Cleveland County Emergency Management
Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The following information is
an accumulation of recommendations from FEMA, the American Red Cross, and other
agencies around the world. While this list can be used for any thing, it
is a general preparedness for any type of manmade or natural disaster
Create an Emergency Plan
- Meet with household members. Discuss with children the
dangers of fire, severe weather, and other emergencies.
- Discuss what to do about power outages and personal
- Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two escape routes
from each room
- Learn how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at
- Post emergency telephone numbers near telephones.
- Teach children how and when to call 911, police, and
- Instruct household members to turn on the radio for
- Pick one out-of-state and one local friend or relative
for family members to call if separated by disaster (it is often easier to
call out-of-state than within the affected area).
- Teach children how to make long distance telephone
- Pick two meeting places.
place near your home in case of a fire.
place outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home after a
Prepare a Disaster
- Assemble supplies you might need in an evacuation. Store
them in an easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack or duffle bag.
- A supply of water (one gallon per person per day). Store
water in sealed, unbreakable containers. Identify the storage date and
replace every six months.
- A supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a
non-electric can opener.
- A change of clothing, rain gear, and sturdy shoes.
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- A first aid kit and prescription medications.
- An extra pair of glasses.
- A battery-powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra
- Credit cards and cash.
- An extra set of car keys
- A list of family physicians.
- A list of important family information; the style and
serial number of medical devices, such as pacemakers.
- Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family
- A cellular or digital telephone.
In a fire or other
emergency, you may need to evacuate your house, apartment, or mobile home on a
moment's notice. You should be ready to get out fast.
Develop an escape plan by
drawing a floor plan of your residence. Using a black or blue pen, show the
location of doors, windows, stairways, and large furniture. Indicate the
location of emergency supplies (Disaster Supplies Kit), fire extinguishers,
smoke detectors, collapsible ladders, first aid kits, and utility shut off
points. Next, use a colored pen to draw a broken line charting at least two
escape routes from each room. Finally, mark a place outside of the home where
household members should meet in case of fire. Be sure to include important
points outside, such as garages, patios, stairways, elevators, driveways, and
porches. If your home has more than two floors, use an additional sheet of
paper. Practice emergency evacuation drills with all household members at least
two times each year.
Home Hazard Hunt
- Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas
- Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products
away from heat sources.
- Place oily polishing rags or waste in covered metal
- Clean and repair chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors,
and gas vents
Prepare an Emergency Car
- Battery powered radio and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Booster cables
- Fire extinguisher (5 lb., A-B-C type)
- First aid kit and manual
- Bottled water and non-perishable high energy foods, such
as granola bars, raisins and peanut butter.
- Tire repair kit and pump
- Cellular or digital telephone
- Plan two escape routes out of each room.
- Teach family members to stay low to the ground when
escaping from a fire.
- Teach family members never to open doors that are hot.
In a fire, feel the bottom of the door with the palm of your hand. If it is
hot, do not open the door. Find another way out.
- Install smoke detectors. Clean and test smoke detectors
once a month.
- Change batteries at least once a year.
- Keep a whistle in each bedroom to awaken household
members in case of fire.
- Check electrical outlets. Do not overload outlets.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher (5 lb., A-B-C type).
- Have a collapsible ladder on each upper floor of your
- Consider installing home sprinklers.
Generators are often used during power outages, and if not properly used and
maintained, they can be extremely hazardous. When using a generator remember to:
- Always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions
- Only use a generator or other fuel-powered machines
outside the home. Carbon monoxide fumes, released by generator, are odorless
and can quickly overwhelm you indoors.
- Use the appropriate sized and type power cords to carry
the electric load. Overloaded cords can overheat and cause fires.
- Never run cords under rugs or carpets where heat might
build up or damage to a cord may go unnoticed.
- Never connect generators to another power source such as
power lines. The reverse flow of electricity or "back feed" can
electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.
Research suggests more than one-third of home fires in the United States occur
during the winter months of December, January, and February. One of the reasons
these months pose a magnified fire threat is due to increase use of heating
sources, such as chimneys and wood stoves. Because Y2K will occur during this
time of increased fire threat, it is particularly important to follow these
heating safety tips:
- Do not use the kitchen oven range to heat your home. In
addition to being a fire hazard, it can be a source of toxic fumes.
- Alternative heaters need their space. Keep anything
combustible at least 3 feet away.
- Kerosene heaters may not be legal in your area and
should only be used where approved by authorities
- Make sure your alternative heaters have "tip
switches" These "tip switches" are designed to automatically
turn off the heater in the event they tip over.
- Only use the type of fuel recommended by the
manufacturer and follow suggested guidelines.
- Remember to keep all combustible liquids away from heat
- Never refill a space heater while it is operating or
- Refuel heaters only outdoors
- Make sure wood stoves are properly installed, and at
least 3 feet away from combustible materials. Ensure they have the proper
floor support and adequate ventilation
- Use a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace
to prevent sparks from igniting nearby carpets, furniture or other
- Prepare all heating devices prior to cold weather.
Have them inspected and/or any maintenance that may be required (i.e. insure
all flues/stove pipes are clear from bird nests, chimneys are clear of
creosote accumulations, etc.)
- Have plenty of flashlights and extra batteries on
hand in case of a power outage.
- Don't use candles for emergency lighting. It
increases fire hazard within the home.
- In case the power fails, plan to use alternative
cooking devices in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.
- Never use open flames or grills indoors.
Never Stockpile Fuel or
- For those who feel the need to stock disaster
supplies, we remind you that it is extremely dangerous to stockpile any
liquids fuels such as gasoline, kerosene or lantern fluid.
- For any combustible/flammable liquid stored, be
sure to have them in approved containers and stored appropriately.
Never store kerosene/gasoline in glass containers.
Remember, Smoke Alarms
- Some smoke alarms may be dependent on your home's
electrical service and could be inoperative during a power outage. Check to
see if your smoke alarm uses a back-up battery and install a new battery at
least once a year.
- Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your
- All smoke alarms should be tested monthly. All batteries
should be replaced with new ones at least once a year.
--A Disaster Kit can be
prepared and kept on hand for many situations (ice storm, blizzard, etc.)
Preparing a Disaster Kit
- Review the checklist below.
- Gather the supplies that are listed. You may need them
if your family is confined at home.
- Place the supplies you'd most likely need for an
evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. These supplies are listed with an
- There are six basics you should stock for your home:
water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency
supplies, and special items. Keep the items that you would most likely need
during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container--suggested items are
marked with an asterisk(*).
- A large, covered trash container,
- A camping backpack,
- A duffle bag.
- Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink
bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk
cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least
two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity
can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need
- Store one gallon of water per person per day.
- Keep at least a three-day supply of water per day (two
quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food
- Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable
food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking,
and little or no water. Select food items that are compact and lightweight.
- *Include a selection of thee following foods in your
Disaster Supplies Kit:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
First Aid Kit Assemble
a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should
- Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- Assorted sizes of safety pins
- Cleansing agent/soap
- Latex gloves (2 pairs)
- 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- Triangular bandages (3)
- Non-prescription drugs
- 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
- 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
- Moistened towels
- Tongue blades (2)
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- Aspirin or non aspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Antacid (for stomach upset)
- Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by
the Poison Control Center)
- Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control
Tools and Supplies
- Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils*
- Emergency preparedness manual*
- Battery-operated radio and extra batteries*
- Flashlight and extra batteries*
- Cash or traveler's checks, change*
- Non-electric can opener, utility knife*
- Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type
- Tube tent
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic storage containers
- Signal flare
- Paper, pencil
- Needles, thread
- Medicine dropper
- Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
- Plastic sheeting
- Map of the area (for locating shelters)
- Toilet paper, towels*
- Soap, liquid detergent*
- Feminine supplies*
- Personal hygiene items*
- Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal
- Plastic bucket with tight lid
- Household chlorine bleach
Clothing and Bedding
- *Include at least one complete change of clothing
and footwear per person.
- Sturdy shoes or work boots*
- Rain gear*
- Blankets or sleeping bags*
- Hat and gloves
- Thermal underwear
- Remember family members with special
requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons
- Powdered milk
- Heart and high blood pressure medication
- Prescription drugs
- Denture needs
- Contact lenses and supplies
- Extra eye glasses
- Keep these records in a waterproof, portable
insurance policies, contracts deeds, stocks and bonds
social security cards, immunization records
card account numbers and companies
- Inventory of valuable household goods, important
- Family records (birth, marriage, death
- Store your kit in a convenient place known to all
family members. Keep a smaller version of the Disaster Supplies Kit in the
trunk of your car.
- Keep items in airtight plastic bags. Change your
stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh. Replace your stored
food every six months. Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a
year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc
- Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing
NOTE: THE AFOREMENTIONED
PREPARATIONS ARE AN ACCUMULATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS FROM FEMA, THE AMERICAN RED
CROSS, AND OTHER EMERGENCY SERVICE AGENCIES AROUND THE WORLD FOR ANY TYPE OF
MANMADE OR NATURAL DISASTER.