Thursday, March 22, 2012

Disinfecting After A Flood Part 2

Eye Contact with a Hazardous Substance

If a hazardous substance comes in contact with an eye, it is important to take immediate action. Delaying first aid can greatly increase the likelihood of permanent injury. Flush the eye with clear, lukewarm water for a minimum of 15 minutes. Continue the cleansing process even if the victim indicates he or she no longer is feeling any pain, then seek medical attention.

FACT SHEET: HAZARDOUS MATERIALS ACCIDENTS

A hazardous materials accident can occur anywhere. Communities located near chemical manufacturing plants are particularly at risk. However, hazardous materials are transported on our roadways, railways and waterways daily, so any area is considered vulnerable to an accident.

BEFORE

Learn to detect the presence of a hazardous material. Many hazardous materials do not have a taste or an odor. Some materials can be detected because they cause physical reactions such as watering eyes or nausea. Some hazardous materials exist beneath the surface of the ground and can be recognized by an oil or foam-like appearance. Contact your Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) or local emergency management office for information about hazardous materials and community response plans. Find out evacuation plans for your workplace and your children's schools. Be ready to evacuate. Plan several evacuation routes out of the area. Ask about industry and community warning systems. Have disaster supplies on hand.

Flashlight and extra batteries
Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
First aid kit and manual
Emergency food and water
Nonelectric can opener
Essential medicines
Cash and credit cards
Sturdy shoes

Develop an emergency communication plan.

In case family members are separated from one another during a hazardous materials accident (this is a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster.Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.

DURING

If you hear a siren or other warning signal, turn on a radio or television for further emergency information.

IF CAUGHT AT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT

If you see an accident, call 9-1-1 or the local fire department to report the nature and location of the accident as soon as possible.

Move away from the accident scene and help keep others away. Do not walk into or touch any of the spilled substance. Try not to inhale gases, fumes and smoke. If possible, cover mouth with a cloth while leaving the area. Stay away from accident victims until the hazardous material has been identified. Try to stay upstream, uphill and upwind of the accident. IF ASKED TO STAY INDOORS ("IN-PLACE SHELTERING") Seal house so contaminants cannot enter. Close and lock windows and doors. Seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels and duct tape. Seal gaps around window and air conditioning units, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, and stove and dryer vents with duct tape and plastic sheeting, wax paper or aluminum wrap. Close fireplace dampers. Close off nonessential rooms such as storage areas, laundry rooms and extra bedrooms. Turn off ventilation systems.

Assisting Accident Victims

Don't try to care for victims of a hazardous materials accident until the substance has been identified and authorities indicate it is safe to go near victims. Then you can move victims to fresh air and call for emergency medical care. Remove contaminated clothing and shoes and place them in a plastic bag. Cleanse victims that have come in contact with chemicals by immediately pouring cold water over the skin or eyes for at least 15 minutes, unless authorities instruct you not to use water on the particular chemical involved. Bring pets inside. Immediately after the "in-place sheltering" announcement is issued, fill up bathtubs or large containers for an additional water supply and turn off the intake valve to the house. If gas or vapors could have entered the building, take shallow breaths through a cloth or a towel. Avoid eating or drinking any food or water that may be contaminated. Monitor the Emergency Broadcast System station for further updates and remain in shelter until authorities indicate it is safe to come out.

Evacuation Authorities will decide if evacuation is necessary based primarily on the type and amount of chemical released and how long it is expected to affect an area. Other considerations are the length of time it should take to evacuate the area, weather conditions, and the time of day.

IF ASKED TO EVACUATE Stay tuned to a radio or television for information on evacuation routes, temporary shelters, and procedures. Follow the routes recommended by the authorities--shortcuts may not be safe. Leave at once. If you have time, minimize contamination in the house by closing all windows, shutting all vents, and turning off attic fans. Take pre-assembled disaster supplies. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people and people with disabilities.

AFTER

Return home only when authorities say it is safe. Follow local instructions concerning the safety of food and water. Clean up and dispose of residue carefully. Follow instructions from emergency officials concerning clean-up methods.

FACT SHEET: EXTREME HEAT

Doing too much on a hot day, spending too much time in the sun or staying too long in an overheated place can cause heat-related illnesses. Know the symptoms of heat disorders and overexposure to the sun, and be ready to give first aid treatment.

BEFORE

Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for information on extreme heat. Install window air conditioners snugly. Close any floor heat registers nearby. Insulate spaces around air conditioners for a tighter fit. Use a circulating or box fan to spread the cool air. Keep heat outside and cool air inside. Install temporary reflectors, such as aluminum foil covered cardboard, to reflect any heat back outside. Keep the cool air inside by weather-stripping doors and windowsills. Consider keeping storm windows up all year. Storm windows can keep the heat of a house in the summer the same way they keep the cold out in the winter. Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.

DURING

Protect windows. Hang shades, draperies, awnings, or louvers on windows that receive morning or afternoon sun. Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat entering the house by as much as 80 percent.

Conserve electricity. During periods of extreme heat, people tend to use a lot more power for air conditioning which can lead to a power shortage or outage.Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine. Remember that electric fans do not cool, they just blow hot air around. Eat well-balanced,light meals. Drink plenty of water regularly. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid restrictive diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake. Limit intake of alcoholic beverages. Although beer and alcohol beverages appear to satisfy thirst, they actually cause further body dehydration. Dress in loose-fitting clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Lightweight, light-colored clothing that reflects heat and sunlight and helps maintain normal body temperature. Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Allow your body to get acclimated to hot temperatures for the first 2 or 3 days of a heat wave. Avoid too much sunshine. Sunburn slows the skin's ability to cool itself. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.

DURING

Avoid extreme temperature changes. A cool shower immediately after coming in from hot temperatures can result in hypothermia, particularly for elderly and very young people.

Slow down. Reduce, eliminate, or reschedule strenuous activities. High-risk individuals
should stay in cool places. Get plenty of rest to allow your natural "cooling system" to work.

Take salt tablets only if specified by your physician. Persons on salt-restrictive diets should check with a physician before increasing salt intake.Vacuum air conditioner filters weekly during periods of high use. Learn the symptoms of heat disorders and know how to give first aid.

DURING A DROUGHT

Lower water use. Watering the lawn and washing the car waste water. Whenever possible, re-use water. Place a brick or other large, solid object in the flush tank of the toilet to reduce the water used to flush. Farmers should contact the county Farmers Home Administration Office for disaster assistance information.

HEAT DISORDERS

Sunburn
Symptoms: Skin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters, fever, headaches.

First Aid: Take a shower, using soap, to remove oils that may block pores preventing the body from cooling naturally. If blisters occur, apply dry, sterile dressings and get medical attention.

Heat Cramps Symptoms: Painful spasms usually in leg and abdominal muscles. Heavy sweating.

First Aid: Firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue.
Heat Exhaustion Symptoms: Heavy sweating, weakness, skin cold, pale and clammy. Weak pulse.
Normal temperature possible. Fainting, vomiting.

First Aid: Get victim to lie down in a cool place. Loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air-conditioned place. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue. If vomiting occurs, seek immediate medical attention.

Heat Stroke (Sun Stroke) Symptoms: High body temperature (106+). Hot, dry skin. Rapid, strong pulse. Possible unconsciousness. Victim will likely not sweat.

First Aid: Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal. Move victim to a cooler environment. Try a cool bath or sponging to reduce body temperature. Use extreme caution. Remove clothing. Use fans and/or air conditioners. DO NOT GIVE FLUIDS.

FACT SHEET: HURRICANES

Hurricanes can be dangerous killers. Learning the hurricane warning messages and planning ahead can reduce the chances of injury or major property damage.

BEFORE

Plan an evacuation route. Contact the local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter, and ask for the community hurricane preparedness plan. This plan should include information on the safest evacuation routes and nearby shelters. Learn safe routes inland.

Be ready to drive 20 to 50 miles inland to locate a safe place. Have disaster supplies on hand.

Flashlight and extra batteries
Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
First aid kit and manual
Emergency food and water
Nonelectric can opener
Essential medicines
Cash and credit cards
Sturdy shoes

Make arrangements for pets. Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters for health and space reasons. Contact your local humane society for information on local animal shelters. Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a hurricane. Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water. Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information. Protect your windows. Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is to put up plywood panels. Use 1/2 inch plywood--marine plywood is best--cut to fit each window. Remember to mark which board fits which window. Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws. Do this long before the storm. Trim back dead or weak branches from trees. Check into flood insurance. You can find out about the National Flood Insurance Program through your local insurance agent or emergency management office. There is normally a 30-day waiting period before a new policy becomes effective. Homeowners polices do not cover damage from the flooding that accompanies a hurricane.

Develop an emergency communication plan.

In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

Hurricane Watches and Warnings

A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours. A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less.

DURING A HURRICANE WATCH

Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for hurricane progress reports. Check emergency supplies. Fuel car. Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside. Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows. Remove outside antennas. Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly. Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils. Review evacuation plan. Moor boat securely or move it to a designated safe place. Use rope or chain to secure boat to trailer. Use tie downs to anchor trailer to the ground or house.

DURING A HURRICANE WARNING

Listen constantly to a battery-operated radio or television for official instructions. If in a mobile home, check tiedowns and evacuate immediately. Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home. Avoid elevators.

If at home:

Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors. Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy. Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light. If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power "surge" when electricity is restored. If officials indicate evacuation is necessary: Leave as soon as possible. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges. Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve. Tell someone outside of the storm area where you are going. If time permits, and you live in an identified surge zone, elevate furniture to protect it from flooding or better yet, move it to a higher floor. Bring pre-assembled emergency supplies and warm protective clothing. Take blankets and sleeping bags to shelter. Lock up home and leave.

AFTER

Stay tuned to local radio for information. Help injured or trapped persons. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help. Return home only after authorities advise that it is safe to do so. Avoid loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company, police, or fire department. Enter your home with caution. Beware of snakes, insects, and animals driven to higher ground by flood water. Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home. Check refrigerated foods for spoilage. Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents and for insurance claims. Drive only if absolutely necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges. Use telephone only for emergency calls.

INSPECTING UTILITIES IN A DAMAGED HOME

Check for gas leaks--If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional. Look for electrical system damage--If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice. Check for sewage and water lines damage--If you suspect sewage lines are damaged avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid the water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.

MITIGATION

Mitigation includes any activities that prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency happening, or lessen the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies. Investing in preventive mitigation steps now such as strengthening unreinforced masonry to withstand wind and flooding and installing shutters on every window will help reduce the impact of hurricanes in the future. For more information on mitigation , contact your local emergency management office.

FACTSHEET: LANDSLIDES AND MUDFLOWS

Landslide and mudflows usually strike without warning. The force of rocks, soil, or other debris moving down a slope can devastate anything in its path. Take the following steps to be ready.

BEFORE

Get a ground assessment of your property. Your county geologist or county planning department may have specific information on areas vulnerable to landsliding. Consult a professional geotechnical expert for opinions and advice on landslide problems and on corrective measures you can take. Minimize home hazards.

Plant ground cover on slopes and build retaining walls. In mudflow areas, build channels or deflection walls to direct the flow around buildings. Remember: If you build walls to divert debris flow and the flow lands on a neighbor's property, you may be liable for damages. Learn to recognize the landslide warning signs. Doors or windows stick or jam for the first time. New cracks appear in plaster, tile, brick, or foundations. Outside walls, walks, or stairs begin pulling away from the building. Slowly developing, widening cracks appear on the ground or on paved areas such as streets or driveways. Underground utility lines break. Bulging ground appears at the base of a slope. Water breaks through the ground surface in new locations. Fences, retaining walls, utility poles, or trees tilt or move. You hear a faint rumbling sound that increases in volume as the landslide nears.The ground slopes downward in one specific direction and may begin shifting in that direction under your feet. Make evacuation plans. Plan at least two evacuation routes since roads may become blocked or closed. Develop an emergency communication plan. In case family members are separated from one another during a landslide or mudflow this is (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact". After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person. Insurance Mudflow is covered by flood insurance policies from the National Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance can be purchased through a local insurance agency.

DURING

If inside a building:

Stay inside. Take cover under a desk, table, or other piece of sturdy furniture.

If outdoors:


Try and get out of the path of the landslide or mudflow. Run to the nearest high ground in a direction away from the path. If rocks and other debris are approaching, run for the nearest shelter such as a group of trees or a building. If escape is not possible, curl into a tight ball and protect your head.

Sinkholes

A sinkhole occurs when groundwater dissolves a vulnerable land surface such as limestone, causing the land surface to collapse from a lack of support. In June 1993, a 100-foot wide, 25-foot deep sinkhole formed under a hotel parking lot in Atlanta, killing two people and engulfing numerous cars.

AFTER

Stay away from the slide area. There may be danger of additional slides. Check for injured and trapped persons near the slide area. Give first aid if trained. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities. Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest emergency information. Remember that flooding may occur after a mudflow or a landslide. Check for damaged utility lines. Report any damage to the utility company. Check the building foundation, chimney, and surrounding land for damage. Replant damaged ground as soon as possible since erosion caused by loss of ground cover can lead to flash flooding. Seek the advice of geotechnical expert for evaluating landslide hazards or designing corrective techniques to reduce landslide risk.

MITIGATION

Mitigation includes any activities that prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency happening, or lessen the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies. Investing in preventive mitigation steps now such as planting ground cover (low growing plants) on slopes, or installing flexible pipe fitting to avoid gas or water leaks, will help reduce the impact of landslides and mudflows in the future. For more information on mitigation, contact your local emergency management office.

FACT SHEET: NUCLEAR POWER PLANT EMERGENCY

Although construction and operation of nuclear power plants are closely monitored and regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, accidents, though unlikely, are possible. The most immediate danger from an accident at a nuclear power plant is exposure to radiation.

BEFORE

Know these facts about a nuclear power plant emergency. A nuclear power plant accident would not cause the same widespread destruction as a nuclear weapon. Although radioactive materials could be released in a cloud or plume, the fallout would be minimal compared to a nuclear weapon.

There may be a radiation hazard in the surrounding areas, depending on the type of accident, amount of radiation released, and weather factors. Radiation would be monitored by authorities to determine potential danger and warn the public. Local citizens would be evacuated or instructed on how to avoid radiation hazards. Attend public information meetings. Local emergency managers and plant officials can provide information about radioactivity; safety precautions; and local, state, industry, and federal accident emergency plans. Ask about the hazards radiation may pose to your family. Young children, pregnant women, and the elderly may be affected more than others. Ask where nuclear power plants, radioactive storage sites, and radioactive waste dumps are located. Learn your community's warning systems. Learn emergency plans for schools, day care centers, nursing homes--anywhere family members might be. Have disaster supplies on hand.

Flashlight and extra batteries
Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
First aid kit and manual
Emergency food and water
Nonelectric can opener
Essential medicines
Cash and credit cards
Sturdy shoes
Obtain information about official evacuation routes from local officials.

Terms for Describing Nuclear Power Plant Emergencies

Know the following terms and what they mean:

Notification of unusual event means a problem has occurred at the plant, but no radiation leak is expected. No action by you is necessary.

Alert means that small amounts of radiation could leak inside the plant, but it will not affect the community. No action by you is necessary. Site area emergency describes a more serous problem. Small amounts of radiation could leak from the plant. Area sirens may sound. Listen to your radio or television for information.

General emergency refers to a serious problem. Radiation could leak outside the plant and off the plant site. Area sirens will sound. Listen to your radio or television for instructions. Be prepared to evacuate or shelter in your home.

BEFORE

Be prepared to evacuate or shelter in your home.

Develop an emergency communication plan. In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone know the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

Emergency Response Plans

Federal, state, and local officials work together to develop emergency response plans for nuclear power plants and surrounding communities. These plans are tested through exercises that can include small-scale evacuation drills for public institutions such as schools and nursing homes.

DURING

Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for official information. Not all nuclear power plant incidents result in the release of radiation. If advised to remain at home:

Bring pets inside. Close and lock windows and doors. Turn off air conditioning, vents, fans, and furnace. Close fireplace dampers. Go to the basement or other underground area. Stay inside until authorities say it is safe. If you must go out, cover mouth and nose with a damp towel.

When coming in from outdoors:
Shower and change clothing and shoes. Put items worn outdoors in a plastic bag and seal it.

If advised to evacuate:

Listen to a radio or television for information on evacuation routes, temporary shelters, and procedures. Minimize contamination in house. Close and lock windows and doors. Turn off air conditioning, vents, fans, and furnace. Close fireplace dampers. Take disaster supplies.

Remember your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.

Three Ways to Minimize Radiation Exposure

There are three factors that minimize radiation exposure to your body: Distance, Shielding, and Time.

Distance--The more distance between you and the source of the radiation, the less radiation you will receive. In a serious nuclear accident, local officials will likely call for an evacuation, thereby increasing the distance between you and the radiation.

Shielding Like distance, the more heavy, dense materials between you and the source of the radiation, the better. This is why local officials could advise you to remain indoors if a radiological accident occurs. In some cases, the walls in your home would be sufficient shielding to protect you.

Time

Most radioactivity loses its strength fairly quickly. Limiting the time spent near the source of radiation reduces the amount of radiation you will receive. Following a radiological accident, local authorities will monitor any release of radiation and determine when the threat has passed.

After the Event

When the immediate danger has passed, avoid using foods from your garden or milk from cows or goats until they can be inspected by local emergency officials. Remember that contamination can affect areas many miles from the accident site.

FACT SHEET: RADIOLOGICAL ACCIDENTS

Radiological accidents can occur wherever radioactive materials are used, stored or transported. In addition to nuclear power plants, hospitals, universities, research laboratories, industries, major highways, railroads or shipping yards could be the site of a radiological accident.
BEFORE

Know these facts about radiation and materials. Radioactive materials are composed of atoms that are unstable. An unstable atom gives off its excess energy until it becomes stable. The energy emitted is radiation. The process by which an atom changes from an unstable state to a more stable state by emitting radiation is called radioactive decay or radioactivity.

Radioactive materials are dangerous because of the harmful effect of certain types of radiation on the cells of the body. The longer a person is exposed to radiation, the greater the risk.

People receive some radiation exposure each day from the sun, radioactive elements in the soil and rocks, household appliances like television sets and microwave ovens, and medical and dental x-rays. Radiation cannot be detected by sight, smell, or any other sense. Contact your local emergency manager for information about how to respond to a radiological accident, and to learn emergency plans for schools, day care centers, nursing homes--anywhere family members might be.

Communities located on major transportation routes should develop and practice an emergency plan for handling transportation accidents involving radiological materials. Learn your community's warning systems. Obtain information about official evacuation routes from local officials. Have disaster supplies on hand.

Flashlight and extra batteries
Portable, batter-operated radio and extra batteries
First aid kit and manual
Emergency food and water
Nonelectric can opener
Essential medicines
Cash and credit cards
Sturdy shoes

Three Ways to Minimize Radiation Exposure

There are three factors that minimize radiation exposure to your body: Distance, Shielding, and Time.

Distance--The more distance between you and the source of the radiation, the less radiation you will receive. In a serious nuclear accident, local officials will likely call for an evacuation, thereby increasing the distance between you and the radiation.

Shielding--Like distance, the more heavy, dense materials between you and the source of the radiation, the better. This is why local officials could advise you to remain indoors if an radiological accident occurs. In some cases, the walls in your home would be sufficient shielding to protect you.

Time--Most radioactivity loses its strength fairly quickly. Limiting the time spent near the source of radiation reduces the amount of radiation you will receive. Following a radiological accident, local authorities will monitor any release of radiation and determine when the threat has passed.

BEFORE

Be prepared to evacuate or shelter in your home. Develop an emergency communication plan.

In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone know the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

DURING

Listen to the radio or television for official information.
If advised to remain at home:

Bring pets inside. Close and lock windows and doors. Turn off air conditioning, vents, fans, and furnace. Close fireplace dampers. Go to the basement or other underground area. Stay inside until authorities say it is safe. If you must go out, cover mouth and nose with a damp towel. Be prepared to evacuate or shelter in your home.

When coming in from outdoors:

Shower and change clothing and shoes. Put items worn outdoors in a plastic bag and seal it.

If advised to evacuate:

Listen to a radio or television for information on evacuation routes, temporary shelters, and procedures. Minimize contamination in house. Close and lock windows and doors. Turn off air conditioning, vents, fans, and furnace. Close fireplace dampers. Take disaster supplies.

Remember your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.

After the Event

When the immediate danger has passed, avoid using foods from your garden or milk from your cows or goats until these can be inspected by a local emergency official. Contamination could affect areas as far as 50 miles from the accident site.

PETS AND DISASTERS

Make arrangements for your pets as part of your household disaster planning. If you must evacuate your home, it's always to take your pets with you. For health and space reasons, pets will not be allowed in public emergency shelters. If, as a last resort, you have to leave your pets behind, make sure you have a plan to ensure their care.

BEFORE

Contact your local animal shelter, humane society, veterinarian or emergency management office for information on caring for pets in an emergency. Find out if there will be any shelters set-up to take pets in an emergency. Also, see if your veterinarian will accept your pet in an emergency. Decide on safe locations in your house where you could leave your pet in an emergency. Consider easy to clean areas such as utility areas or bathrooms and rooms with access to a supply of fresh water. Avoid choosing rooms with hazards such as windows, hanging plants or pictures in large frames. In case of flooding, the location should have access to high counters that pets can escape to. Set up two separate locations if you have dogs and cats. Buy a pet carrier that allows your pet to stand up and turn around inside. Train your pet to become comfortable with the carrier. Use a variety of training methods such as feeding it in the carrier or placing a favorite toy or blanket inside. If your pet is on medication or a special diet, find out from your veterinarian what you should do in case you have to leave it alone for several days. Try and get an extra supply of medications. Make sure your pet has a properly fitted collar that includes current license and rabies tags. Including an identification tag that has your name, address, and phone number. If your dog normally wears a chain link "choker" collar, have a leather or nylon collar available if you have to leave him alone for several days. Keep your pet's shots current and know where the records are. Most kennels require proof of current rabies and distemper vaccinations before accepting a pet. Contact motels and hotels in communities outside of your area and find out if they will accept pets in an emergency. When assembling emergency supplies for the household, include items for pets. Extra food (The food should be dry and relatively unappealing to prevent overheating. Store the food in sturdy containers.) Kitty litter, Large capacity self-feeder and water dispenser, Extra medications ,

Trained Guide Dogs
In most states, trained guide dogs for the blind, hearing impaired or handicapped will be allowed to stay in emergency shelters with their owners. Check with local emergency management officials for more information.

DURING

Bring your pets inside immediately. Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm. If you evacuate and have to leave your pet at home, prepare a safe location for it. Leave familiar items such as the pet's normal bedding and favorite toys. Leave a two or three day supply of dry food, even if it's not the pets usual food. The food should not be moistened because it turn rancid or sour. Leave the food in a sturdy container that the pet cannot overturn. Leave the water in a sturdy, no-spill container. If possible, open a faucet slightly and let the water drip into a big container. Large dogs may be able to ovtain frresh water from a partially filled bathtub. Replace a chain link "choker" collar with a leather or nylon collar. Make sure the collar has tags and identification. Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally. Keep small pets away from cats and dogs. If you evacuate and plan to take your pets, remember to bring your pet's medical records and medicines with your emergency supplies.

Birds

Birds must eat daily to survive. In an emergency, you may have to leave your birds behind. Talk with your veterinarinan or local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the amount of foo a bird is given. Make sure that the bird is caged and the cage is covered by a thin cloth or sheet to provide security and filtered light.

AFTER

If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own. In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside. Always maintain close contact. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood areas. Downed power lines are a hazard. The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.

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