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emergency preparedness

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Providing long-term health protection for our community.

Our Emergency Preparedness program strives to improve the communities’ ability to prevent, prepare for, and respond to health emergencies and disasters.

Emergency Preparedness and You 

The possibility of public health emergencies arising in the United States concerns many people in the wake of recent hurricanes, tsunamis, acts of terrorism, and the threat of pandemic influenza. Though some people feel it is impossible to be prepared for unexpected events, the truth is that taking preparedness actions helps people deal with disasters of all sorts much more effectively when they do occur.

Three Steps to Prepare for Emergencies and Disasters

from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

1. Get a Kit
A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items that could be needed in the event of a disaster. Assemble the following items to create kits for use at home, the office, at school and/or in a vehicle:
  • Water — one gallon per person, per day (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home)
  • Food — non-perishable, easy to prepare items (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7 day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two¬way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener
Additional supplies to keep at home or in your kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:
  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Manual can opener
Additional supplies for Pets:
  • Food and water for at least three days for each pet, food and water bowls and a manual can opener
  • Depending on the pet, litter and litter box or newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach
  • Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container, a first aid kit and a pet first aid book
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets cannot escape. A carrier should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours. Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets. These may require blankets or towels for bedding and warmth and other special items
  • Pet toys and the pet's bed, if you can easily take it, to reduce stress
  • Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated, and to prove that they are yours
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems and the name and telephone number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care. opener
  • Pack the items in easy-to-carry containers, label the containers clearly and store them where they would be easily accessible. Duffle bags, backpacks, and covered trash receptacles are good candidates for containers. In a disaster situation, you may need access to your disaster supplies kit quickly - whether you are sheltering at home or evacuating. Following a disaster, having the right supplies can help your household endure home confinement or evacuation.
     

2. Make a Plan

Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team. Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case. Pick two places to meet: right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire, OR outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number.

 

3. Stay Informed

Learn How to 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.

 

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