Emergency preparedness is not a collection of supplies, but a mind set that encourages you to anticipate challenges and avoid potentially negative affects through advanced planning. This portion of the web site is dedicated to helping you survive short-term emergencies a€“ anywhere from 72-hours to two weeks.
Not everyone is able to withstand the physical and emotional demands placed on them in an emergency or disaster.A  You need to know not only how much you can handle, but how much the people in your care can handle. If someone in your care is disabled, injured, or infirm, or if you have infants or children at home, your decisions and actions will need to reflect a concern for their welfare. Your individual civil rights are protected under the Constitution of the United States of America. This Supreme Court decision cannot guarantee that government officials will always act in accordance with the U.S. We have a right to keep and bear arms for self defense, for hunting, for sport, and to defend our liberty. Throughout the years, the Supreme Court has defended the personal right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. The right to keep and bear arms for personal and family defense cannot lawfully be suspended during an emergency or disaster. Whatever the laws may be in your state,A your right to keep and bear arms cannot be suspended because of a disaster or the declaration of a state of emergency. Voluntary evacuation notices are issued when state and local agencies believe that there is a potential threat to individuals who reside in the affected or neighboring areas. Mandatory evacuation notices are issued when state and local agencies believe that there is an immediate threat to the lives of those within the affected area. You should contact your local police or sheriffa€™s department (prior to an emergency) to find out what regulations apply to your area.
Law enforcement officers do have the authority to restrict your movements during an emergency.
Government employees (local, state, federal) who are designated by their agencies as essential personnel during an emergency or disaster are legally obligated to report for duty when called. You should check with your employer ahead of time to see if you will be required to report for work during an emergency or disaster.
Wherever you are when disaster strikes, you must be aware of the resources available to you.
Structure Fires a€“ Structure fires can spread rapidly, giving occupants little or no time to respond. Fire walls, fire doors, fire blocks in the walls and other structural elements can slow the progress of a fire. Older buildings and unreinforced stone or brick buildings may collapse during a strong earthquake.
For more information on earthquakes, visit the US Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards web site. Volcanic Eruptions - Volcanic eruptions are usually accompanied by a violent shaking of the ground, but present their own unique hazards in addition to the hazards associated with earthquakes. Lahars a€“ mud slurry rivers triggered by rapidly liquefied snow and ice, water dislodged from a crater lake or a lake near the volcano, or heavy rains following an eruption.
Lava Flows a€“ rivers of molten rock pushed upward and out of the volcano, either from the crater or from the sides of the cone. Pyroclastic Flows a€“ blasts of super-heated volcanic rock and gases moving outward from the volcano at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour and temperatures of up to 700 degrees. Gases a€“ hot gasses composed mostly of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. Terrorist Attacks - Terrorist attacks will most likely occur when you are in a public place, away from your home. Nuclear explosions can range in size from large, military grade weapons to small, suit case bombs. The thermal radiation and pressure blast will destroy or seriously damage people and buildings up to three times the distance of the fireball. Tornadoes - Tornadoes can form quickly, but generally provide some warning before striking.
Tornadoes occur most frequently east of the Rocky Mountains, on the Great Plains, but they can occur almost anywhere. For more information on Tornadoes, visit the National Severe Storms Laboratory's Tornado Page. Tsunamis - Tsunamis are a series of waves generated by undersea landslides that can be triggered by volcanoes or earthquakes. Not all earthquakes generate tsunamis, but all tsunamis are associated with undersea land shifts. The National Weather Service has two tsunami warning centers that monitor oceanic floor movement and wave generation, with tsunami sensors located throughout the Pacific Ocean. For more information on tsunamis, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's tsunami web page. Once wildfires are started, they can create their own weather with swirling winds that move the fire into new areas and across natural and manmade barriers. Blizzards - Blizzards are extreme snowstorms characterized by low temperatures, heavy snowfall, and sustained winds of 35 miles per hour or greater for periods lasting more than three hours. Ice Storms - Ice storms are caused by super-cooled rain falling on objects that are colder than 32 degrees fahrenheit. Hurricanes - Hurricanes are large, spiraling tropical storms with sustained winds greater than 74 miles per hour and up to 190 miles per hour. Hurricanes bring with them large amounts of rainfall, strong winds, and a storm surge that can reach 20 feet above average and be spread out over 100 miles of coastline. Floods - Floods can be caused in many different ways, and each type has its own set of unique hazards.
FEMA has prepared flood maps that show areas of regular flooding, as well as the 100-year and 500-year flood levels. It is YOUR responsibility to erect sufficient barriers to keep out the contaminants, while maintaining an atmosphere that provides sufficient oxygen and does not allow for the buildup of dangerous levels of carbon dioxide. Tornadoes - A tornado shelter is intended to protect people for a short period of time against 250 mph winds and flying debris.


Hurricanes - A hurricane shelter is intended to protect people for longer periods of time against 150 mph winds and flying debris, as well as rain and flooding. FEMA has also developed a strategy for keeping employees in large companies safe against terrorist attacks. Developing a pool of knowledge and honing your emergency response skills will make you better able to protect your family when the need arises. Do you live near an ocean where storm surges, high tides, or tsunamis could be a problem?
Are you within the Emergency Planning Zone (10-mile radius) of your power plant?
If anyone in your home (or your neighborsa€™ homes) is dependent on you for care, you must consider their limitations first and foremost. As long as civil authorities remain intact, the constitution cannot legally be suspended, even in cases of civil unrest or disaster. Constitution, but it does let us know that any attempt to institute martial law, while civil government remains intact, is not authorized by law.
They are issued with the intention of encouraging people to get out of harma€™s way before they are in imminent danger. They are issued with the intention of reducing the loss of life and limiting the number of rescues that will need to be attempted (which can place emergency personnel at risk and strain limited resources). The laws regarding mandatory evacuations vary from state to state and even from county to county. Public school employees, in most states, are considered disaster service workers and are legally obligated to remain at work to care for the students in their custody.
If so, you will need to make sure that your family is aware of your obligation, and that they are prepared to weather the emergency or disaster without you.
Fuel can be supplied by the structure itself, the buildinga€™s contents, flammable liquids, and natural or propane gas lines.
If oxygen is suddenly re-introduced to the room (for instance, by the opening of a door or window), the fire can re-ignite in an explosive manner. Solid core doors can withstand flames for a fairly long period of time, but even a closed hollow core door will slow the spread of a fire.
Smoke from modern fires can be very toxic, due to the synthetic fabrics and plastics in the furnishings, appliances, and equipment. They can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and are usually followed by aftershocks that can be as great as, or greater than, the initial earthquake. When an earthquake occurs the shock waves move outward from the epicenter, decreasing in strength with distance. Newer buildings may hold together better (depending on the magnitude), but could be damaged to the point where they cannot be occupied.
They can destroy forests, homes and bridges in their way, carrying boulders up to ten meters across. They can range from small encounters (mall shootings, car bombs) to medium-sized attacks (plane bombings, poisonous gas attacks in subways), to large scale attacks (suit case nukes, biological agents). Beyond that, fires may be started by secondary actions related to the blast and damaged infrastructure. They are usually connected with thunderstorms, and are caused by dry warm air mixing with the cool moist air in the thunderstorm.
Depending on the magnitude and type of the earthquake or volcanic action and the amount of vertical movement generated by the landslide, the waves can vary from a few inches high to several yards. Depending on the severity of the storm, the heavy ice can break limbs off trees and down power lines. Most hurricane damage is caused by the storm surge, but flooding and string winds can cause considerable damage as well.
It is difficult to predict the exact path they will follow, due to the many variables at play, but landfall predictions can be made within 24 hours of the event.
Some floods are the result of sustained rains, leading to the gradual swelling of streams and rivers.
Your ability to breath safely in a sealed environment will be limited by the volume of air in the room and the number of people occupying the space. If you wait too long to make the call, you will get caught in heavy traffic and may have to deal with flooded roads. The criteria for the shelter's design is dependent on the purpose for which the shelter is intended, and the geographical conditions in your area. A tornado shelter can be smaller than a hurricane shelter and does not require accomodations for sleeping.
Safe rooms should not be built in homes located within a storm surge area or flood zone, and residents of homes in these areas should not attempt to shelter in place.
Safe rooms of this type work best if located below grade, and can be very expensive to build.
Following checklists and purchasing supplies can be a great help in an emergency, but knowing why something is on the list, and how to get the most out of it, can be even more important. In some cases (tornado, tsunami) you will have little or no warning prior to the disaster. Our Constitution does not grant us the right to keep and bear arms, it guarantees that the government will not infringe upon a right that we already possess. Following Hurricane Katrina, orders were given to confiscate all firearms from private citizens in the disaster area under the mistaken premise that confiscating the guns of law-abiding citizens would decrease unlawful activity. Attempts to circumvent lawful restrictions on your mobility can result in arrest with criminal charges being filed against you. Essential personnel who work for private companies that provide essential services (such as power generation), or that contract with governmental agencies to provide services during emergencies will be required, under the terms of their employment contracts, to report for work. Depending on the design and age of the structure, the construction materials used, the fire suppression methods in use in the building, your location in the building, and the time that has elapsed since the fire started, the amount of time you have to respond could range anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Oxygen is supplied through open doors and windows, hollow spaces in the walls, elevator shafts, stairwells, air vents, and breaches in the walls or roof of the building.
In many newer high-rise and commercial buildings and hotels, fire doors will automatically close when a fire is detected. If you are near the epicenter of a major earthquake, you may experience violent shaking and the possible destruction of buildings and other structures such as roads, bridges, tunnels, dams, power lines, gas lines, water lines, and other infrastructure components.


Earthquakes cause different motions, depending on whether the slippage is vertical or horizontal. In major earthquakes, glass will shatter and large furniture, equipment, and appliances will be thrown to the ground. Unlike natural disasters, these attacks are intended to do harm to people and will be engineered to cause the greatest possible damage to humans. Neutron and Gamma radiation would be released in extremely large amounts upon detonation and would reach outward up to one mile from ground zero (for larger explosions). Winds associated with tornadoes can reach up to 250 miles per hour and the path of destruction can be up to one mile wide and 50 miles long.
Their weather alerts can be picked up by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radios. If a tsunami is generated, you may have as little as ten minutes to respond, or up to several hours, depending on your proximity. Drought can contribute to adverse conditions, leaving the fuel more susceptible to ignition.
At the center of each hurricane, there is an area of extremely low pressure, known as the eye, where there are no clouds and no wind.
Hurricane watches are issued to communities that may be at risk, and hurricane warnings are issued to communities where landfall is eminent. Flash floods can occur with very little warning and are usually the result of extremely heavy rains upstream that send a wall of water and debris into areas not necessarily affected by the rains.
Even with flash floods and dam breaches, heavy rainfall can indicate the need to be on the watch. Safe rooms should be able to protect the inhabitants, even if the home is damaged or destroyed in the disaster or attack. Hurricane shelters should follow the same general guidelines as tornado shelters, but they should be larger, since the occupants will need to eat, drink, sleep, and use sanitation facilities. To be effective, terroism safe rooms must have a secure entrance and must provide the occupants with a filtered and safe air supply.
Waiting until a disaster strikes to make preparations is the surest way to lose control of your life and become dependent on others. In other cases (wildfire, blizzard, ice storm, hurricane, flood) you will have some advanced warning with time to make reasoned decisions.
If you escape through a fire door, make sure the door is closed behind you, to slow the spread of the fire. Once the initial attack has ended, you will need to be aware of potential follow-up attacks. Gamma radiation fallout would be spread in significant amounts up to 100 miles downwind of ground zero. The majority of tornadoes have winds less than 100 miles per hour and last less than ten minutes. At the shoreline as a tsunami approaches, you may notice the water receding, revealing the ocean floor. Wildfires move more swiftly uphill and in canyons, where the winds created by the fire propel the flames upward. Overland flooding can be the result of breached levees and can extend over large areas of fairly flat terrain.
If a tornado safe room is built within the home, it should be secured to the foundation and should have walls and a ceiling that are not attached to the walls of the home. These safe rooms must have an independent energy source that is protected from electro-magnetic pulse (EMP). In other states and localities, law enforcement officers can direct you to evacuate, but do not have the legal authority to force you to leave your home.
Vertical slippage will cause both lateral and vertical shaking and may cause a rolling sensation. Even if a building remains standing, it may have damaged electrical wiring or gas lines that can cause a fire after the earthquake has subsided.
The most intense fallout radiation would occur within the first 24 hours, diminishing to safe levels within a week, ten miles downwind. Most of the damage from tornadoes is the result of a combination of high winds and flying debris. This will be followed by a rush of water that will push past the shoreline to the inundation line, which could be several hundred feet to several miles inland, depending on the elevation of the terrain. Hurricanes draw their moisture from warm ocean water, and dissipate when they make landfall or head over cooler water.
Dam breaches can cause floods similar to flash floods and can devastate the area downstream of the dam.
The National Weather Service issues flood watches if flooding is possible and flood warnings if flooding is eminent. State and county emergency management agencies can provide information on dams and their flood zones. Unfortunately, 4 out of 5 wildfires can be contributed to human causes (campfires, cigarettes, sparks from machinery). Depending on your proximity to the fire and the warning system in place in your area, you may or may not have a lot of time to respond. Sometimes, blizzards are severe enough to block doors and windows, leaving people snowed in for days.
The soil in a basin or alluvial fan can lose its integrity and liquefy during a major earthquake.
With modern forecasting, potential blizzards can be identified early, giving at least 24 hours of advanced notice.
You should know your legal rights and obligations during an emergency, and you should know what resources you have at your disposal.



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