Tips to Keep You Safe: Emergency Preparedness
Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. El Paso has and will continue to have its share of natural and man-made disasters. Being prepared and understanding what to do can reduce fear, anxiety and losses that accompany disasters. Communities, families and individuals should know what to do in a fire, extreme weather event or man-made disaster. They should be ready to evacuate their homes, take refuge in a public shelter, care for their basic medical needs and shelter themselves in place.
These tips describe how to ensure that you and your family are prepared for an emergency in your community. If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you. But you need to be ready as well, in the event local emergency responders are unable to reach you immediately. Share this reference with your household. Include everyone in the planning process. Teach children how to respond to emergencies and what to expect.
Home Emergency Checklist
Basic necessities will be provided at emergency shelters if they are activated. Shelter locations will vary depending on the area of the disaster. Follow local authorities instructions when notified of location of shelters.
Additional information on this topic is available on the following websites:
- Have emergency telephone numbers readily available to all family members including 9-1-1, a doctor and the poison control center, as well as numbers of close friends and relatives to contact in case of an emergency.
- Pick a friend or relative who lives out of the area for household members to call to say they are okay.
- Identify two fire escape routes from each room in your home and outside family meeting points.
- Maintain a stocked first aid kit.
- Obtain a NOAA weather radio and program it to the El Paso area. Contact the Office of Emergency Management (771-1011) for program information. This radio will automatically give early warning of serious weather conditions and can be purchased at most stores where standard radios are sold.
- Make sure responsible family members know how and when to shut off water, gas and electricity at the main switches. Consult your local utilities if you have questions.
- When an evacuation is required, warnings and instructions as to where to go and the area affected will be issued by local radio and television. If the evacuation is limited to a small area, a fire fighter or police officer may go door to door to alert you. Follow their directions. If time permits, take the following with you:
- Driver's license or other personal identification
- Money and/or credit cards
- Prescription medicines
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- U.S. Fire Administration
- American Red Cross
- National Weather Service
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