Although emergencies are unexpected and often unforeseeable, it is still important to prepare for them. Being prepared and anticipating emergencies can make all the difference in crises situations. The following pages will provide you with some recommendations on how to keep you and your family safe.
- Make an emergency exit plan for your family and practice leaving your home so you’re prepared if it’s necessary to exit quickly.
- Keep important identification documents in a waterproof folder that is easily accessible.
- Regularly check that fire, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the house are working.
- Get and maintain a fire extinguisher.
- Remember to check and change batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Types of fire extinguishers:
Fire extinguishers are divided into different categories: A, B and C. Each type corresponds with the specific type of fire. It is important to have the correct extinguisher in your home.
- “A” type fires involve common combustibles, i.e., wood, paper, cloth.
- “B” type fires involve flammable liquids, i.e., gas, oil, grease.
- “C” type fires are electronically energized fires, i.e., computers, toasters, heaters, appliances.
- Extinguishers also come in combinations of “B” and “C”.
How to respond to a fire:
- If you see fire or smoke, leave the building immediately. Pull the fire alarm on your way out.
- Alert others on your way out and close the doors behind you to contain the fire.
- If the hallways are smoky, keep low to the ground and locate the nearest emergency exit.
- DO NOT use the elevators.
- CALL 911 once you are out of the building.
- Provide 911 responders with the address of the building, the floor on which the incident is occurring and any other important details.
- DO NOT re-enter the burning building.
If you are trapped in a room:
- Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire.
- Place material at the door crack or any other area through which smoke is entering.
- CALL 911.
- If a phone is not easily accessible, go to the nearest window to catch someone’s attention.
- Do not break the glass on the window.
When power and utility outages occur can’t always be predicted. It’s best to prepare for such events before they occur:
- Keep a stock of battery operated or crank-style flashlights and place them in easily accessible locations in your home.
- If someone in your household is on electrical medical support, talk to your physician and/or power authority to develop a backup plan,
- Avoid any collapsed power cords as they may still be live.
- Put on more layers and conserve heat as best as possible if the heating goes out in the winter. (refer to Winter Safety)
- Keep cell phones charged completely.
- Keep a battery operated radio on hand for emergency announcements/news.
- Keep a stock of basic supplies, such as water, non-perishable food items and pet food
When a Power/Utility Outage occurs:
- Remain calm.
- Turn off any unnecessary appliances, computers, office equipment, tools, etc. Leave lights on as an indicator of the return of power.
- If there seems no logical reason for the power cut, check the breaker box.
- Provide assistance to individuals not familiar with your area.
- Remain inside and in your immediate area. Evacuate only if told by authorities to do so.
- National Grid Gas or life-threatening Electric Emergencies: 1-800-892-2345
- Power Outages: 1-800-867-5222
- National Grid Customer Service: 1-800-642-4272
*These numbers do not replace 911 emergency medical services
What to do if a person is severely ill or injured
- CALL 911 and give the following information:
- Building name and location
- Floor/office number
- Details of the illness/injury
- Stay on the phone for further instructions.
- Do not move the injured/ill person.
- If you are not trained, do not attempt to provide medical assistance before trained assistance arrives, unless the circumstances require immediate steps to preserve the life or health of the injured person.
- If possible, assign someone to meet emergency personnel at the closest entrance.
- Remain with the victim until first responders arrive. Limit communication with the victim to no more than quiet reassurances.
- Report all information to emergency personnel.
- Call 911 for police, fire and ambulance
- Regional Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222
Basic First Aid
- Prepare by taking a First Aid course or by learning basic first aid, like how to treat a burn.
- Keep a First Aid kit in the house.
- Keep emergency numbers in a convenient location.
- Store documentation of medical history in an easily accessible location. Pay special attention to allergies and pre-existing medical conditions.
- Educate children about emergencies and show them how to call for help.
To reduce your chances of having a vehicular accident, obey traffic laws, don’t speed, don’t make/take calls or do texting while driving, don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, buckle up and drive defensively and according to weather and road conditions.
If an accident does occur, however, take the following steps to best handle the situation:
- Make sure that drivers, passengers or pedestrians involved are not hurt. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. Even if you think you’re not injured, it’s best to be examined either at the hospital or by your family doctor. A seemingly minor injury could turn out to be more serious.
- Call 911 regardless of whether injuries are suspected. Police officers are trained to handle emergency situations. Ask for a copy of the police report from the officer.
- If you have a camera with you — or a cell phone that is camera ready — take photos of the vehicles involved, the area where the accident occurred, and any skid marks.
- If possible, safely move the cars out of the way of traffic.
- Get the following information about everyone involved in the accident: name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, description of car, e-mail address, all phone numbers (home, work, and cell), and auto insurance information. Also obtain contact information from any witnesses to the accident.