Every Wednesday we will release a new scenario that you may face and instructions on what to do. Each scenario is used to make you think about preparedness and how to take care of yourself and others. These scenarios will help you get ready for any situation.
WHAT IF you needed to shut off your utilities in an emergency?
After a disaster it is likely that a utility pipe could break and start leaking. This could lead to flooding or fires. It is extremely important for you to know how to shut off each of your utilities, the tools required, and where your shut off is located.
WHAT IF you were isolated in your home for 2 weeks?
A home kit is the largest kit you should create. This should sustain your family for ATLEAST 2 weeks. As an island community we could be isolated for awhile before help arrives. This week we want you to start your home kit.
Items to include in your kit:
Not only do you need to build a kit but you need to maintain it. Here are our tips:
WHAT IF communications were down following a disaster and you couldn't reach your family?
Following a disaster phone lines might be down or overwhelmed, this will leave you unable to make a phone call. How will you contact your loved ones to find out if they are ok?
This is why creating a family communications plan is important!
Use this template to create your plan.
Remember when creating a plan to:
WHAT IF a disaster struck and you needed to leave quickly?
We don't expect to be in a situation where we need to quickly leave, but it can happen and we need to be ready. Imagine you are sitting at home when an evacuation order hits, maybe there is a fire close by or a storm that forces us to leave our home. You would need to be ready to leave within minutes. This is a situation where you should have a go bag ready.
A go bag is a pre-packed bag with things you need to stay comfortable in case you need to evacuate immediately. Your go bag should be easy to carry and accessible. Every go bag is different, your go bag has to be packed with your needs in mind. Here is a general checklist of items:
WHAT IF a disaster happened and you couldn't contact your children?
This can be a scary thought for parents... an earthquake just occurred, your kids might be at school or daycare. Phone lines would be tied up and you might not be able to reach them. This is why you need to prepare with your kids ahead of time. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Don’t forget to think about specific needs in your family. Your family’s needs change over time, so update your plan regularly.
Here's how you can plan:
WHAT IF a disaster happened and you couldn't get home to your pets?
After a disaster, roads may be damaged or blocked. This might prevent you from getting home. It is time to make a plan for your pets in the case of a disaster. If you are unable to get home to your pets:
Here are a few additional things to plan:
Just like we create emergency supplies for ourselves, you want to create one for your pet. Here are some items to include:
WHAT IF the power went out while you are at work or home?
Power outages are fairly common in Island County. We experience high wind and severe storms often. In fact, just this week we had high winds that took out power to most of Whidbey and Camano. A power outage can last for a few minutes or a few weeks depending on the damage. Power outages may disrupt communications, water, transport, stores, and banks. They may also cause food spoilage, water contamination, or prevent the use of medical equipment. We recommend making sure you have necessary items with you for these situations.
WHAT IF you received an alert on your phone? Do you know the difference between watch, warning, and advisory?
Notice how a watch lets you know that the conditions are favorable to an event while a warning lets you know that the event is now expected. These alerts can pertain to all sorts of hazards such as: tsunamis, winter storms, high winds, etc.
What to do when you receive it: Follow the instructions in the alert. Typically at the end of the alert there will be advice on what to do. For a watch you want to be aware that conditions may worsen. For an advisory you want to start thinking about your plan for the situation. For a warning you want to take action (evacuate, shelter in place, etc.).
WHAT IF: you are in the vicinity of an active shooter?
WHAT IF: you receive a suspicious package in the mail?
Things to look for in a suspicious letter or package may include inappropriate or unusual labeling, such as
Other indicators include an unusual or inappropriate appearance, including
If you find a suspicious item (letter or package)
WHAT IF: you get a message on your phone, radio, or loudspeaker to shelter-in-place due to a chemical spill?
Sometimes the safest thing to do during an emergency is to just stay put and shelter in place. Where and how you do this depends on the kind of emergency. It may be due to a chemical release, such as in this scenario, or due to a release of biological or radiological contaminants. It may also be due to other hazards such as earthquakes, flooding, high winds, storms, or an active shooter.
For this chemical spill scenario, specific procedures for shelter-in-place at your workplace or home may include the following:
For more information on sheltering-in-place you can click here to view the FEMA "Shelter-in-Place pictograph.
PIY Shelter In Place.pdf
WHAT IF: you are sitting at work or home and all of a sudden an explosion happens? What would you do?
If an explosion occurs:
If trapped in debris:
If there is a fire:
If there is a building collapse: