Knowing what to do before, during and after a disaster will enable you to act quickly, stay as safe as possible and keep calm.
Read and follow the checklists, above, and consider these tips:
- Learn what emergencies or disasters are most likely to occur in your area.
- Have a family disaster plan and practice it. It should include an evacuation plan that outlines where each family member should go in case of an emergency and where everyone should meet up.
- Create an emergency preparedness kit. The Red Cross has an interactive, step-by-step guide on how to do this at redcross.org/prepare and http://arcbrcr.org.
The Red Cross also has smartphone apps for at redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps.
First aid app: Advice for everyday emergencies with interactive quizzes and step-by-step information.
Flood app: Information for before, during and after a flood.
Tornado app: How to prepare for a tornado.
Wildfire app: State-by-state wildfire news and updates, evacuation zones and technology to let others know you are safe.
Shelter find app: Information on Red Cross shelters.
Volunteer app: Join Red Cross to help provide care and support to your community.
Pet first aid app: Veterinary advice for emergencies with videos, quizzes and step-by-step advice.
- Make sure at least one member in your household is trained in first aid and CPR.
- Do not turn off your utilities, especially natural gas, even if you evacuate. Utilities officials will shut off gas lines in your area if it is required.
- Register with the El Paso-Teller County 911 Authority emergency notification system at www.elpasoteller911.org - even if you registered in the past (not all user information was transferred to the new system). The new system allows registration of up to five locations and eight points of contact per person, such as a landline, cellphone, sms text messaging, email, etc. It is important to register as an individual and not as a household.
- Residents without Internet access can call El Paso-Teller E911 at 719-785-1971 and leave a voicemail with your information.
Familiarize yourself with public resources, including:
- Know your risk. Check this map to determine if your home, workplace or school is at risk for flash flooding, springsgov.com/Page.aspx?NavID=4488.
- Visit springsgov.com/emergencypreparedness for a one-stop resource to prepare for any emergency.
- Sign up for Twitter alerts to receive emergency messages on your cellphone or tablet at twitter.com/springsgov/alerts.
Andrea Sinclair, The Gazette