I. September is National Preparedness Month a. This year, the District's theme is: Plan TODAY for What's on the way! b. Take personal responsibility for your preparedness c. Visit HSEMA's website www.hsema.dc.gov to learn how to prepare for the 18 hazards that are most likely to strike the District before a disaster or no-notice emergency strikes again
B. Create a family plan a. If you and your loved ones are separated during a disaster how will you know that everyone is OK? b. How will you get back together? c. Designate someone everyone knows who lives outside of your immediate living area as a point of contact everyone will call to check-in with.
C. Get Informed: a. Sign up for the District's text alert system - Alert DC to receive emergency alerts by visiting www.alert.dc.gov b. Visit the District's emergency preparedness website www.72hours.dc.gov or the federal emergency preparedness website www.ready.gov to learn more about how to prepare before, during and after a disaster strikes. c. When a situation occurs, stay tuned to your local news stations and listen to your weather radio.
D. Be aware! a. Keep an eye out for suspicious or unattended bags and people acting strangely b. Report unusual behavior immediately to the local authorities c. Always know where the nearest emergency exits are and don't hesitate to leave the area if you are uncomfortable.
E. Make a go-kit a. Pack the items you will need to keep you safe for at least 72hours after a disaster or emergency strikes. b. Have a kit for your home, work and even your car c. Don't forget about items for your pets d. At least the very least the following items should be in each of your emergency go-kits:
o Water o non-perishable food (canned foods, energy bars) o can opener o blankets, warm sturdy closed toed shoes o medication (over the counter and prescribed) o weather radio o flashlight with extra batteries o for disabled community: items specific for your needs o hygiene supplies o extra money o phone charger, and comfort items, i.e., magazines & chocolate, are the types of things you want to have in your emergency go-kit
II. Earthquake Preparedness Tips: A. How can I protect myself when an Earthquake strikes? a. " Drop, cover and hold on" i. Drop to the ground ii. Take Cover under a sturdy table or desk if possible, protecting your head and neck iii. Hold on until the shaking stops b. For those with special needs - i. During an earthquake: if it is difficult for you to drop, cover, and hold on, here are some suggestions:
1. If you are in a wheelchair, recliner or bed, do not try to transfer to or from your chair during the shaking. Wait until the shaking stops to transfer. 2. Stay put. Cover your head and neck with your arms or a pillow until the shaking stops. 3. Identify/create "safe spaces" in your home. - Safe spaces are places where heavy or falling objects and breaking glass won't injure you, such as under tables or desks, along inside walls, etc. 4. When out in public, be aware of your surroundings and learn to keep a look out for potential "safe places"
For more tips on how to plan for an earthquake or natural disaster, go to www.hsema.dc.gov