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All the preparation in the world will not matter if you do not also plan out the specific course of action you will take when a disaster strikes. The Family and Youth Services Bureau and its National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth work to end youth homelessness, teen pregnancy, and family violence. Where humans live in close proximity to volcanoes there is a risk of a natural hazard occurring. Lahars look and behave like flowing concrete, and their impact forces destroy most man-made structures. Although Mount Rainier has erupted less often and less explosively in recent millennia than its neighbour, Mount St. Because of the higher level of risk from lahars in the Carbon and Puyallup River valleys, the USGS and Pierce County Department of Emergency Management have installed a lahar-detection and warning system. Add a pair of goggles and disposable breathing mask for each member of the family to your disaster supply kit. If you live near a known volcano, active or dormant, be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice. Follow the evacuation order issued by authorities and evacuate immediately from the volcano area to avoid flying debris, hot gases, lateral blast, and lava flow. Remember to help your neighbours who may require special assistance - infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities. Close doors, windows, and all ventilation in the house (chimney vents, furnaces, air conditioners, fans, and other vents. Devise an escape route from one of the three houses so that the escapee is presented with a minimum amount of risk. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another.
There are actions that should be taken before, during and after an event that are unique to each hazard. Find out from local government emergency management how you will be notified for each kind of disasters, both natural and man-made.
Hazardous Materials Response Team member poses with HAZMAT 5, a Fort Bend Regional response asset deployed to hazardous materials incidents throughout the county. Identifying the likely emergency scenarios in your community will help you prepare for a situation you may actually encounter.
The common theme to many emergency scenarios is the idea that you may be “off the grid” for a while, perhaps having no access to electricity, reliably clean drinking water, food, sanitation or medicines.
Age – Kids might want coloring books to pass the time, while adults may want a good book to read.
Responsibility – Include those people or things you are responsible for, in your plan. Location – Where is my family in relation to where I work, and how would I get to them if needed? Dietary needs – Consider food allergies or special nutritional requirements you may need.
Medications – Have the actual medications you may need on hand, as a prescription can’t be filled if the power is out or you can’t get to a pharmacy. Pets – All that applies to humans also applies to pets, so don’t forget to plan for their needs as well. Camping can be as simple as a can of beans under a tarp, to a fine meal cooked in the galley of your RV. Water and water containers – One gallon of drinkable water, per person, per day for three days (72 hours). First Aid Kit – Don’t forget to include any special medications you or your family may require.


Whistle – Very loud signal whistles are available, specifically designed to send their shrill tone far distances. Disposable moist towels and garbage bags – To manage hygiene and contain sanitation, limiting the spread of germs, and to make your temporary circumstances a bit more comfortable. Adjustable wrench and pliers – An adjustable crescent-type of wrench or pliers can be used to turn off utilities (service can only be restored by your utility provider – do not attempt on your own).
Local and regional maps – Used to follow evacuation routes or identify areas to avoid due to flooding. One of the best ways to learn how to be prepared is to volunteer for any number of local organizations that provide training to members of the community.
A natural hazard is where an extreme natural event (such as an volcanic eruption) may have an impact upon a vulnerable population.
Helens, the proximity of large populations makes Mount Rainier a far greater hazard to life and property. During the past few millennia lahars that have reached the Puget Sound lowland have occurred, on average, at least every 500 to 1,000 years. The lahar pathways mapped by the USGS guide the hazard-area regulations of the comprehensive land-use plan for local counties. The system consists of arrays flow monitors that detect the ground vibrations of a lahar. Driving can stir up volcanic ash that can clog engines, damage moving parts, and stall vehicles.
Turn off all the 'Places' except 'Hazard Zone Map', 'House Number 1', 'House Number 2' and 'House Number 3'.
Make sure everyone in your household is familiar with these products and is comfortable using them. Establish a place to meet in the event of an emergency.
With effective planning, it is possible to take advantage of technology before, during and after a crisis to communicate with loved ones and manage your financial affairs.
Identify the hazards that have happened or could happen in your area and plan for the unique actions for each.  Local Emergency management offices can help identify the hazards in your area and outline the local plans and recommendations for each.
You should also inquire about alert and warning systems for workplace, schools and other locations.
Being ready for camping already has you well on your way to being prepared for an unexpected emergency. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises planning for a 72 hour (3 day) supply of food, water, clothing and emergency shelter for each person. For some, adding a few basic supplies to the camping gear you already have would be within FEMA guidelines for being prepared.
Remember to stash some fun foods to pass the time, like hard candies or lollipops; don’t forget a manual can opener. Keeping your emergency gear and sleeping gear ready to go and in an accessible spot is the trick. Even if you don’t have the time to stay active in a group, often the initial training offered by these organizations can go a long way in giving you the understanding to prepare yourself and your family in case of the unexpected. The most effective way to combat these destructive elements is to have a clear, comprehensive, well-practiced response plan in place. The latter can rapidly melt snow and ice, and the resulting meltwater could produce lahars that travel down valleys beyond the base of the volcano to areas now densely populated.
Share the hazard-specific information with family members and include pertinent materials in your family disaster plan. That’s a start, but the reality will vary, based on the people, for whom you are preparing, and where you are. It’s a good idea, if you work or spend time away from where your gear is stored, to have a basic preparedness kit in your vehicle.


Lahars caused by large landslides can also occur during non-eruptive times, without the seismicity and other warnings that normally precede eruptions. Look upstream before crossing a bridge, and do not cross the bridge if a mudflow is approaching.
Rather, think of emergency preparedness as being ready to camp, right where you live or somewhere else close by, but on short notice.
You can also use headlamps which will free up your hand(s).Yet another backup option to flashlights and headlamps are lanterns for providing light. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or in rare circumstances, volunteers and emergency workers may go door-to-door. It may, in the event of a blizzard or large-scale power outage, simply require that everyone should stay put and wait for the crisis to pass. It may also require aggressive action on the part of facility staff (for example, to put out a fire or resolve a medical emergency). Consider the large-scale disasters that you selected in the previous chapter-which ones would require evacuation, and which ones would have you sheltering within the facility?On the next page, you will see a completed disaster response plan that uses the template found in Appendix H.
This space is for breaking down, in as much detail as possible, the steps that you, your staff, and youth will take in response to the disaster at hand. The answer to the big question, in this case, is to remain in place—the staff and youth will take shelter in the facility safe room. While the on-duty support staff take responsibility for moving youth there and handing out critical supplies, the director (or lead staff person) takes responsibility for turning off the gas, closing exterior doors and windows, and shutting off lights. Once the entire facility population is in the safe room, they use their battery-powered radio to listen for weather updates; when the all-clear is announced, they leave the safe room and check the facility for damage. If the facility is no longer habitable, the local or regional evacuation plan comes into play.Below the procedures area is a space to list the critical supplies and resources that the specific disaster scenario demands.
Since there is a possibility that an evacuation will be necessary in the wake of a tornado, this plan calls for distribution of all the facility’s Go-Bags. The first aid kit, if not already in the safe room, would be brought there as well, in addition to extra flashlights and a battery-powered radio for listening to weather updates as they are broadcast.The area below the supplies and resources section is for listing emergency contact information that applies to the specific disaster scenario. For example, a response plan for a medical emergency might list the local fire, rescue squad, and police emergency numbers.
Since the only real response to a tornado involves sheltering and riding it out, there is no number listed here.The final area on the form is for detailing the recovery processes that will help return life to normal when the disaster is over.
Review everything you’ve done so far and consider your facility, your resources, and your staff.
No one plan can account for every possible nuance of every disaster—the best you can hope for is that, by taking the time to anticipate your response, you will be prepared to handle any situation when it arises. But take a few moments now to walk through the fire response plan above.Obviously, the answer to the big question here is evacuation. The first step requires the person responding to the fire to pull the fire alarm, which is the facility’s signal for an immediate building evacuation, the plan for which is referenced in the procedures.
This plan, already designed, specifies who is responsible for gathering needed supplies, what the procedures are for getting to the rally point, and so on.Next, the responder must evaluate the situation. Depending on the extent of the fire, he or she would either attempt to extinguish it using a portable fire extinguisher (step 3) or seal off the affected area to help prevent the fire’s spread to other parts of the facility (step 4). Make additional copies of the disaster response plan template (Appendix H) and begin drafting response plans for each one.



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