Emergency Management News

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Prepare for Flash Flooding

Prepare Now. Flooding Can Happen Anywhere.
Flash floods happen quickly; it is important to recognize whether or not you live in an area prone to flash flooding and how you can prepare in advance.

According to the National Weather Service, the causes of flash flooding include heavy rain, ice or debris jams, and levee or dam failure. These floods exhibit a rapid rise of water over low-lying areas. In some cases, flooding may even occur away from where heavy rain initially fell.

Follow these tips from Ready.gov to make sure you, your family, and your home are prepared for a flash flood:
  • Know your flood risk.
  • Make a flood emergency plan.
  • Consider buying flood insurance.
  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate.
  • Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.

For more flood safety information, download Prepareathon’s How to Prepare for a Flood guide.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Is the “Invisible Killer” in Your Home? #OKfire


Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is the “invisible killer” because it is a colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration(USFA), more than 150 people in the United States die every year from accidental nonfire-related CO poisoning from household products, like generators. Other products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented, fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters, and fireplaces.

Breathe easy this winter and avoid CO poisoning with these USFA tips:
  • Install and maintain CO alarms in a central location outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home to provide an early warning of CO.
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, and vents.
  • Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.

Learn the symptoms of CO poisoning and other CO safety information on the USFA Carbon Monoxide Safety page.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Stay Safe: Wildfires Can Happen Anywhere, Anytime #OKfire


Wildfire Graphic
With several active wildfires affecting the Western United States, it is important to know how to stay safe with information and resources from Prepareathon™.

Wildfires can happen anywhere in the country and at any time of year. If you see a wildfire approaching, call 911 to report the fire. Do not assume that someone else reported it and follow these tips from Prepareathon’s How to Prepare for a Wildfire Guide:

If ordered to evacuate:
  • Leave immediately.
  • Help firefighters, if there is time before you leave. Some of the things to help include closing up the house and leaving lights on for visibility, as well as moving flammable materials to the center of the home, away from windows. You can also leave hoses connected to a water source, so they are available for the fire department.
  • Text SHELTER and your ZIP code (e.g., SHELTER 20472) to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area. Follow local media for more information on shelters.

If trapped in your home:
  • Call 9-1-1 and provide your location, if possible. Please be aware that during a major event such as a wildfire, emergency services may be overwhelmed, and a response may be delayed or impossible.
  • Turn on the lights to increase the visibility of your home in heavy smoke.
  • Keep doors, windows, vents, and fire screens closed.
  • Keep your doors unlocked.
  • Move flammable materials (e.g., curtains, furniture) away from windows and sliding glass doors.
  • Fill sinks and tubs with water to assist in dousing small smoldering fires, which may pop up.
  • Stay inside, away from outside walls and windows.

For more information on wildfire safety, review Prepareathon’s How to Prepare for a Wildfire guide, or watch the When the Fire Starts video. You can also read about California’s use of FEMA’s Wireless Emergency Alerts during the recent wildfires.