning sirens or horns.
  • News media sources - radio, television and cable.
  • NOAA Weather Radio alerts.
  • Residential route alerting - messages announced to neighborhoods from vehicles equipped with public address systems.

Facilities that handle potentially dangerous materials, like nuclear power plants, are required to install sirens and other warning systems (flash warning lights) to cover a 10-mile area around the plant.

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