Emergency Preparedness Plans & Disaster Kits

During times of non-disasters, citizens with special needs or disabilities should contact their local fire department and emergency management agency to inform them of their emergency needs. That way, first responders can ensure that residents will be notified of threatening conditions in their area.

The American Red Cross offers checklists of items that people should include in their disaster kits. The following are suggested items for individuals with special needs. These lists are not exhaustive. Each kit should be designed to meet your family’s emergency needs.
Equipment

  • Emergency information lists
  • Eye glasses
  • Eating utensils
  • Grooming, dental and dressing devices
  • Hearing devices, extra batteries
  • Flashlight, extra batteries
  • Oxygen
  • Suction equipment
  • Dialysis equipment
  • Sanitary supplies
  • Wheelchair, repair kit and/or other mobility aids
  • Long canes or sticks to gauge depth of floodwaters
  • Monitors
  • Bottled water
  • Extra medication/prescribed medications
  • Service Animal/Pet Supplies
  • Pet food and water
  • Leash/harness
  • Collar
  • ID tags
  • Medications and medical records
  • Vaccination tags/papers
    Preparedness Checklist
    The best defense when faced with severe weather is preparedness. Every household, school and business should have an emergency preparedness plan for natural and man-made disasters. The Ohio
    Committee for Severe Weather Awareness offers the following tips on preparation for inclement weather.
  • 1. Have a family meeting. Involve everyone in the household in the preparation of a disaster plan.
    • Discuss the types of disasters that can affect you and your home. Ensure that everyone knows the difference between weather watches and warnings.
    • Write down solutions for each kind of emergency.
    • Plan how to care for your pets following a disaster.
  • 2. Develop a family escape and/or shelter plan. Draw an overhead floor plan view of your home. Determine two escape routes per room.
    • Teach children how to open windows and screens.
    • Pick a meeting place outside of the home (a large tree or neighbor’s yard) in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire. Determine where to shelter during a tornado (in a basement, centralized closet or bathroom).
  • 3. Practice your plan. Even the best plan is ineffective unless it has been practiced.
    • Conduct fire drills.
    • Activate smoke detectors when the household is asleep.
    • Conduct tornado drills.
    • Practice how to protect yourself and others during severe storms.
  • 4. Organize your disaster preparedness kit.No matter the incident, your kit should have enough supplies to sustain every member of your household for three days.
    • For the home:
      • NOAA weather radio,
      • flashlight
      • batteries
      • nonperishable foods
      • bottled water and juices
      • manual can opener
      • first aid kit
      • prescription drugs
      • sleeping bags
      • important family documents
      • cash/credit cards
      • important phone numbers.
    • For the car:
      • fire extinguisher
      • tools
      • first aid kit
      • sleeping bags or blankets
      • bottled water
      • high-energy snacks
      • flashlight
      • batteries
      • battery-operated radio
      • cell phone
      • cash/credit cards.

    Commercially prepared disaster kits are available at select discount, hardware and military surplus stores or can be purchased via the Internet.

Storm Safety and Preparedness
Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness Weather Safety Campaigns

Tornado Safety Tips for School Administrators
The most important part of tornado safety in schools, and in similar logistical arrangements such as nursing homes, is to develop a good tornado safety plan tailored to your building design and ability to move people.

www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/school.html


Tornados – Home Safety Tips

FEMA information on what to do before, during and after a tornado to keep your family safe.

tornadoTornado Safety Tips

Whether practicing a tornado drill or sheltering during a warning, the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness encourages Ohioans to DUCK!

duck D- Go DOWN to the lowest level
duck U – Get UNDER something
duck C – COVER your head
duck K – KEEP in shelter until the storm has passed

• Take responsibility for your safety and be prepared before a watch or warning is issued. Meet with household members to develop a disaster plan to respond to tornado watches and warnings. Conduct regular tornado drills. When a tornado watch is issued, review your plan – don’t wait for the watch to become a warning. Learn how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches.

• Despite Doppler radar, tornadoes can sometimes occur without any warning, allowing very little time to act. It is important to know the basics of tornado safety. Know the difference between tornado watches and tornado warnings.

• Tune in to one of the following for weather information: NOAA Weather Radio, local/cable television (Ohio News Network or the Weather Channel), or local radio station.

• If you are a person with special needs, register your name and address with your local emergency management agency, police and fire departments before any natural or man-made disaster.

• NOAA Weather Radio has available an alerting tool for people who are deaf or have hearing impairments. Some weather radio receivers can be connected to an existing home security system, much the same as a doorbell, smoke detector or other sensor. For additional information, visit: www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/special_need.htm.

• The safest place to be during a tornado is a basement. If the building has no basement or cellar, go to a small room (a bathroom or closet) on the lowest level of the structure, away from windows and as close to the center of the building as possible.

• Be aware of emergency shelter plans in stores, offices and schools. If no specific shelter has been identified, move to the building’s lowest level. Try to avoid areas with large glass windows, large rooms and wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways or shopping malls.

• If you’re outside, in a car or mobile home, go immediately to the lowest level of a nearby sturdy building. Sturdy buildings are the safest structures to be in when tornadoes threaten. Winds from tornadoes can blow large objects, including cars and mobile homes, hundreds of feet away.

• If there is no building nearby, lie flat in a low spot. Use your arms and hands to protect your head.

It is not safe to seek shelter under highway overpasses and bridges.

Tornado Facts
As the severe weather season approaches, take some time during Severe Weather Safety Awareness Week to make a safety plan for your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Planning ahead will lower the chance of injury or death in the event severe weather strikes.

Tornadoes develop from severe thunderstorms. They are usually preceded by very heavy rain and/ or large hail. A thunderstorm accompanied by hail indicates that the storm has large amounts of energy and may be severe. In general, the larger the hailstones, the more potential there is for damaging winds and/or tornadoes.

The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths have exceeded the width of one mile and 50 miles long. Tornadoes generally move from southwest to northeast, but have also been recorded traveling in any direction. The forward speed of a tornado varies from 30 mph to 70 mph.

Even though Ohio had tornadoes in November of 2002 and 2003, the peak tornado season for Ohio is generally April through July.

According to the National Weather Service, throughout 2005, there were only four tornadoes recorded in Ohio, resulting in no injuries or deaths.

National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Wilmington and Cleveland, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Charleston, West Virginia; and Syracuse, Indiana provide weather watches and warnings for Ohio.

Fujita Tornado Damage Scale – By Category
The Fujita tornado scale (F scale) was developed by the late Professor Theodore Fujita of the University of Chicago to classify tornadoes according to wind speed and damage.

  • F0: Light Damage (>73 mph). Some damage to chimneys; branches broken off trees; sign boards damaged.
  • F1: Moderate Damage (73-112 mph). Peels surface off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos blown from road.
  • F2: Considerable Damage (113-157 mph). Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; large trees snapped or uprooted; light-object missiles generated; cars lifted off ground.
  • F3: Severe Damage (158-206 mph). Roofs and walls torn from well constructed houses; most trees in forest uprooted; heavy vehicles lifted and thrown.
  • F4: Devastating Damage (207-260 mph). Well constructed homes leveled; vehicles thrown; large missiles generated.
  • F5: Incredible Damage (261-318 mph). Strong framed homes lifted from foundations and swept away; large objects easily projected more than 100 meters; trees debarked; incredible phenomena will occur. Source: www.noaa.gov/tornadoes.html

Shelter from Thunder & Lightning StormsSafe Shelter from Storms
A house or other substantial building offers the best protection from lightning. For a shelter to provide adequate protection from lightning, it must contain a mechanism for conducting the electrical current from the point of contact to the ground. These mechanisms may be on the outside of the structure, or contained within the walls of the structure, or a combination of the two.
On the outside, lightning can travel along the outer shell of the building or follow metal gutters and downspouts to the ground. Inside, lightning can follow conductors such as electrical wiring, plumbing and telephone lines to the ground.

Unsafe Sheltering Unless specifically designed to be lightning safe, small structures do little, if anything to protect people from lightning. Many small, open shelters on golf courses, parks and athletic fields are designed to protect people from rain and sun, but not lightning. A shelter that does not contain plumbing or wiring throughout, or some other mechanism for grounding from the roof to the ground is not safe. Small wooden, vinyl or metal sheds offer little or no protection from lightning and should be avoided during thunderstorms.

Stay Safe While Inside Corded telephone use is the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries in the United States. Lightning can travel long distances on phone and electrical wires, particularly in rural areas. If you must use a phone during a storm, a cellular phone is safest. Stay away from windows and doors, as these can provide the path for a direct strike. Basements are generally safe places to go during thunderstorms, but avoid contact with concrete walls that may contain metal reinforcing bars.

Also, avoid washers and dryers because they have contacts with plumbing and electrical systems and contain an electrical path to the outside through the dryer vent.

Protect Your Pets Outside dog houses are not lightning-safe. Dogs that are chained to trees or wire runners can easily fall victim to lightning strikes. You may want to consider bringing your pets inside the home or garage during thunderstorms.

Protect Personal Property Lightning generates electrical surges that can damage electronic equipment some distance from the actual strike. Typical surge protectors WILL NOT protect equipment from a lightning strike. Before a thunderstorm threatens, unplug any unnecessary appliances and electronic equipment from conductors.

For additional information, visit the National Weather Service Web at www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.


National Weather Service: Flood Safety


National Flood Safety Week is March 14-18, 2011.

National Flood Safety Awareness Week is intended to highlight some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what you can do to save life and property.

www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/


FloodSmart.gov: Your Premier Resource for Flood Insurance Information

Sponsored by the National Flood Insurance Program, this site tells the importance of community involvement and describes the types of flood insurance coverage available.

www.floodsmart.gov
The American Red Cross provides safety information for short-term power outages or “rolling blackouts.” Information is also available for people with disabilities.

www.redcross.org

Extreme Heat – FEMA: Are You Ready?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s indepth guide on extreme heat, heat-related illnesses and how to protect against and/or treat extreme heat illnesses.

www.fema.gov/areyouready/heat.shtm

Extreme Weather Conditions
cold
The Dangers of Extreme Cold

Click here for an Extreme Cold Prevention Guide from the CDC.

Click here for information from Cuyahoga County EMS.

Learn how to stay safe in extremely dangerous weather conditions.


thermometer

Beat the Heat
Northeast Ohio can experience unusually high temperatures that may put people at risk.

Safety Information

Everyone needs to be aware of heat related stress, especially those at increased risk. These people include infants and children up to 4 years of age, people 65 years of age and older, people who are overweight, people who overexert during work or exercise or people who are ill or on certain medications. Take a few minutes to call or visit elderly relatives or neighbors to make sure that they have what they need to stay cool and comfortable.
Stay Cool Drink plenty of fluids Check in on your neighbor Check on your pets, as they are also vulnerable to heat

If you need a cooling center, the Orange Senior Center at 32000 Chagrin Blvd. is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 am until 4:30 pm. They can be reached at 216-831-8601, extension 5701.

For further assistance, call Orange Village Hall at 440-498-4400.

Please Remember in case of a Police , Fire or Medical emergency call 911

Cuyahoga County , Ohio –

Terry Allan, Health Commissioner, stated that “Everyone needs to be aware of heat related stress, especially those at increased risk. These people include infants and children up to 4 years of age, people 65 years of age and older, people who are overweight, people who overexert during work or exercise, or people who are ill or on certain medications. Take a few minutes to call or visit elderly relatives or neighbors to make sure that they have what they need to stay cool and comfortable.”

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health would like to remind people to follow some simple guidelines to prevent, recognize, and cope with heat-related health problems.
GUIDELINES

Stay Cool

  • Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Stay in an air-conditioned area
  • Take a cool shower or bath
  • Drink plenty of fluid
  • Drink more than your thirst indicates, regardless of activity level, at least 8 cups/day
  • Avoid very cold beverages, as they may cause stomach cramps
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid hot foods
  • Provide your pet with plenty of fresh water in a shady area
  • Check in on your neighbor
  • Check in with friends and relatives, especially those 65 years and older, twice a day, and watch for symptoms of heat related illness
  • Seek medical attention if you have symptoms of heat related illness, including: high body temperature (103º F), flushed skin, rapid pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, or unconsciousness.

For tips on how to “ Beat the Heat”, including a list of local community emergency cooling centers, go to: www.ccbh.net. Contact the Cuyahoga County Board of Health at 216.201.2000 for additional information.

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Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist – Web SiteHeat Wave pdf file