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Emergency/Disaster Actions

An emergency can occur quickly and without warning. The most important thing you can do to keep yourself and your family safe from an emergency is to prepare, stay calm, and follow instruction from emergency personnel.

 

The following suggestions will help you and your family develop an emergency plan, assemble a preparedness kit, and share some basic information on what to do before, during, and after any emergency. These will also provide you with important information about how to obtain emergency and ongoing disaster recovery assistance.

Before Emergency Strikes

An emergency can occur without warning, leaving little or no time for you and your family to plan what to do next. It is necessary for you to learn about the things you can do to be prepared�before an emergency occurs. Two actions that will help you do this are to develop an Emergency Plan, and prepare an Disaster Supply Kit. The next few pages describe how this is done.
 

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Homeland Security Live Alert


NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Working with the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Emergency Alert System , NWR is an "All Hazards" radio network, making it your single source for comprehensive weather and emergency information. In conjunction with Federal, State, and Local Emergency Managers and other public officials, NWR also broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards – including natural (such as earthquakes or avalanches), environmental (such as chemical releases or oil spills), and public safety (such as AMBER alerts or 911 Telephone outages).

Known as the "Voice of NOAA's National Weather Service," NWR is provided as a public service by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), part of the Department of Commerce. NWR includes 1000 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories.  The National Weather Service on Guam can be found at 162.400 - NWR requires a special radio receiver or scanner capable of picking up the signal. Broadcasts are found in the VHF public service band at these seven frequencies (MHz):

162.400
162.425
162.450
162.475
162.500
162.525
162.500
 


 

Create an Emergency Plan

Before creating your household emergency plan, learn about the types of emergencies that may affect your community, how you'll be notified of an event, and plans that may be in place to deal with these events. Learn if your community has a warning system-via television, radio, or another signal-recognize what it sounds like and what to do when you hear it. Emergencies may strike when your family members are away from home, so find out about plans at your workplace, school, or anywhere else you and your family spends time. Steps to take in creating a household emergency plan includes:

  1. Meet with household members and discuss the dangers of possible emergency events, including fire, severe weather, hazardous spills, and terrorism.
  2. Discuss how you and your family will respond to each possible emergency.
  3. Discuss what to do in case of power outages or personal injuries.
  4. Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two escape routes from each room.
  5. Teach adults how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at main switches. If for any reason you do turn off natural gas service to your home, call� to restore service, Do not attempt to restore gas service yourself.
  6. Post emergency contact numbers near all telephones, pre-program emergency numbers into phones with auto-dial capabilities.
  7. Teach children how and when to dial 9-1-1 to get emergency assistance.
  8. Teach children how to make long-distance telephone calls.
  9. Pick a friend or relative that all family members will call if separated (it is often easier to call out-of-state during an emergency than within the affected area.
  10. Instruct household members to turn on the radio for emergency information.
  11. Pick two meeting places:
    • A place near your home.
    • A place outside your neighborhood (or off-island) in case you cannot return home after an emergency.
  12. Take a basic First Aid and CPR Class. Contact American Red Cross for more info.
  13. Keep family records in a water and fireproof safe. Inexpensive models can be purchased at most hardware store.

Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit

Often during an emergency, electricity, water, heat, air conditioning, or telephone service may not work. Preparing an Disaster Supply Kit ahead of time can save precious time in the event you must evacuate or go without electricity, heat, or water for an extended period of time. You can gather water, food, first-aid supplies, clothing, bedding, tools, and other essential items to store at any time. You should consider including the following items in an Disaster Supply Kit.

  1. At least a 3-day supply of water (1 gallon per person per day). Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers. Replace every 6 months.
  2. A 3 to 5 day supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener.
  3. A change of clothing, rain gear, and sturdy shoes.
  4. Blankets, bedding, or sleeping bags.
  5. A first aid kit and prescription medications (be sure to check the expiration dates)
  6. An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses and solution (be sure to check the expiration dates)
  7. A list of family physicians, important medical information, and the style and serial number of medical devices such as pacemakers.
  8. Special items for infants, the elderly, or family members with disabilities.
  9. A battery-powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries.
  10. Identification, credit cards, cash, and photocopies of important family documents including home insurance information.
  11. An extra set of car and house keys.
  12. Tools such as screwdrivers, cutters, and scissors; duct tape; waterproof matches' a fire extinguisher' flares' plastic storage containers' needle and thread' pen and paper; a compass; garbage bags; and regular household bleach.

Things to think about...

If any members of your household have disabilities or are elderly, find out what services may be available to aid in their care or evacuation in the event of an emergency.

If you have pets, you should find out whether potential shelters will allow them�many will not In this case, you may with to make arrangements for pets in advance of an emergency.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Helping with neighbors in an emergency can save lives and property. Meet with your community members to plan how you could work together until help arrives. If you�re a member of a neighborhood organization, such as a home association or crime watch group, introduce emergency preparedness as a new activity. Know your neighbor;s special skills and consider how you could help those with special needs, such as people with disabilities and elderly persons.

If You Have Pets

Create a survival kit for your pet. This should include:

  • Identification collar and rabies tag.
  • Carrier or cage.
  • Leash.
  • Any medications (be sure to check expiration dates).
  • Newspapers and plastic trash bags for handling waste.
  • At least a two-weeks supply of food, water, and food bowls.
  • Veterinary records (most animal shelters do not allow pets without proof of vaccination).

If you have no other choice but to leave your pet at home, place your pet in a safe area inside your home with plenty of water and food. Never leave pets chained outside. Place a note outside your home listing what pets are inside, where they are located, and phone numbers of where you can be reached.

After An Emergency Strikes

and after an emergency occurs, it is important to stay calm. Even after an event, there may still be many dangers. What seems like a safe distance or location may not be. Stay tuned to your local emergency station and follow the advice of trained professionals. Unless told to evacuate, avoid roads to allow emergency vehicles access. What you do next can save your life and the lives of others. Here are some helpful hints:

If Your Power Goes Out

  1. Remain calm, and assist family members or neighbors who may be vulnerable if exposed to extreme heat or cold.
  2. Locate a flashlight with batteries to use until power comes back on. Do not use candles�this can cause a fire.
  3. Turn off sensitive electric equipment such as computers, VCRs, and televisions.
  4. Turn off major electric appliances that were on when the power went off. This will help to prevent power surges when electricity is restored.
  5. Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep cold in and heat out.
  6. Do not use the stove to heat your home�this can cause a fire or fatal gas leak.
  7. Use extreme caution when driving. If traffic signals are out, treat each signal as a stop sign�come to a complete stop at every intersection and look before you proceed.
  8. Do not call 9-1-1 to ask about the power outage. Listen to the news radio stations for updates.

Flooding can cause contamination of water supplies. Bad water can contain microorganisms that cause diseases such as dysentery, typhoid, and hepatitis. If you think your water may be contaminated, you should purify it before using it. This includes water used for drinking, cooking, cleaning dishes, or bathing. The best way to purify water is to boil it. Boiling. Boiling is considered the safest method of purifying water. Bring water to a boil for 3-5 minutes, and then allow it to cool before drinking. Pouring water back and forth between two containers will improve the taste by putting oxygen back into the water.

Business Preparedness

Industries are just as vulnerable to the effects of emergencies as ordinary citizens. Therefore there are basic stops that a business should take to prepare for an emergency. Some of these stops include:

  1. Prepare backups and store offsite all computer records (i.e. Payroll, inventory records, etc.).
  2. Have an evacuation plan in place to evacuate staff and customers.
  3. Maintain sufficient insurance coverage for your business.
  4. Identify critical business functions that absolutely must continue (i.e. shipping, inventory control, payroll) and come up with processes to ensure these will carry on.

Typhoon

Typhoon Safety Tips

Indoor Preparations:

  • Secure all important documents in a zip lock bag
  • Cover all beds and other items with plastic to protect from water seeping in around windows/doors
  • Consider packing matches (consider using child-proof lighters), toilet paper and other things you must keep dry in a zip lock bag
  • Closets are a good place for storing large items
  • Roll carpets up and away from doors, arrange flashlights, lanterns, candles, and lighters in places where they can be easily found
  • When, or if the power goes out unplug all appliances; this will prevent damage from power surge when power is restored.
  • Ensure all range controls are in the off position

Typhoon Evacuation Preparations:

  • Listen to/Watch the local media
  • Cooperate with local officials directing evacuation routes
  • If you do not have any transportation, make arrangements with relatives, friends, or your local village Mayor Office. Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes
  • Gather water, food, clothing, and emergency supplies
  • Secure your house by
    • Boarding or placing shutter on all windows/doors
    • Unplug appliances
    • Turn off gas valve
    • Turn off the main water valve
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes
  • Don't take shortcuts! They may be blocked

Outside Preparations:

  • Tie down tin-covered roof extension with cables
  • Secure all loose items such as garbage can lids, empty drums,, gardening tools, and any other material that could become airborne during high winds
  • Take down all lawn umbrellas and temporary canopies
  • Secure plywood or typhoon shutters on windows and have an extra plywood/shutter on hand; wind-thrown debris and wind pressure can break windows
  • Remove and secure or waterproof window air conditioners
  • Fuel your car; service stations may be closed after the storm
  • Ensure that the main gas valve is shut off
  • Stay indoors until Condition Four is declared

Post Typhoon Preparations:

  • Remain in your shelter, until informed by local authorities that it is safe to leave
  • Keep tuned to local radio or television stations for advice and instructions from the local government
  • Stay away from disaster areas-sightseers should not interrupt crucial rescue and recovery work
  • Drive only when necessary and be especially careful. Streets will be filled with debris and down lines/tree
  • Avoid loose or dangling power wires and report them immediately to local officials
  • Report broken sewer or water mains
  • Prevent fires. Local water pressure may bd low, making fire fighting more difficult
  • Check refrigerated food for spoilage
  • Stay away from river banks until all potential flooding has passed.

Guam Typhoon Conditions:

- Condition IV: Guam is always in Condition IV. A typhoon may develop and hit the island within 72 hours.
- Condition III: A typhoon may possibly hit the island within 48 hours.
- Condition II: A typhoon is expected to hit the island within 24 hours.
- Condition I: A typhoon is expected to hit the island within 12 hours.
- "During Condition I, only emergency traffic should be on the roads"

FOUR KINDS OF TROPICAL CYCLONES:

  1. Tropical Depression: maximum sustained surface winds 38 mph.
  2. Tropical Storm: sustained surface winds 39to 73 mph
  3. Typhoon: sustained surface winds 74 to 149 mph.
  4. Super Typhoon: sustained surface winds 150 mph or more

EARTHQUAKE

Preparations

  • Repair defective electrical wiring, leaky gas, and inflexible utility connections
  • Bolt down water heaters and propane gas tanks
  • Know where and how to shut off electricity, gas, and water at main switches/valves
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves
  • Securely fasten shelves to walls; brace or anchor high or top-heavy objects
  • Store bottled food, glass, china and other breakables on lower shelves
  • Anchor overhead lighting fixtures solidly in place
  • Check and repair deep plaster cracks in ceilings and foundations
  • Hold occasional earthquake drills so each member of your family knows what to do
  • Develop a family plan for reuniting after an earthquake
  • Review insurance to determine coverage for earthquake damage

SAFETY TIPS

During an earthquake, keep calm�panic kills!

If you are indoors:
-get under a sturdy piece of furniture (desk or table) or doorway
-stay clear of windows and exterior doors

If you are outside:
-get to an open area/space away from buildings, coconut trees, utility wires/poles

If you are in the car:
-stop the car but stay inside
-do not stop on a bridge, under a tree, utility wires/poles, or sign

After an earthquake ...stay vigilant!

  • Do not enter partially collapsed or damaged buildings
  • Report structural damage to local officials
  • Avoid exposed electrical wiring (indoors or out)
  • Do not use candles, matches, or open flames indoors because of possible gas leaks
  • Check home for any possible fire or fire hazards
  • Turn off main gas valve if leak is suspected
  • Turn off water main valve if you see that water pipes are damaged
  • Shut off electrical poser at the control box, if there is any damage to your house wiring
  • Only use the phone for emergencies (injuries, fire, trapped people)
  • Check your neighbors to see if they need assistance
  • Be prepared for aftershocks
  • Stay off the streets; if you must travel, be on a lookout for downed tree/utility poles and weakened bridges
  • Locate/have ready Emergency Supply Kit
  • Cooperate with public safety officials

TSUNAMIS 

WHAT ARE TSUNAMIS AND WHAT CAUSES THEM?

Tsunamis (pronounced soo-ná-mees), also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called "tidal waves"), are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite. A tsunami can move hundreds of miles per hour in the open ocean and smash into land with waves as high as 100 feet or more.

From the area where the tsunami originates, waves travel outward in all directions. Once the wave approaches the shore, it builds in height. The topography of the coastline and the ocean floor will influence the size of the wave. There may be more than one wave and the succeeding one may be larger than the one before. That is why a small tsunami at one beach can be a giant wave a few miles away.

All tsunamis are potentially dangerous, even though they may not damage every coastline they strike. A tsunami can strike anywhere along most of the U.S. coastline. The most destructive tsunamis have occurred along the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Earthquake-induced movement of the ocean floor most often generates tsunamis. If a major earthquake or landslide occurs close to shore, the first wave in a series could reach the beach in a few minutes, even before a warning is issued. Areas are at greater risk if they are less than 25 feet above sea level and within a mile of the shoreline. Drowning is the most common cause of death associated with a tsunami. Tsunami waves and the receding water are very destructive to structures in the run-up zone. Other hazards include flooding, contamination of drinking water, and fires from gas lines or ruptured tanks.

Source: http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=2093

 

Tsunami Preparedness

  1. Be aware of tsunami facts. This knowledge could save your life!
  2. Share this knowledge with family and friends. It could save their lives!
  3. Determine if you live, work, play, or transit a coastal low lying area or tsunami evacuation zone.
  4. Follow the advice of local emergency and law enforcement authorities. Do not return until authorities say it is safe.
  5. Stay away from bodies of water. If you are at the beach or near the ocean, and you feel the earth shake, move immediately inland to higher ground. Do not wait for a tsunami warning to be issued. Stay away from rivers and streams that lead to the ocean due to strong tsunami wave action and currents.
  6. Take shelter.

    If you live in a tsunami evacuation zone and hear that there is a tsunami warning, your family should evacuate your house. Walk in an orderly, calm manner to the evacuation site or to any safe place outside your evacuation zone.

    If you are in school and you hear there is a tsunami warning, you should follow the advice of teachers and other school officials.

    If you are unable to quickly move inland, high, multi-story, reinforced concrete buildings may provide a safe refuge on the third floor and above.

Source: 

 

Tsunami Safety Rules

  1. All earthquakes do not cause tsunamis, but many do. When you know that an earthquake has occurred, stand by for a tsunami emergency message.
  2. An earthquake in your area is one of nature’s tsunami warning signals. Do not stay in low-lying coastal areas after a strong earthquake has been felt.
  3. Tsunamis are sometimes preceded by a noticeable fall in sea level as the ocean retreats seaward exposing the seafloor. A roar like an oncoming train may sometimes be heard as the tsunami wave rushes toward the shore. These are also nature’s tsunami warning signals.
  4. A tsunami is not a single wave, but a series of waves that can come ashore for hours. The first wave may not be the largest. Stay out of danger areas until an "all-clear" is issued by a recognized authority.
  5. A small tsunami at one point on the shore can be extremely large a few kilometers away. Don’t let the modest size of one make you lose respect for all.
  6. All warnings to the public must be taken very seriously, even if some are for non-destructive events. The tsunami of May, 1960 killed 61 people in Hilo, Hawaii because some thought it was just another false alarm.
  7. All tsunamis are potentially dangerous, even though they may not damage every coastline they strike.
  8. Never go down to the shore to watch for a tsunami. When you can see the wave, you are too close to outrun it. Most tsunamis are like flash floods full of debris. Tsunami waves typically do not curl and break, so do not try to surf a tsunami.
  9. Sooner or later, tsunamis visit every coastline in the Pacific and all oceans. If you live in a coastal area, be prepared and know nature's tsunami warning signals.
  10. During a tsunami emergency, your local civil defense, police, and other emergency organizations will try to save your life. Give them your fullest cooperation.

Source: 

 

Tsunami Safety for Boaters

  1. Since tsunami waves cannot be seen in the open ocean, do not return to port if you are at sea and a tsunami warning has been issued. Port facilities may become damaged and hazardous with debris. Listen to mariner radio reports when it is safe to return to port.
  2. Tsunamis can cause rapid changes in water level and unpredictable dangerous currents that are magnified in ports and harbors. Damaging wave activity can continue for many hours following initial tsunami impact. Contact the harbor authority or listen to mariner radio reports. Make sure that conditions in the harbor are safe for navigation and berthing.
  3. Boats are safer from tsunami damage while in the deep ocean ( >200 fathoms, 1200 ft, 400 m) rather than moored in a harbor. But, do not risk your life and attempt to motor your boat into deep water if it is too close to wave arrival time. Anticipate slowdowns caused by traffic gridlock and hundreds of other boaters heading out to sea.
  4. For a locally-generated tsunami, there will be no time to motor a boat into deep water because waves can come ashore within minutes. Leave your boat at the pier and physically move to higher ground.
  5. For a tele-tsunami generated far away, there will be more time (one or more hours) to deploy a boat. Listen for official tsunami wave arrival time estimates and plan accordingly.
  6. Most large harbors and ports are under the control of a harbor authority and/or a vessel traffic system. These authorities direct operations during periods of increased readiness, including the forced movement of vessels if deemed necessary. Keep in contact with authorities when tsunami warnings are issued.

USEFUL LINKS

     


These recommendations and suggestions are intended to improve both natural and man-made disasters preparedness, response and recovery. The contents are meant to improve your readiness capability but do not guarantee the safety of any individual, structure, or facility in a disaster situation.  Information from The Guam Homeland Security Office of Civil Defense -  http://www.guamhs.org/