There are actions that should be taken before, during and after an event that are unique to each hazard. Along the west coast and in to Northern Nevada, we know we have another major winter storm approaching that will bring high winds and flooding from drenching rain and snow melt runoff. The higher altitudes (8,000’ – 10,000 ‘) are expected to get several feet of snow. The winds and floods may cause electrical outages and fires. Flooding, high winds, fires, and deep snow are dangerous and can cause a loss of life. DO NOT RISK YOUR LIFE AND WELL BEING! Recognize that there are STILL families on the East Coast who do not have power and adequate food and shelter 30 DAYS LATER!
Plan & Prepare for the upcoming event:
1. Check to see if you are in a flood zone: http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/flooding_flood_risks/defining_flood_risks.jsp
2. If you are not in a flood zone, plan to Shelter in Place. If you are in a flood zone, find out where the nearest evacuation shelter is. Call your local American Red Cross if you need help finding your shelter. Relocate large animals like horses and cattle if necessary.
3. Buy food that can be eaten without cooking, or make sure you have alternate outdoor cooking sources. Your microwave and electric stoves will not work in an outage. Don’t forget food for your pets! If the electricity is out, highly perishable food in your refrigerator may last 1 – 2 days if you don’t open it frequently; food in the freezer for 3 – 4 days.
4. Make sure you have enough prescription medicine to last at least 30 days, just in case.
5. Buy and/or make a first aid kit. A well-stocked kit is very important. You may not be able to get to the hospital quickly during a disaster.
6. Store clean water in barrels, buckets, and/or the tub.
7. Stock wood if you have a fireplace, or gather blankets and warm clothes and coats to wear if your heating goes out. DO NOT USE coal or gas stoves/BBQ pits indoors to heat your house. It is DANGEROUS… carbon monoxide poisoning and accidental fires are very real dangers!
8. Get emergency cash out of the bank. ATMs will NOT work if the electricity goes out!
9. Get a gas or solar generator that can keep your refrigerator on, if you can afford it.
10. Charge your cell phone(s).
11. Fill your car’s tank with gas in case you have to evacuate suddenly, or in case the electricity goes out and the local gas stations do not have backup generators. REMEMBER that your garage door will not open if the electricity is out, but you can open it by pulling the handle on the string hanging from the ceiling in the garage.
12. Locate the gas turn off wrench near the valve should you have to turn off the gas.
13. Make a Bug Out Kit in case you have to leave your house suddenly.
14. Make sure you have personal protection devices to protect your family should you need to. Remember that most people DO NOT Plan and Prepare. In an emergency situation they may become desperate and seek out your food, supplies and valuables. There are non-lethal devices like pepper spray, stun guns; and of course lethal options like rifles and handguns. A number of Hurricane Sandy families have experienced looters and attacks.
15. Trim branches from old and/or dead trees to prevent the wind from breaking them off and landing on your – or your neighbor’s - body, house, or car.
16. Finally, resist driving around to see the flood and wind damaged areas, it is dangerous to you and your family and you will be in the way of emergency responders.
FOREMOST & FOREVER - BE SAFE!