Preparedness is everyone's responsibility. All sectors of society - business and industry, civic and volunteer groups, industry associations and neighborhood associations, as well as every individual citizen and every family - should plan ahead for disaster. During the first few hours or days following a disaster, essential services may not be available. People must be ready to act on their own. Here are some preparedness tips:
PERFORM A HOME HAZARD HUNT In a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause injury and damage. Anything that can move, break, fall, or cause a fire is a potential hazard.
Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections.
Fasten shelves securely and brace overhead light fixtures.
Place large, heavy objects, on lower shelves.
Hang pictures and mirrors away from beds
Strap water heaters to wall studs.
Store weed killers, pesticides and flammable products away from heat sources.
Place oily polishing rags or waste in covered metal cans. Clean and repair chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors, and gas vents.
Plan two escape routes out of each room.
Practice fire drills at least twice per year.
Teach family members to stay low to the ground when escaping from a fire.
Teach family members never to open doors that are hot. In a fire, feel the bottom of the door with the palm of your hand. If it is hot, do not open the door. Find another way out.
Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Clean and test them at least once per month. Change the batteries at least once per year.
Check electrical outlets. Do not overload outlets.
Purchase and learn how to use a fire extinguisher.
Have a collapsible ladder on each upper floor of your house.