It’s preparedness Month! be informed, make a plan, build a kit, get involved!
Crisp autumn air will soon be upon us; children back in school, cheering for your favorite football team, warm sweaters, hot chocolate, and Halloween; all the things that celebrate the changing of the seasons. It’s also the time of year to make sure you can have the peace of mind that you and your household are safe and prepared for emergencies.
September is National Preparedness Month. To help make sure you and your household are as prepared as possible, Salt Lake City Emergency Management will post enlightening information each day this month to inspire you to Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, and Get Involved!
Natural disasters & severe weather
Preparedness begins with being informed. Part of being informed is knowing what kinds of natural disasters and severe weather will likely and/or can possibly impact your home, your workplace, and your community. Today and tomorrow will cover the most common and most severe events of which Salt Lake City residents should be aware. The first three are:
the links above to learn more about the types of natural events for which you
should prepare in Salt Lake City.
Increase your knowledge by using the links above as a starting point to
do additional searches. The knowledge
you gain will prove invaluable for keeping you and your household safe.
Remember, preparedness begins with being informed and part of being informed is knowing what kinds of natural disasters and severe weather will likely and/or possibly impact your home, your workplace, and your community. Additional events likely to impact Salt Lake City are:
- Flood https://www.utah.gov/beready/family/flood.html
- Severe Weather https://www.utah.gov/beready/family/SevereWeather.html
- Earthquake https://www.utah.gov/beready/family/earthquake.html
Click on the links above to learn more about the types of natural events for which you should prepare in Salt Lake City. Increase your knowledge by using the links above as a starting point to do additional searches. The knowledge you gain will prove invaluable for keeping you and your household safe.
Salt Lake City is a major technology and transportation hub for the United States. While this is economically advantageous to Salt Lake City, it also elevates the risk of experiencing emergencies due to accidents, human error, or secondary to a natural hazard. Be informed about the types of hazards that can potentially affect your household, your workplace, and your transportation routes. Some of these types of events include:
- Hazardous Materials https://www.utah.gov/beready/family/HazardousMaterials.html
- Natural Gas https://www.utah.gov/beready/family/gas.html
- Power Outage and Electrical Safety https://www.utah.gov/beready/family/power.html
- Transportation Hazards http://udottraffic.utah.gov/
Using these links as starting points, research each site to discover additional links to topics of interest to gain more knowledge about potential hazards and risks in the Salt Lake area to become better informed.
Get “smart” about being informed
In today’s world, more people than ever have “smart” phones that are rarely, if ever, out of arms reach. With this knowledge, agencies and organizations have created applications or “apps” to put knowledge and emergency alert notifications literally at your fingertips. However, make sure the apps you download are from trusted sources that give you reliable information; especially regarding emergency alerts. Below are some examples of reliable apps useful to Salt Lake City residents.
- Salt Lake City Government
- Utah 211
- UDOT Traffic
- American Red Cross
- NOAA Weather
Also consider following official agencies and organizations on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Sign up to receive Emergency Alert Notifications https://vecc911.onthealert.com/Terms/Index/?ReturnUrl=%2f
Fire escape plan
One of the most important things a household can do is ensure there is a plan for how to evacuate the home and that every member of the household knows how to do it. Development of the plan will depend on the type of home in which the household lives (i.e. house, apartment, condominium, high-rise, etc.). However, regardless of the type of home there are several key components every plan should include.
- If possible, two ways out of each room (doors or windows) and two ways out of the home.
- A “Go Bag” or emergency kit for each household member (including pets) that is in a place where it can be safely and quickly grabbed on the way out of the home.
- A designated meeting place outside the home that can be reach quickly but is outside of the danger area.
For more information on how to create a Home Evacuation/Fire Escape Plan visit the links below.
Neighborhood evacuation plan
In addition to having a plan for evacuating the home, every household should have a plan in the event a neighborhood evacuation alert is announced. There are many different reasons a neighborhood evacuation notice can be issued; examples include but are not limited to wildland fire, flooding, landslide, chemical spill, gas leak, or severe weather. There are several considerations to incorporate into developing your Neighborhood Evacuation Plan.
- Regardless of the time of year, a good resource for route planning is the Snow Removal Priority Map at https://www.slc.gov/mystreet/snow-removal-priority-map/
- Stay up to date on potential construction projects that could affect evacuation plans by visiting Salt Lake City’s My Street page at https://www.slc.gov/mystreet/
- Utah Department of Transportation also provides up-to-date resources for traffic conditions, construction projects and more that may affect evacuation routes at http://udottraffic.utah.gov/
Shelter in place/Secure in place
When developing household plans, there should be considerations for emergency situations where evacuation could potentially expose households to more danger than remaining in the home. A couple of examples of this type of situation are a gas leak or chemical spill in such close proximity to the home that leaving the home would expose the household to a dangerous environment, or an active/mobile shooter or other criminal activity in the neighborhood that would put the household in more danger than securing in the home. Some considerations for shelter in place/secure in place are as follows.
- For guidance in developing a Shelter-in-Place plan visit https://www.ready.gov/shelter
- For guidance to protect against disease or illness visit https://emergency.cdc.gov/shelterinplace.asp
- For a checklist and additional Shelter-in-Place considerations visit https://www.utah.gov/beready/documents/BRUSheltering.pdf
Earthquake plan (september 12)
The greatest threat to Salt Lake City is a large magnitude earthquake. The odds of the Salt Lake Valley experiencing a 7.0 or greater magnitude earthquake is 50% annually. Having an appropriate plan for your household for this eventuality is critical in that, unlike most emergencies, a high magnitude earthquake is going to result in valley-wide disruption of critical infrastructure and have long-term impacts from which it will take years to recover.
- Start by identifying hazards in the home. Download this poster and make it an activity in which the whole household can take part https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/3261
- FEMA has also created an interactive Earthquake School Hazard Hunt Game and Poster. https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/90409
- For more tips on creating your earthquake plan visit https://www.utah.gov/beready/family/earthquake.html#procedures
- The SAFE Neighborhoods program is the first program in the nation designed specifically to aid neighborhood residents to begin reunification, sheltering, accountability, and Search & Rescue (within scope of training) in their own neighborhoods until outside professional resources arrive. Learn more about this program in your neighborhood, how it should be included in your family plan, and how you can be involved by going to www.safeslc.com *