In an Emergency: Dos and Don'ts
Some of the Dos and Don'ts during a disaster are common sense, but you'd be surprised what your instincts might be and why being fully aware of these things might help you to make a safer choice should you find yourself in a sticky situation.
As I mentioned before, where I live, flooding and earthquakes are the most common disasters I've ever needed to worry about. So, you'll note that my advice is geared toward the disasters I know the most about. You can find more information about other disasters HERE at Ready.Gov.
*For both of these instance, make sure you have your emergency kits somewhere accessible. You never know what you'll need or when you'll need it.
In circumstances of flooding:
Never assume anything. Water moving 3-6 mph can know you down and you likely won't get up again. And NEVER drive through flood water, especially if you can't see what's beneath it.
Never go in flood water. Not only is there garbaged and sharp objects that you can't see, it's sewage water and contaminated with chemicals as well. You'll be lucky if you only get a rash.
Don't forget about your animals! Make sure they are somewhere safe and have food and water wherever they are.
Here is an example of a California State Fire safety website for more information. Check your local government websites for information like this.
In circumstances of an earthquake:
Get in the stairwell if possible, especially in a hotel or public building.
If you're driving, pull over and get off the street and away from other drivers, and stay away from street lights and overpasses.
Stay away from trees and broken roads.
Don't jump out of bed during an earthquake, you have no idea what is on your floor and what damage it might do to you.
Once the quake is over, check your family and loved ones, get out of the house and prop her front door open in case of aftershocks.
Check for gas leaks.
Put your animals in a carrier or cage of some sort and make sure they are protected and not running around like crazy so that they might get hurt.
ALWAYS check your neighbors house for gas leaks and electrical issues.
Don't light candles or lanterns after an earthquake. If you have a gas leak the flame could kill you. Use LED flashlights instead.
In circumstances of a fire:
Always make sure you have a plan that everyone in the house is aware of.
Make sure you have a designated want to get out of each room.
Stay low as you exit the house.
If you're locked in a room, cover the vents and under the doors to keep the smoke out.
Only call 911 once you are safe outside of the burning structure.
You can find more information about assembling emergency kits here at READY.GOV