A Citizen`s Emergency Handbook

A Citizen`s Emergency Handbook
For more information on how you can better cope
with specific disasters and emergencies,
contact your local library or –
Illinois Emergency Management Agency
2200 S. Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, IL 62703
217-782-2700
800-782-7860
or
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Center Plaza
500 C St. SW
Washington, D.C. 20472
202-566-1600
SURVIVING
DISASTERS
A Citizen’s Emergency Handbook
For additional copies of this handbook, contact –
Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Communications
535 W. Jefferson St.
Springfield, IL 62761
217-782-5750
TTY (hearing impaired use only) 800-547-0466
Fax 217-782-3987
Printed by Authority of the State of Illinois
Illinois Department of Public Health
9. Wear sturdy shoes
when walking through
debris or broken glass, and
use heavy gloves when
removing debris.
kind of light. The light itself
could cause an explosion.
5. If you smell gas, turn
off the main gas valve at
the meter.
■ Do not turn on lights —
they can produce sparks
that will ignite the gas.
■ Leave the house immediately and notify the gas
company or the police.
■ Do not re-enter the
house until an authorized
person tells you it is safe
to do so.
6. Notify the power
company or fire department
if you see fallen or damaged
electrical wires.
7. If any appliances are
wet, turn off the main electrical power switch in your
home before you unplug
them. Dry out appliances,
wall switches and sockets
before you plug appliances
in again. Call utility companies for guidance.
8. Check food and
water supplies for contamination and spoilage. Follow
specific instructions from
your local health department
or agriculture extension
agency.
SURVIVING DISASTERS
A Citizen’s Emergency Handbook
Illinois Department of Public Health
57
■ Find out where children
will be sent if they are in
school when an evacuation is announced.
3. Plan now where you
will go if you must evacuate.
■ Consider the homes of
relatives or friends who
live nearby but outside
the potential disaster
area.
■ Contact the local emergency management or
civil defense office for
community evacuation
plans. Review public
information to identify
reception centers and
shelter areas such as
schools, churches,
national guard armories
or other public buildings.
4. Keep fuel in your car
at all times. During emergencies, filling stations may be
closed. Never store extra
fuel in the garage.
5. If you do not have a
car or other vehicle, make
transportation arrangements
with friends, neighbors or
your local emergency management office.
6. Know where and
how to shut off your home’s
electricity, gas and water at
the main switches and
Evacuation Periods
Evacuation periods can
last for hours or several
days. For part or all of this
time, you may be responsible
for your own food, clothing
and other supplies until
help arrives or utilities are
repaired.
Advanced Planning for
Evacuation
1. Use the chapter on
emergency supplies as a
guide to learn what you
should gather for you and
your family in case of evacuation. Collect these crucial
materials, especially food
and water, well in advance
of a disaster. Remember,
once you are told to evacuate, you may have only minutes to leave.
2. Review evacuation
procedures with your family
so that everyone understands what to do and
where to meet if you are
separated.
■ Ask a friend or relative
outside your area to be
the “checkpoint,” so family members can call
that person to say they
are safe.
55
SURVIVING DISASTERS
A Citizen’s Emergency Handbook
Table of Contents
Introduction .............................................................1
General Guidance...................................................2
Emergency Supplies...............................................4
After a Disaster .......................................................6
Earthquakes..........................................................15
Tornadoes .............................................................18
Floods ...................................................................20
Winter Storms .......................................................29
Fire........................................................................33
Nuclear Power Plant Accident ..............................36
Terrorism ...............................................................41
Evacuation ............................................................54
nature and should supplement specific instructions
issued by local authorities.
For information on your
community’s disaster plan,
contact your local emergency management office.
Introduction
No matter where you
live, your community may
experience a natural or manmade disaster — a tornado,
flood, winter storm, earthquake, fire, nuclear power
plant accident or terrorist
attack. In any type of disaster, lives can be saved if
people are prepared for the
emergency, and know what
actions to take when it
occurs. This handbook can
help. It was compiled by the
Illinois Department of Public
Health, with assistance from
the Office of Homeland
Security, the American Red
Cross, the Federal
Emergency Management
Agency and the Illinois
Emergency Management
Agency. This handbook contains information and guidance on what can be done
to enhance survival in the
event of a disaster.
Evacuation
Disasters force people
to evacuate their homes
more often than you may
realize. Transportation or
industrial accidents release
harmful substances, forcing
thousands of people to
leave their homes for a
safer area. Fires and floods
result in evacuation even
more frequently.
Therefore, local evacuation planning is important.
Specific evacuation plans
vary by community and by
the type of disaster, so contact your local emergency
management or civil defense
office for your community’s
plans.
How Much Time Will You
Have to Evacuate?
The amount of time you
will have to evacuate
your home or community
depends on the type of
disaster. In disasters
resulting from a hazardous material spill, you
may have only moments
to leave. This
means you must
prepare now, for
you may have
no time to collect even the
most basic necessities.
Individuals and families
can prepare for any type of
emergency by using the
basic information in this
handbook. The actions recommended are general in
1
54
place,” it means you are to
remain inside your home or
office and protect yourself
there.
■ Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.
■ Turn off all fans and
heating and air conditioning systems.
■ Close the fireplace
damper.
■ Get your disaster supplies kit and make sure
the radio is working.
■ Go to an interior room
without windows that’s
above ground level. In
the case of a chemical
threat, an above-ground
location is preferable
because some chemicals
are heavier than air and
may seep into basements
even if the windows are
closed.
■ Using duct tape, seal all
cracks around the door
and any vents into the
room. Keep listening to
your radio or television
until you are told all is
safe or you are told to
evacuate. Stay if told to
do so.
Following a terrorist attack
Evacuation
If local authorities ask
you to leave your home,
they have a good reason to
make this request and you
should heed the advice
immediately. Listen to your
radio or television and follow the instructions of the
local emergency officials
and keep these simple tips
in mind:
■ Wear long-sleeved
shirts, long pants and
sturdy shoes so you can
be protected as much as
possible.
■ Take your disaster supplies kit.
■ Take your pets with you;
do not leave them
behind.
■ Lock your home.
■ Use travel routes specified by local authorities.
Don’t use shortcuts
because certain areas
may be impassable or
dangerous.
■ Stay away from downed
power lines.
Shelter in Place
If you are advised by
local officials to “shelter in
53
may be broadcast by local
authorities.
Use your telephone only
to report important events
(such as fires, flash floods
or tornado sightings) to
local police. If you tie up the
telephone lines, you may
prevent emergency calls
from being completed.
A knowledge of first aid
and emergency medical
care can save lives and
reduce suffering. Both
adults and teenagers can
acquire these valuable skills
by taking general first aid
courses and specialty
courses, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation
(CPR), which are offered
free in many communities.
In a fire or other emergency, you may need to
evacuate your house, apartment or mobile home on a
moment’s notice. You should
be ready to get out fast.
Develop an escape plan
by drawing a floor plan of
your residence, showing the
location of doors, windows,
stairways and large furniture. Indicate the location of
emergency supplies, fire
extinguishers, smoke detec-
General
Guidance
There are actions you can
take that will help you to get
ready for, and to cope with,
almost any type of disaster.
Knowing what to do is your
best protection and your
responsibility.
Perhaps the most basic
thing to remember is to keep
calm. This may mean the
difference between life and
death. In disasters, people
often are killed or injured
needlessly because they
acted thoughtlessly or did
nothing.
In a time of disaster, taking proper action may save
your life. Take time to think,
and then take the appropriate action. Usually, this will
be action you have planned
in advance, or the action
you are instructed to take
by local authorities.
Whenever a major storm
or other potential disaster
threatens, keep your radio
or television turned on to
hear weather reports and
forecasts, as well as other
information and advice that
2
insurance purposes will be
essential after the disaster.
tors, collapsible ladders, first
aid kits and utility shut off
points. Next, draw a broken
line charting at least two
escape routes from each
room. Finally, mark a place
outside of the home where
household members should
meet if an evacuation is
necessary. Be sure to
include important points
outside, such as garages,
patios, stairways, elevators,
driveways and porches. Put
together escape plans for
each floor of your home.
Practice emergency evacuation drills with all household members at least two
times each year.
Maintain your car in good
operating condition with an
ample supply of gasoline in
case you have to leave your
home.
Know how and where to
shut off gas, water and
electricity to your household. Keep necessary tools
or wrenches handy.
Keep important papers
in a safety deposit box at a
bank. House deed, insurance policies, birth certificates, and lists and photos
of your possessions for
3
can neutralize some of
these agents. For example,
bleaching powder can
lessen skin injuries from
exposure to mustard gas, a
type of blister agent, if
applied soon after contact.
Medical or drug treatment can help some victims
of chemical weapons. There
are antidotes available that
neutralize the effects of
nerve agents. Since nerve
agents can kill in minutes,
the antidotes must be
injected almost immediately
after exposure.
For the effects of most
other chemical weapons,
symptomatic and/or supportive treatments can be
administered.
In the event of a chemical
agent attack, authorities
would instruct citizens either
to seek shelter where they
are and seal the premises
or to evacuate immediately.
Most chemical agents are
not detectable without special equipment so you should
not leave the shelter until
appropriate notification has
been given that the chemical
agent is no longer a threat.
Do not leave the shelter to
assist or rescue victims.
Nuclear Terrorism
Terrorists could potentially
target nuclear facilities.
The primary risk associated with nuclear facilities is
a physical attack or act of
sabotage designed to cause
an uncontrolled release of
radioactivity to the surrounding environment. If terrorists
were to attack a nuclear
power plant, the state’s
emergency response and
the actions to be taken by
the public would be the
same as if there were an
accident at a nuclear plant.
(See previous chapter on
nuclear power plants.)
Although terrorists have
never used a nuclear
weapon, some terrorist
groups have attempted to
acquire the material to make
one. The nuclear industry is
keenly aware of the dangers
of nuclear material falling
into terrorists’ hands. There
is a complex infrastructure
at work to ensure nuclear
material is accounted for,
safeguarded from diversion,
and protected from theft
and sabotage.
52
spreading potentially
infectious material to
face or skin. Seek additional instructions for
exposed or potentially
exposed persons.
■ If at work, notify a
supervisor, a security
officer or a law enforcement official. If at home,
contact the local law
enforcement agency.
and the duration of exposure. There are four categories of agents:
■ Nerve – These types of
chemicals disrupt the
transmission of nerve
impulses in the body.
The effects of nerve
agents appear almost
immediately and often
include visual disturbance, runny nose,
chest tightness, nausea,
vomiting, convulsions
and death.
■ Blister – These agents
cause skin burns and
blisters, and may damage
the eyes, airways, lungs
and other internal organs.
■ Blood – These rapidly
acting agents can cause
seizures, respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.
■ Pulmonary – If inhaled,
these types of chemicals
can result in varying
degrees of pulmonary
edema, usually after a
symptom-free period
that varies in duration
with the amount inhaled.
Quick decontamination
of exposed surfaces is possible for most chemical
agents. Bleach, special
powders, or soap and water
Chemical Terrorism
Chemical agents are
poisonous gases, liquids or
solids that can kill or incapacitate people and animals. Some chemical
agents are odorless and
tasteless, thus making them
difficult to detect. These
chemicals can have an
immediate or delayed effect.
Depending on the agent,
human exposure can occur
via skin, inhalation, ingestion of contaminated water
or food, or entry through
other mucous-lined areas
such as the eyes, nose and
open cuts.
Exposure to chemical
agents can be fatal.
Severity of injuries depends
on the type and amount of
the chemical agent used
51
Emergency
Supplies
A disaster of almost any
kind may interfere with your
normal supplies of food,
water, heat and other dayto-day necessities. Keep a
stock of emergency supplies
on hand sufficient to meet
your needs for a week.
If you stay at home during
the disaster, these supplies
could help you live through
the period of emergency
without hardship. If you
must evacuate your home
and move temporarily to
another location, your
emergency supplies
could be taken with
you. Even if you only
move to an emergency
shelter station, these
supplies might lessen
the burden on the shelter and make your stay
easier.
It is also a good idea to
prepare a disaster supplies kit. Some items that
are easily obtainable may
become difficult to find
after a disaster. The kit
should include the following:
■ a battery-powered radio
and a flashlight, with extra
batteries for each
■ bottled drinking water—
one gallon per day per
4
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
person, with at least a
three-day supply for each
person in your household,
and as much drinkable
liquid (fruit and vegetable
juices, soft drinks, etc.) as
can be carried
canned or sealed packaged foods that do not
require refrigeration or
cooking and a can opener
a blanket or sleeping bag
for each family member
writing materials to take
notes or information from
radio or television broadcasts
hammer, pliers and
wrench
pocket knife
fire extinguisher
signal flare and whistle
soap and towels
paper towels and toilet
paper
household laundry bleach
(unscented)
an extra set of car keys
and a credit card, cash or
traveler’s checks
one change of clothing
and footwear per person
a list of family physicians
first-aid kit and manual
non-prescription drugs,
including mild pain relievers and antiseptic
any special prescription
medicines or foods needed by family members,
such as insulin, heart
tablets, dietetic food and
baby food (Do not store in
the kit for long periods but
add at the last minute.)
Ideally you should prepare two kits and store
each in water-tight containers. Keep one in the basement of your home or near
the front door. Keep the
second kit in the trunk of
your car.
Additional Supplies
Other items may prove
helpful:
■ plastic bags (small and
large)
■ a cooler and freezer-packs
■ salt
■ paper cups
■ baking soda
■ spoons
■ matches
■ tape
■ needles and thread
■ pre-moistened
towelettes
■ splinting material
■ hand lotion
■ disposable diapers
■ cotton balls
■ sanitary napkins
■ bandages
■ extra eye glasses
■ medicine dropper
■ contact lenses and
supplies
5
the package
■ Oily stains, discolorations or odor
■ Lopsided or uneven
envelope
■ Excessive weight
■ Ticking sound
■ Protruding wires or aluminum foil
Suspicious packages or
envelopes should be handled
as follows:
■ Do not shake or empty
the contents of a suspicious package or envelope.
■ Do not carry the package
or envelope, show it to
others or allow others to
examine it.
■ Put the package or envelope on a stable surface;
do not sniff, touch, taste
or look closely at the
package or any contents
that may have spilled.
■ Alert others in the area
about the suspicious
package or envelope.
Leave the area, close
any doors and take
actions to prevent others
from entering the area. If
possible, shut off the
ventilation system.
■ Wash hands with soap
and water to prevent
Suspicious Mail
Terrorists have used a
biological agent, Bacillus
anthracis, in letters mailed
through the U.S. Postal
Service. Other forms of
attack, such as bombs, also
can be distributed by mail.
Characteristics of suspicious packages and letters
include –
■ Inappropriate or unusual
labeling
■ Excessive postage
■ Handwritten or poorly
typed addresses
■ Misspellings of common
words
■ Strange return address
or no return address
■ Incorrect titles or title
without a name
■ Not addressed to specific
person; marked with
restrictions, such as
“Personal,” “Confidential”
or “Do not X-Ray”
■ Marked with threatening
language
■ Postmark from a city or
state different from the
return address and
excessive packaging
material
Appearance
■ Powdery substance felt
through or appearing on
50
Stockpiling Antibiotics
Antibiotics are used to
successfully treat a variety
of diseases, but there is no
one antibiotic effective
against all diseases. The
precautionary use of antibiotics when there is no exposure is not recommended
because such a measure
can weaken resistance
against other diseases and
deplete the supply of drugs
that might be needed in a
real emergency. Antibiotics
should only be taken with
medical supervision.
Keeping a supply of antibiotics poses other problems
because there is a limited
shelf life before they lose
their strength.
The federal government
has stockpiled antibiotics for
large-scale distribution in
the event of a bioterrorist
attack. The National Strategic
Stockpile is designed to
ensure the availability and
rapid deployment of lifesaving pharmaceuticals,
antidotes, other medical
supplies and equipment to
any U.S. location in the
event of a terrorist attack
involving a biological or
chemical agent.
Gas Masks
A gas mask is not a
good buy or good protection
against potential bioterrorist
threats. Different types of
masks and filters protect
against different types of
biological and chemical
agents. If you were to buy
one type and an attack with
a different agent occurred,
your mask would be useless. In addition, most of the
gas masks on the market
are used and gas masks
lose their effectiveness over
time.
New gas masks with
NBC (nuclear, biological,
chemical) filters are effective
against a variety of agents.
However, protection against
some airborne agents may
require a full protective suit.
Even if you had the proper
mask and/or suit for a given
agent, you would have to
wear it 24 hours a day in
order to be safe. Biological
and chemical agents could
be in the air without your
knowledge.
To make matters worse,
gas masks can be difficult
to use properly. People
have been known to suffocate in their masks.
49
After a
Disaster
Your first concern after a
disaster is the safety of your
family, friends and neighbors.
If possible, obtain medical
attention for serious injuries.
Persons with a puncture
wound or deep cut may
need a tetanus shot if they
have not had one in the
past five years.
If professional medical
assistance is not immediately available, persons with a
knowledge of first aid and
emergency medical care
can save lives and reduce
suffering. Do not attempt to
move seriously injured persons unless they are in
immediate danger of further
injury.
Tune to a local radio or
television station for
advice and instructions
and the latest emergency
information. If your area is
declared a disaster
area, local radio and
television stations will
carry information on
where to go for disaster
assistance.
Use extreme caution
in entering or working in
buildings that may have
been damaged or weakened
by the disaster — they may
collapse without warning.
6
stoves can generate a substantial amount of carbon
monoxide and should not
be used for heat.
If damage to the electrical system is suspected
(frayed wires, sparks or the
smell of hot insulation), turn
off the electrical system at
the main box. If any of your
electrical appliances are wet,
first turn
off the
main
power
switch,
then
unplug the appliance, dry it
out, reconnect it and finally
turn on the main power
switch. If fuses blow when
the electric power is
restored, turn off the main
power switch again and
then inspect for short circuits
in your home wiring, appliances and equipment.
(Caution: Do not do any of
these things if you are wet
or standing in water.)
Do not touch downed
power lines or objects
touched by downed power
lines.
If water leaks are found
or suspected, shut off the
water at the main valve.
There also may be gas leaks
or electrical short circuits.
Put on heavy shoes to
avoid injury from glass and
other debris.
Use battery-powered
flashlights or lanterns if you
do not have electricity. Do
not use candles, oil or gas
lanterns, or torches because
gas lines may be broken and
an explosion could occur.
Check for leaking gas
pipes in your home. Do this
by smell only — do not use
matches or candles. If you
smell gas or suspect a leak,
turn off the main gas valve
at the meter, open all windows and leave the house.
Immediately notify the
gas company, police or fire
department. Do not turn
lights on or off, light matches or do anything that could
cause a spark. Do not reenter the house until you
are told it is safe to do so.
If you are without heat,
put on several layers of
clothing. A fireplace or electric stove may be used for
heat. Fireplaces should be
checked for cracks and
damage to the chimney or
flue. Unnoticed damage
could lead to a fire. Gas
7
Bioterrorism Disease Chart
Disease
Germ
Symptoms
Treatment
Anthrax
(bacterial)
Bacillus
anthracis
Inhalation: Fever,
fatigue, chest pain,
difficulty breathing
Antibiotics, if
prescribed early
Skin: Fever, fatigue,
Antibiotics
headache, swollen lymph
nodes and skin ulcer
Gastrointestinal: Sore
throat, difficulty swallowing, fever, swollen lymph
nodes, vomiting blood or
bloody diarrhea
Antibiotics, if
prescribed early
If given early, equine
antitoxin treats most cases.
Botulism
(bacterial)
Clostridium
botulinum
Progressive paralysis,
respiratory failure
Cholera
(bacterial)
Vibrio cholerae
Acute diarrhea, vomiting, Immediate replacement of
leg cramps
fluids. Antibiotics can
shorten course and
diminish severity of illness.
Hemorrhagic
fevers
(viral)
Several viruses
Vary by type, but often
include fever, headache,
dizziness, muscle aches,
abnormal bleeding
No treatment for most
VHFs other than supportive
therapies. Ribavirin for
some VHFs
Pneumonic
plague
(bacterial)
Yersinia pestis
High fever, chills,
headache, cough with
bloody sputum
Several antibiotics,
including streptomycin,
doxycycline and
ciprofloxacin
Q Fever
(bacterial)
Coxiella burnetii
Fever, headache,
weakness, severe
sweating
Doxycycline is most
effective when initiated
within first three days.
Salmonellosis Salmonella
(bacterial)
Diarrhea, fever, chills,
dehydration
Usually resolves in five to
10 days and does not
require treatment in most
cases
Smallpox
(viral)
Variola virus
High fever, aches
(mostly back), rash on
arms, legs, palms of
hands, soles of feet
Vaccination up to four days
after exposure; no proven
treatment later; antibiotics
for secondary bacterial
infections
Tularemia
(bacterial)
Francisella
tularensis
Fever, headache, tiredness, chest discomfort,
loss of appetite, cough
Antibiotics such as
streptomycin or gentamicin
48
Bioterrorism
Biological agents are
organisms or toxins that can
produce illness or death in
people and animals. They
can be dispersed as
aerosols or airborne particles
or by infected individuals.
Terrorists also can use biological agents to contaminate
food or water.
Numerous biological
agents could be used as
weapons, but government
officials believe the most
likely pathogens would
cause diseases that include
anthrax, smallpox, botulism,
cholera, plague, Q fever,
salmonellosis, tularemia
and viral hemorrhagic fever.
Because biological
agents take time to cause a
disease, a biological attack
may not be obvious for days
to weeks depending on the
incubation period of the disease. If government officials
become aware of a biological
attack through an informant
or warning by terrorists, they
would most likely instruct
citizens to either seek shelter
where they are and seal the
premises or evacuate
immediately.
If there is no warning,
the most likely way the
attack will be detected is
through the state or federal
government’s disease surveillance system. Through
this system, health care
providers and public health
officials are constantly on
guard for unusual clusters
of illness.
A person affected by a
biological agent requires
the immediate attention of
professional medical personnel. Some resultant diseases – plague, smallpox
and viral hemorrhagic
fevers – are contagious,
and victims may need to be
isolated. While it is possible
for Q fever to be transmitted
from person to person, it
is rare.
Information, treatment
options and other advice
would be provided by government officials to the public
through the news media.
47
to each gallon of water. Mix
thoroughly and allow to
stand for 30 minutes. Only
water that is clean in
appearance and free of
odor should be treated this
way. To be safe, drink bottled water, juices or water
previously stored in the
refrigerator.
Be sure to follow the
instructions of local authorities concerning the use of
food and water.
If necessary, seek food,
clothing, medical care and
shelter from Red Cross
emergency shelter sites or
from local government
authorities.
Open closets and cupboards carefully.
Check emergency supplies.
Stay away from disaster
areas. Sightseeing could
interfere with first aid or
rescue work and may be
dangerous as well.
Do not drive unless
necessary; if you drive, do
so with caution. Watch for
hazards to yourself and
others, and report them to
local authorities.
Do not pass on rumors
or exaggerated reports of
damage.
Emergency water may be
obtained from such sources
as hot water tanks, toilet
tanks (not the bowl and only
if the tanks do not have
deodorizers) and melted ice
cubes. If water from hot
water heaters or the tanks
of toilets is used, it should
be boiled first.
Check your food supplies
before using them. Foods
that require refrigeration
may be spoiled if electric
power has been off for an
extended period of time. Do
not eat food that has come
in contact with flood waters.
A disaster may damage
public water supply systems
resulting in contaminated
water. After a flood, consider
all water unsafe. Listen for
public announcements on
the safety of
the municipal water
supply. If
you have
to use
water
from the
faucet, boil
it at a rolling
boil for at least five minutes.
If you cannot boil, add eight
drops of household bleach
8
cut, burn or infection on
your hands.
■ Wash hands, work surfaces and utensils in hot,
soapy water after each
step in food preparation.
Do not put cooked meat,
poultry or fish in the
same container that held
the raw product. The
If the presence of
radioactive material is suspected, law enforcement will
rope off and station guards
around the area.
Follow the advice and
instructions of your local
government on ways to help
yourself and your community
recover from the emergency.
Be prepared to evacuate if
necessary.
Notify your relatives
when you are at a safe
location. Local authorities
may use valuable time and
resources looking for family
members if their location is
unknown.
cooked food may
become contaminated
with bacteria from the
raw juices.
■ Keep cloths washed and
dish towels clean.
Bacteria can linger or
remain in towels and
cloths, so wash kitchen
linen often.
■ Wash dishes and utensils only in water that is
safe to drink. Boil unsafe
water for five minutes or
add eight drops of laundry bleach to each gallon
of water, mix thoroughly
and allow to stand 30
minutes before using it.
Personal Hygiene and
General Cleanliness
Following a disaster, it
can be difficult to maintain
good hygiene and cleanliness. These steps will help
you serve safe foods and
beverages:
In order to prevent the
spread of infection, always
wash your hands with plenty of soap and water before
handling or preparing food
or eating. Make sure children do the same. Use
plastic or rubber gloves if
you have any kind of skin
9
fire hazards and other
household hazards. Sniff for
gas leaks, starting at the
water heater. If you smell
gas or suspect a leak, turn
off the main gas valve, open
windows and get everyone
outside quickly.
Shut off any other damaged utilities. Confine or
secure your pets. Call your
family contact. Do not use
the telephone again unless
it is a life-threatening emergency because the telephone lines will most likely
be overwhelmed. Check on
your neighbors, especially
those who are disabled or
elderly.
If you are trapped in
debris –
■ Use a flashlight.
■ Stay in your area so that
you do not kick up dust.
Cover your mouth with a
handkerchief or clothing.
■ Tap on a pipe or wall so
that rescuers can hear
where you are. Use a
whistle if one is available. Shout only as a
last resort – shouting
can cause a person to
inhale dangerous
amounts of dust.
If there is a fire –
■ Stay low to the floor and
exit the building as
quickly as possible.
■ Cover nose and mouth
with a wet cloth.
■ When approaching a
closed door, use the
palm of your hand and
forearm to feel the lower,
middle and upper parts
of the door. If it is not
hot, brace yourself
against the door and
open it slowly. If it is hot
to the touch, do not
open the door; seek an
alternative escape route.
■ Heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect
first along the ceiling.
Stay below the smoke at
all times.
If the terrorist attack
occurs near you, check for
injuries. Give first aid and
get help for seriously
injured people.
If the attack occurs near
your home while you are
there, check for damage
using a flashlight. Do not
light matches or candles or
turn on electrical switches
because gas lines may be
broken and an explosion
could occur. Check for fires,
46
If accented, what type of
accent?
After you have been
notified of a bomb threat,
do not touch any suspicious
packages. Clear the area
around any suspicious
package and notify the
police immediately. When
evacuating a building, avoid
standing in front of windows
or other potentially hazardous areas. Move a safe distance away from the building.
Do not restrict sidewalk or
streets to be used by emergency officials.
Background sounds
Street noises
Factory noises
Restaurant noises
Animal noises
Voices
Clear
P.A. system
Static
Music
Local
House noises
Long distance
Motor
Phone booth
Office machines
Other
What To Do In A Terrorist
Attack
Take action to protect
yourself and others. Remain
calm and be patient. Listen
to the radio or television for
news and instructions, and
follow the advice of local
emergency officials.
In a building explosion,
get out of the building as
quickly and calmly as possible. If items are falling off of
bookshelves or from the
ceiling, get under a sturdy
table or desk. Untrained
persons should not attempt
to rescue people who are
inside a collapsed building.
Wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
Threat language
Well spoken (educated)
Incoherent
Taped
Foul
Irrational
Message read by threat
maker
Report call immediately to
your local police agency
Phone number
Your name
Your telephone number
45
■ Use sanitary disposable
eating utensils when
there is a shortage of
safe drinking water.
Food Spoilage vs. Food
Poisoning
It is important to know
the organisms that cause
food to spoil are different
from the organisms that
cause food poisoning and
make you sick. When
spoilage organisms —
some bacteria, molds and
yeasts — affect the look,
smell or taste of the food,
throw the food away.
Unfortunately, the bacteria that commonly cause
foodborne illness — mild to
severe symptoms of vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea
and sometimes fever — are
not so obvious. These
organisms rarely affect
smell, taste and appearance
of food to indicate that it is
unsafe to eat. Following
these simple rules will help
prevent foodborne illness:
■ Cook foods thoroughly,
especially meats, poultry
and pork. Use a meatroasting thermometer in
the thickest portion of
the meat. Cook chicken
to 180 degrees F, pork
to 160 degrees F and
beef to 160 degrees F.
Illness
Disease outbreaks may
occur after disasters. In the
event illness occurs, report
symptoms to a physician or
nurse. Persons with diarrhea
or vomiting, and those living
in temporary group housing
who develop fever, sore
throat, cough or other
symptoms (except for the
common cold) should notify
a physician or health nurse.
Persons who are sick should
not help prepare meals.
Because children sometimes have intestinal infections without showing symptoms, and then often have
inadequate hygienic practices, adults should check
that children (especially
young children) thoroughly
wash hands after using the
toilet. This reduces the risk
of disease transmission.
Dispose of used diapers
in a plastic bag or other
container that can be closed
tightly to prevent contact by
others.
10
■ Refrigerate leftovers
immediately after the
meal. If there are large
volumes of food to cool
(more than one or two
pounds, or 1/2 gallon of
liquid), divide the food
into several shallow containers or smaller pieces
to cool it faster. This prevents bacteria from multiplying rapidly in the
warm food.
■ Do not thaw frozen food
at room temperature.
Either cook it frozen or
thaw it in the refrigerator
or in a place where the
temperature is lower
than 41 degrees F.
■ Use only pasteurized
milk.
■ Wash your hands thoroughly before handling
food, especially after
handling raw meats or
poultry and after using
the bathroom.
■ Do not leave high-protein
foods (raw or cooked)
sitting out at room temperature. Keep them hot
(over 145 degrees F) or
keep them cold (under
41 degrees F).
Examine Canned Goods
Carefully examine
canned goods that have
been submerged in flood
waters, frozen, in a fire or
crushed. Some cans may
be safe to use after a good
cleaning and some may not.
Follow these guidelines:
■ Containers with corklined lids or caps, screw
tops or pop tops are
nearly impossible to
clean thoroughly around
the opening after being
underwater or in a fire. If
there have been any
major temperature
changes, contaminants
may actually have been
sucked into the container.
Discard these containers.
5. What is in the package? Chemicals? Germs?
6. What will cause it to
explode or release its contents?
7. Did you place the
package, bomb or device?
8. Why?
9. What is your address?
10. What is your name?
American Red Cross for
additional information.
■ Keep the following items
in a designated place on
each floor of the building
— portable, batteryoperated radio and extra
batteries; several flashlights and extra batteries;
first aid kit and manual;
several hard hats; and
fluorescent tape to rope
off dangerous areas.
Exact wording of the threat
Additional information
Sex of caller
Race
Age of caller
Call duration
Bomb threats
If you receive a bomb
threat, get as much information as possible from the
caller. Keep the caller on
the line and record everything that is said. The following checklist will assist you
in recording the necessary
information:
Caller’s voice
(check all that apply)
Calm
Nasal
Angry
Stutter
Excited
Lisp
Slow
Raspy
Soft
Ragged
Loud
Clearing throat
Laughing
Deep breathing
Crying
Cracked voice
Normal
Disgusted
Distinct
Accent
Slurred
Familiar
Whispered Altered
Time
Date
Caller ID #
■ Tin cans are usually
safe if they appear
undamaged. Wash these
cans in bleach water
11
Questions to ask
1. When is the device
going to explode or release?
2. Where is it right now?
3. What does it look like?
4. What kind of device or
package is it?
If voice is familiar, who did it
sound like?
44
■ School emergency
plans. If you have children, learn what the
emergency plans are at
their school(s). Some
schools will send children
home alone; others
require a parent or
designated adult to pick
them up. Be sure the
school has updated
information about how to
reach parents or responsible caregivers.
■ Work emergency plans.
Learn what the emergency plans are at your
workplace.
and telephone numbers
(home, work, pager and
cell).
■ Establish a meeting
place. Having a predetermined meeting
place right outside your
house and another outside your neighborhood
will save time and minimize confusion should
your home be affected
or the area evacuated.
You may even want to
make arrangements to
stay with a family member or friend in case of
an emergency. Be sure
to include any pets in
these plans.
■ Prepare disaster supply
kits. If you need to stay
in your home, evacuate
your home or are asked
to take shelter, having
essential supplies on
hand will make you and
your family more comfortable. Two kits should be
prepared — one that
can be kept in the house
and another that can be
taken with you. For complete information on what
to include in the kits, refer
to the emergency supplies
chapter in this booklet.
Preparing for a building
explosion
The use of explosives by
terrorists can result in collapsed buildings and fires.
People who live or work in a
multi-level building should
do the following:
■ Review emergency
evacuation procedures.
Know where the fire
exits are located.
■ Keep fire extinguishers
in working order. Know
where they are located
and how to use them.
■ Learn first aid. Contact
the local chapter of the
43
What To Do When Your
Freezer Fails
When the electricity is
off, a fully stocked freezer
will keep food frozen two
days if the door remains
closed. A half-full freezer can
keep foods frozen about one
day. What can you do if
electric service will not be
re-connected within one or
two days?
■ Keep the freezer door
closed.
■ Divide up your frozen
foods among friends’
freezers if they have
electricity.
■ Seek freezer space in a
store, church, school or
a commercial meat locker or freezer that has
electrical service.
■ Know where you can
buy dry and block ice.
■ Put dry ice in your freezer. Never touch dry ice
with bare hands! It
freezes everything it touches. Twentyfive pounds of
dry ice will
hold a 10cubic-foot
freezer
below
(1/4-cup bleach in one
gallon of water) for one
minute, then dry to prevent rusting.
■ If cans have pitted rust
spots that cannot be
buffed off with a soft
cloth, corrosion may
allow contamination to
enter through holes in
the walls of the can.
Discard these cans.
■ Cans with ends that
bulge or spring in and
out when pressed,
should be discarded
immediately. This usually
means bacteria are
growing inside and producing gas to expand
the can. Do not taste
the contents of such
cans.
■ If a can is crushed,
dented or creased,
closely examine it to see
if it is safe to use. A dent
may weaken the seam
and allow contamination.
If a dent or crease is
very sharp, the contents
may be contaminated.
Discard these cans. Do
not taste.
12
■ Fruits and vegetables
can be kept at room
temperature safely until
there are obvious signs
of spoilage (mold, slime,
wilt). With good ventilation, vegetables last
longer at room temperature. Remove them from
the refrigerator if electrical service may not
resume soon.
freezing for three to four
days. Do not stick your
head into a freezer that
contains dry ice. Dry ice
gives off carbon dioxide,
which replaces oxygen,
so leave the door open a
short time before examining your food.
■ If you are not sure how
long the electricity has
been off, discard any food
that smells bad, is slimy,
has an unusual color or
is room temperature.
■ If food is still “cold-to-thetouch,” it may be cooked
and eaten immediately,
or refrozen.
Cleanup
If property damage is
extensive, heavy equipment
such as bulldozers may be
used. It is important to
identify or “flag” any underground utilities, such as
private sewage systems or
water wells, so they are not
damaged by the equipment.
During cleanup, it is
important to wear protective
clothing. Boots,
rubber gloves and
long-sleeved
shirts help reduce
contact with
contaminated
items. Take
care not to
step on
nails or other
protruding
items.
What To Do When Your
Refrigerator Fails
When power goes off in
the refrigerator, you can
normally expect food inside
to stay safely cold for four to
six hours, depending on
how warm your kitchen is.
■ High-protein foods (dairy
products, meat, fish, poultry) should be consumed
as soon as possible if
power is not restored
immediately. They cannot
be stored safely at room
temperature.
13
shootings and the use of
chemical, biological or
nuclear agents.
Terrorists look for visible
targets where they can
avoid detection before and
after an attack, such as
international airports, large
cities, major international
events, resorts or high-profile landmarks. One way the
government has attempted
to reduce the nation’s vulnerability to terrorist incidents is
by increasing security at
airports and other public
facilities, along with helping
private industry to enhance
security for vital assets and
infrastructure.
You can prepare to deal
with a terrorist incident by
adapting many of the same
techniques used to prepare
for other crises. But, people
should take additional precautions:
■ Be alert and aware of
your surroundings. The
very nature of terrorism
suggests there may be
little or no warning.
■ Be careful when traveling. Be aware of conspicuous or unusual
behavior. Do not accept
packages from
strangers. Do not leave
luggage unattended.
■ Learn where emergency
exits are located. Think
ahead about how to
evacuate a building,
subway or congested
public area in a hurry.
Learn where staircases
are located.
■ Notice your immediate
surroundings. Be aware
of heavy or breakable
objects that could move,
fall or break in an explosion.
Preparedness
Develop a disaster plan for
your family
■ Choose an out-of-town
contact your family or
household will call or
E-mail to check on each
other should a disaster
occur. Your selected
contact should live far
enough away that
he/she would be unlikely
to be directly affected by
the same event; be sure
the person knows
he/she is the chosen
contact. Make sure every
household member has
the contact’s and each
other’s E-mail addresses
42
Terrorism
Terrorism is the unlawful
use of force or violence, or
the threat of violence for
purposes of intimidation,
coercion or ransom.
Terrorists often use such
threats or actions to create
fear among the public, to try
to convince citizens their
government is powerless to
prevent terrorism and to get
public attention for political
or social objectives.
The effects of terrorism
can vary significantly from
injuries and loss of life to
property damage and disruptions in services such as
electricity, water supply,
public transportation and
communications.
Attacks can take several
forms, depending on the
technological means available to the terrorist, the
nature of the political issue
motivating the attack and
the points of weakness of
the terrorist’s target.
Before the Sept. 11,
2001, attacks on New
York and on the
Pentagon, most terrorist
incidents in the United
States were bombings.
Other terrorist methods
include kidnappings, arson,
41
trench or pit 24 inches deep
and empty the contents of
the receptacle into this pit
as soon as possible after
each use. Also empty any
water used to wash the
receptacle into the pit or
trench. Cover the waste in
the trench after each use
with a small layer of dirt,
ashes or lime. When closing
the trench, cover it with at
least 12 inches of earth.
Empty, used bags can be
disposed of with normal
garbage. It is very important
that good hand washing
practices are followed after
handling human waste.
Good hand washing is the
first line of defense against
the spread of many illnesses,
from the common cold to
more serious illnesses such
as hepatitis A, meningitis,
E. Coli and most other types
of infectious diarrhea.
Sewage Disposal
Often sewage systems
are not usable after disasters.
Earthquakes can cause
extensive underground
damage in addition to structural damage to buildings and
dwellings. Tornado damage
is typically limited to above
ground. In either case, an
extensive period of time is
required to make repairs.
After flood waters recede,
minimal repairs are usually
necessary for the sewage
system to properly function.
Many communities provide portable toilets, but
these may be limited.
Flooded outdoor toilets
should be scrubbed thoroughly with a solution of
one-half cup of laundry
bleach per gallon of water.
If no toilet facilities are
available, deposit human
waste in a sturdy water-tight
receptacle used for that
purpose only. Double line
the container with garbage
bags. To make it easier to
empty, place a small amount
of water in the receptacle
before it is used. If waste
system becomes functional,
dispose of waste into this
system.Another option is to
bury waste by digging a
14
Earthquakes
An earthquake is the
shaking or trembling of the
crust of the earth, caused
by underground volcanic
forces or by breaking and
shifting of rock beneath the
surface. Earthquakes usually
last only for a few seconds,
but can last for as much as
a minute. Minor earthquakes
will cause rattling windows
and dishes; if stronger, you
may feel a shaking sensation
or, in a severe earthquake,
the ground may sway like
the deck of a ship. The
movement can cause buildings and other structures
to shake or collapse. The
earth, however, does not
open up and swallow a
whole neighborhood.
Earthquake deaths and
injuries are seldom caused
by the actual movement
of the ground but from
falling objects and
debris, splintering glass
and fires.
Earthquake
Preparedness
Survey your home for
possible hazards and
then take action
to lessen those
hazards.
15
6. Do not use the telephone unless absolutely
necessary. All lines will be
needed for emergency calls.
mation materials you
received from the utility
company or government
officials.
3. Evacuate if you are
advised to do so.
■ Close and lock home
doors and windows.
■ Keep car windows and
vents closed; use
recirculating air.
■ Listen to radio broadcasts
for evacuation routes and
other instructions.
4. If you are not advised
to evacuate, remain indoors.
■ Close doors and windows.
■ Turn off the air conditioner, ventilation fans,
furnace and other air
intakes.
■ Go to a basement or
other underground area
if possible.
■ Keep a battery-powered
radio with you at all
times.
■ If you must go outdoors,
cover your nose and
mouth with a handkerchief.
5. Shelter livestock and
give them stored feed and
protected water, if you are
advised to do so by local
authorities.
40
■ Consider your transportation options. If you do not
own or drive a car, call
your state or local emergency management
agency office and ask
for more information on
alternative transportation.
■ See the evacuation and
checklists chapters for
important details.
2. Learn your community’s warning system.
Nuclear power plants are
required to install sirens
and other warning systems
to cover a 10-mile area
around the plant.
■ Siren tests occur on the
first Tuesday of each
month at 10 a.m.
■ Determine whether you
can hear the siren from
your home, and become
familiar with the sound.
3. Obtain public emergency information materials
from the utility that operates
your local nuclear power
plant or from your local
emergency services office. If
you live within 10 miles of
the power plant, you should
receive these materials
every year from the utility.
4. Learn the emergency
plans for schools, day care
centers, nursing homes and
other places where members
of your family might be. Stay
tuned to your local radio
stations for further updates.
5. Be prepared to
evacuate:
■ Gather, in advance,
clothing, a batterypowered radio and
personal items.
What To Do In A Nuclear
Power Plant Emergency
1. Keep calm. Not all
incidents result in the
release of radiation. The
incident could be contained
inside the plant and pose
no danger to the public.
2. Stay tuned to local
radio or television stations.
Local authorities will provide
specific information and
instructions.
■ The advice given will
depend on the nature of
the emergency, how
quickly it is evolving and
how much radiation, if
any, is likely to be
released.
■ Local instructions take
precedence over any
advice given in this
handbook.
■ Review the public infor39
During an Earthquake
1. Keep calm. Do not
run or panic. Stay where
you are. Most injuries occur
as people are entering or
leaving buildings.
2. If you are indoors,
take cover under a table,
desk or bench, or brace
yourself against
inside
Another important step is to
be sure your family knows
what to do if an earthquake
occurs. You should learn
where to seek shelter and
how to protect yourself.
In addition, you should —
■ Anchor the water heater,
refrigerator and tall or
heavy furniture to wall
studs. Prevent the refrigerator or other heavy
appliances from moving
by blocking the rollers.
■ Move heavy items to
lower shelves.
■ Install clips, latches and
other locking devices on
cabinet doors.
■ Add bracing to support
air conditioners, particularly on rooftops.
■ Secure gas lines by
installing flexible connectors to appliances.
■ Remove all flammable
liquids, such as painting
and cleaning products,
to the garage or outside
storage area. Be sure
these items are stored
away from heat sources
and appliances, particularly the hot water
heater or furnace.
■ Locate beds away from
windows.
walls
or doorways. Watch for falling, flying
and sliding objects. Stay
away from outside doors,
heating units, stoves, glass,
windows, chimneys and
heavy objects (such as
refrigerators and machinery)
that may topple or slide
across the floor.
3. If you are in a highrise building, get under a
desk until the shaking stops.
Seek safety where you are.
Do not use the elevator to
evacuate. Wait for instructions from building authorities. Falling debris around a
building is a common hazard.
16
■ Put something over
your mouth and nose
to protect yourself
from dust.
■ Keep still so you do
not kick up dust.
■ Tap (on metal or concrete) to make noise;
shouting may not be
heard in a large
building.
Do not be surprised if
you feel more than one
shock. After the first motion
is felt, there may be a temporary decrease in the
motion followed by another
shock. This phenomenon is
the arrival of different seismic
waves from the same earthquake. Aftershocks also may
occur. These are separate
earthquakes that follow the
main shock. Aftershocks
may occur several minutes,
hours or even days afterwards. Aftershocks can
cause additional damage or
collapse structures already
weakened by the main
earthquake.
Be prepared to deal with
the emotional needs of family members. Stay close
enough to touch and comfort
each other.
4. If you are in a public
place, get under a table or
any sturdy object, or in an
interior doorway. Avoid stopping under anything that
could fall. Do not dash for
an exit. If you must leave,
choose your exit carefully.
5. If you are outdoors,
move to an open area away
from buildings, utility wires
and brick or block walls that
could fall. Once in the open,
lie or sit down to avoid
being thrown around by the
quake until the shaking
stops.
6. If you are in a vehicle, stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in it until
the shaking stops. Avoid
stopping near or under
buildings, overpasses, trees
and utility lines. When you
drive on, watch for hazards
created by the earthquake,
such as fallen objects,
downed electric wires, or
broken or undermined roadways.
7. Insure all telephone
receivers in the house or
office are returned to the
cradle.
8. If you are trapped in
a collapsed building —
17
■ ALERT means a small
problem has occurred,
and small amounts of
radiation could leak
inside the plant. This will
not affect you. Federal,
state and county officials
will be on standby. You
should not have to take
action.
■ SITE AREA
EMERGENCY is a more
serious problem. Small
amounts of radiation
could leak from the
plant. Federal, state and
county officials will take
necessary action to
assure public safety.
Area sirens may be
sounded. Listen to your
radio or television for
safety information.
■ GENERAL EMERGENCY
is the most serious problem. Radiation could leak
outside the plant and off
the plant site. The sirens
will sound. Tune to your
local radio or television
station for reports. State
and county officials will
act to assure public
safety. Be prepared to
follow their instructions
promptly.
and the source of the
radiation, the better. For
this reason local authorities may advise you to
remain indoors if an
accident occurs at a
nearby nuclear power
plant. In some cases,
the walls of your home
would provide sufficient
shielding to protect you.
■ Time. Most radioactivity
loses its strength fairly
quickly. In a nuclear
power plant accident or
terrorist attack, the Illinois
Department of Nuclear
Safety will monitor any
release of radiation and
advise local authorities
when the threat has
passed.
How to Prepare
1. Know the terms used
to describe a nuclear emergency.
■ NOTIFICATION OF
UNUSUAL EVENT
means a small problem
has occurred at the
plant. No radiation leak
is expected. Federal,
state and county officials
will be told right away.
No action on your part
will be necessary.
38
health effects that might be
caused by low-level exposure to radiation cannot be
distinguished from those
caused by other environmental hazards.
If you are within 10 miles
of a nuclear power plant
and a release of radiation
occurs in your area, local
authorities would activate a
loud, steady warning siren
that holds a pitch for three
minutes or more. Instructions
on how you should protect
yourself would be broadcast
on local radio stations.
In general, there are
three ways to minimize radiation exposure to your body:
distance, shielding and time.
■ Distance. The greater
the distance between
you and the source of
the radiation, the better
your chance of reducing
exposure. In a serious
nuclear power plant
accident or terrorist
attack, local authorities
will call for an evacuation
to increase the distance
between you and the
radiation.
■ Shielding. Like distance,
the more heavy, dense
materials between you
harmed by direct radiation
exposure. The second zone
covers a broader area, usually up to a 50-mile radius
from the plant, where radioactive materials could contaminate water supplies,
food crops and livestock.
Understanding Radiation
Each of us is exposed to
radiation — energy that can
travel through the air —
from radioactive materials
that exist in nature. Small
traces of radiation are even
present in food and water.
Radiation also is released
from man-made sources
such as X-ray machines,
television sets and
microwave ovens.
Nuclear power plants
use the heat generated
from nuclear fission in a
contained environment to
convert water to steam,
which powers generators to
produce electricity.
In general, radiation has
a cumulative effect. The
longer a person is exposed
to radiation, the greater the
risk. A high exposure to
radiation can cause serious
illness or death. Studies
show that any negative
37
Tornadoes
A tornado is a violent
storm with whirling winds of
up to 300 miles per hour. It
appears as a rotating, funnelshaped cloud, from gray to
black in color, that extends
toward the ground from the
base of a thundercloud. A
tornado spins like a top and
may sound like the roaring
of an airplane or locomotive.
These short-lived storms
are the most violent of all
storms and the most
destructive. They occur most
frequently during April, May
and June.
A TORNADO WATCH
(forecast) means that tornadoes may occur in or near
your area. Listen to local
radio or television stations for information
and advice. Do not
use the telephone.
Watch the sky to the
south and southwest for
revolving, funnel-shaped
clouds. Report these
18
lowest floor, in a small
room such as a closet or
bathroom, or under
heavy furniture. Stay
away from windows to
avoid flying debris. Do
not remain in a trailer or
mobile home if a tornado
is approaching; take
cover in a nearby shelter
or lie flat in the nearest
depression or ditch.
■ IF YOU ARE AT WORK
in an office building, go
to an interior hallway on
the lowest floor, or to a
designated shelter area.
■ IF YOU ARE AT
SCHOOL, follow the
instructions of school
authorities. These usually
involve taking shelter in
interior hallways on the
lowest floor, and staying
out of structures with
wide, free-span roofs,
such as auditoriums and
gymnasiums.
■ IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE
IN OPEN COUNTRY,
take cover and lie flat in
the nearest depression,
such as a ditch, culvert,
excavation or ravine, and
cover your head with
your arms.
immediately to your local
police department, sheriff’s
office or weather service.
If a TORNADO WARNING is issued for your area,
take shelter immediately. A
warning means a tornado
has been sighted, or has
been indicated by radar, and
may strike in your vicinity.
What To Do During A
Tornado
Take action to protect
yourself from being struck
by falling objects, injured by
flying debris or blown away.
The best protection is an
underground shelter, cave
or steel-framed or reinforced
concrete building. If none of
these is available, there are
other places where you can
take refuge.
■ IF YOU ARE AT HOME,
go to an underground
storm cellar or basement
if you have one. If not, go
to a corner of your home
and take cover under a
sturdy workbench or
table (but not underneath
heavy appliances on the
floor above). If your
home has no basement,
take cover in the center
part of the house, on the
19
Nuclear
Power Plant
Accident
Nuclear power plants in
Illinois provide approximately
one-fifth of the state’s electrical power. About 150,000
Illinoisans live within 10 miles
of a nuclear power plant.
The operation of these
facilities is closely monitored
by the state and regulated
by the federal Nuclear
Regulatory Commission.
Accidents or a terrorist
attack at these plants are
unlikely but possible. An
accident or terrorist attack
could result in a release of
radiation that might affect
the health and safety of the
public living near the
nuclear power plant.
Illinois state, county and
local governments have
developed an emergency
response plan — called the
Illinois Plan for Radiological
Accidents — for use in the
event of a nuclear power
plant accident or terrorist
attack. The plan defines two
“emergency planning zones.”
One covers an area
within a 10-mile
radius of the
plant,
where
people
could be
36
extinguishing chemicals.
If you can turn off the
electricity, you can then
use water or anything
else available to put out
the fire.
■ Oil and grease fires
(most of which occur in
the kitchen) can be
smothered with baking
soda or salt or by putting
a lid over the flame if it
is burning in a small pan
on the stove.
■ Small fires can be controlled with water or fire
extinguishers, but do not
try to fight a fire that is
getting out of control.
Get everyone out of the
house and call the fire
department.
Most fire departments
have free brochures and
pamphlets on a variety of
fire safety topics. Contact
your local fire department or
public safety office for additional information.
flame. Also, remember
to keep newspapers and
other flammable items
away from gas appliances
that have pilot lights,
such as water heaters
and furnaces.
■ When installing home
insulation, care should
be taken to keep it clear
of electrical wiring.
■ Know where your main
gas meter and central
electrical panels are so
they can be shut off in
an emergency. Keep a
wrench next to the gas
meter at all times. If your
gas line must be shut off,
it should only be returned
to service by a gas company representative.
Remember the Ways to
Put Out a Fire
■ Take away its fuel.
■ Take away its air
(smother it).
■ Cool it with water or fire
extinguishing chemicals.
Special types of fires
require special methods.
Whichever method is
used, act quickly.
■ Never use water on an
electrical fire. Use only
specially designed fire
35
Floods
Floods are the most
common and widespread of
all natural hazards. Some
floods develop over a period
of days, but flash floods can
produce raging waters in
just a few minutes. Water
runs off steeper ground
very rapidly, causing natural
drainage systems to overflow with rushing flood
waters and a deadly cargo
of rocks, mud, smashed
trees and other debris.
Remember, even very
small streams, gullies,
creeks, culverts, dry
streambeds or low-lying
ground that may appear
harmless in dry weather
can flood.
Wherever you live, be
aware of potential flooding
hazards. If you live in a lowlying area, near water or
downstream from a
dam, you should be
prepared for a flood.
Know the National
Weather Service
terms for
potential
flooding
conditions
that will be
broadcast
on radio
20
Before the Flood
Flood losses are not
covered under normal
homeowner insurance policies, but flood insurance is
available in participating
communities through the
federally sponsored National
Flood Insurance Program.
Contact a local licensed
insurance broker or agent
for more information.
Usually there is a five-day
waiting period for coverage
to take effect, so do not wait
until the last minute.
Find out how many feet
your property is above or
below possible flood levels.
When predicted flood levels
are broadcast, you can
determine if you may be
flooded.
Keep materials like
sandbags, plywood, plastic
sheeting and lumber on
hand for emergency waterproofing. If flooding of significant depth is imminent,
DO NOT stack sandbags
around the outside walls of
your house to keep water
out of your basement. Water
seeping downward through
the soil (either beyond the
sandbags or over them)
may collect around the
and television and through
local government emergency
personnel:
■ Flood forecast means
rainfall is heavy enough
to cause rivers to overflow their banks or melting snow is mixing with
rainfall to produce similar
effects.
■ Flood warning or forecast
of impending floods
describes the affected
river or lake, the severity
of flooding (minor, moderate or major) and when
and where the flooding
will begin.
■ Flash flood watch
means current or
expected heavy rains
may cause sudden flash
flooding in specified
areas. Be alert to the
possible emergency,
which may require
immediate action.
■ Flash flood warning is
announced when flash
flooding is occurring or
imminent along certain
streams and designated
areas. Careful preparations and prompt
response will ensure
personal safety and
reduce property loss.
21
by faulty furnaces and
stoves, cracked or rusted
furnace parts, and chimneys with creosote
buildup. Be sure whatever
heating source you use
is clean and in good
working order.
■ Energy shortages and
high heating costs have
made alternative heating
sources, such as wood,
coal and kerosene burning stoves, popular.
When using any type of
room or area heating
device, make sure there
is adequate ventilation
to the outside. Make
sure there is adequate
space around the heater
and that the floor and
nearby walls are properly
insulated. Use only the
fuel designated for your
unit; DO NOT SUBSTITUTE. Properly store
ashes in a metal container outside and away
from the building.
■ When stoves or heaters
have an open flame,
keep the unit away from
walls, furniture, draperies
and other flammable
items, and place a
screen in front of the
Common sense fire prevention rules are of special
importance in an emergency.
To keep fires from starting —
■ Clean out attics, closets
and garages frequently.
Do not let trash and junk
accumulate.
■ Do not overload extension cords. Check cords
for fraying and avoid
running them under rugs.
An extension cord used
to connect an appliance
should always be the
proper size and capacity
for the appliance.
■ Store flammable liquids
in approved containers,
outside the home if possible. Never use gasoline, benzene, naphtha
and similar liquids
indoors because their
fumes can readily ignite
from any kind of spark.
Rags soaked with cleaning fluids or turpentine
sometimes catch fire by
themselves and they
should be safely discarded after use. Never
smoke when handling
flammable liquids.
■ Check your home’s
heating sources. Many
home fires are started
34
Fire
Fire safety rules are of
special importance in an
emergency, but also should
be observed every day to
prevent a disaster.
Most fire deaths occur in
the home. A smoke alarm is
a low-cost device that has
proven successful in saving
lives. Deaths from fire in the
home are substantially
reduced when smoke
alarms are present.
A smoke alarm should
be placed as close as possible to the bedrooms. It is
also a good idea to install a
smoke alarm on each level
of the house near stairways.
Smoke alarms should be
tested and maintained regularly. Each member of your
family should know what to
do if the smoke alarm
sounds. A little time
spent selecting
escape routes
and practicing
what to do may
save lives if a
fire occurs in your
home. Agree on a
place to meet outside
so you can be sure
everyone gets
out of the
house safely.
33
basement walls and under
the floor, creating pressure
that could damage the walls
or raise the entire basement.
In most cases, it is better to
permit the flood waters to
flow freely into the basement
(or flood the basement yourself with clean water, if you
feel sure it will be flooded
anyway. This will equalize the
water pressure on the outside of the basement walls
and floors, and thus avoid
structural damage to the
foundation and the house.)
If flooding is likely and
time permits, move essential
items and furniture to the
upper floors of your house.
Disconnect any electrical
appliances that cannot be
moved, but do not touch
them if you are wet or
standing in water.
If you are advised to evacuate, do so promptly. If you
are instructed to move to a
certain location, go there —
do not go anywhere else. If
travel routes are specified
or recommended, use those
routes rather than trying to
find short cuts on your own.
It would be helpful if you
previously became familiar
with the routes likely to be
used. If you are told to shut
off water, gas or electrical
service before leaving
home, do so. In case you
need to use them, find out
from radio or television
broadcasts where emergency housing and feeding
stations are located.
SECURE YOUR HOME
BEFORE LEAVING. If you
have time, and if you have
not received other instructions from local authorities,
take the following actions
before leaving home:
■ Bring outside possessions inside the house,
or tie them down
securely. This includes
outdoor furniture,
garbage cans, garden
tools, signs and other
movable objects that
might be washed away.
Evacuation
If you are advised to
evacuate your home and
move to another location
temporarily, there are certain
things to remember to do.
The following are the most
important.
FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS AND ADVICE OF
YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT.
22
■ Disconnect any electrical
appliances or equipment
that cannot be moved,
but do not touch them if
you are wet or standing
in water.
■ Lock all doors and
windows.
TRAVEL WITH CARE. If
you are walking or driving
your car to another location,
keep these points in mind:
■ Leave early enough to
avoid being marooned
by flooded roads.
■ Make sure you have
enough gasoline in your
car.
■ Follow recommended
routes.
■ As you travel, listen to
the radio for additional
information and instruction from local authorities.
■ Watch for washed-out or
undermined roadways,
earth slides, broken
sewer or water mains,
loose or downed power
lines, and falling or fallen
objects.
■ Watch for areas where
rivers or streams may
suddenly flood.
■ Do not try to cross a
stream or pool of water
unless you are certain
the water will not be
over your knees, or
above the middle of your
car wheels. Sometimes
the water hides a bridge
or part of the road that
has been washed out. If
you decide it is safe to
drive across, put your
car in low gear and drive
very slowly to avoid
splashing water into the
engine and causing it to
stall. Also, remember
your brakes may not
work well after the
wheels of your car have
been in deep water.
Pump the brakes a few
times when you reach
dry ground.
Special Advice
On Flash Floods
In many areas, unusually
heavy rains may cause quick
or flash floods. Small creeks,
gullies, dry streambeds,
ravines,
culverts
or lowlying
ground
can flood
quickly and endanger
people, sometimes before
any warning can be issued.
23
tion and protect you from
carbon monoxide poisoning.
Make sure the exhaust pipe
is not clogged with snow.
Do not leave your car to
search for assistance; you
may become confused and
get lost.
highways. Keep the car
radio tuned to weather
information and advice.
■ Drive with caution. Do
not try to save time by
traveling faster than road
and weather conditions
permit.
■ Do not be daring or foolhardy. Rather than risk
being stalled, lost or
isolated, stop, turn back
or seek help if conditions
threaten to test your
ability or endurance. If you
are caught in a blizzard,
seek refuge immediately.
Avoid Overexertion
Every winter, many
unnecessary deaths occur
because people — old and
young — engage in more
strenuous physical activity
than their bodies can stand.
Cold weather alone puts an
extra strain on your heart. If
you add physical exercise to
which you are not accustomed — such as shoveling, pushing an automobile
or even walking — you are
at greater risk of a heart
attack or stroke. In winter
weather, avoid overexertion.
Keep Calm if You Get In
Trouble
If your car breaks down
during a storm, or if you
become stalled or lost, do
not panic. Think the problem through, decide the
safest and best thing to do,
and use caution. If you are
on a heavily traveled road,
indicate you are in trouble.
Turn on your emergency
flashers or directional lights,
or hang a cloth from the
radio antenna or car window.
Stay in your car and wait for
help to arrive. If you run the
engine to keep warm, open
a window to provide ventila32
protect your lungs from the
extremely cold air.
is controlled by a thermostat and your electricity
is cut off by a storm, the
furnace will not operate
and you will need emergency heat.
■ Stock an emergency
supply of food and water
as well as emergency
cooking equipment such
as a portable stove.
Some of this food should
not require refrigeration
or cooking.
■ Keep on hand the simple
tools and equipment
needed to fight a fire
such as a fire extinguisher. Be certain that all
family members know
how to take precautions
to prevent fire at such a
time when the fire
department may not be
available or able to
reach you.
Travel Only If Necessary
If you must travel, use
public transportation if possible. If you are forced to
use your automobile for a
trip of any distance, take
these precautions:
■ Make sure your car is in
good condition, properly
serviced, equipped with
chains or snow tires, and
filled with gas.
■ If possible, take another
person with you.
■ Make sure someone
knows where you are
going, your approximate
schedule and your estimated time of arrival.
■ Have emergency “winter
storm” supplies in the
car, such as a container
of sand, shovel, windshield scraper, tow chain
or rope, flares and a
flashlight with extra batteries. It is also good to
have heavy gloves or
mittens, overshoes,
extra woolen socks and
winter headgear to cover
your head and face.
■ If you can, travel by
daylight and use major
Dress for the Season
If you spend time outdoors, wear several layers
of loose-fitting, lightweight,
warm clothing rather than a
single layer of thick clothing.
Mittens are warmer than
gloves. Use a hood to protect
your head and face and a
scarf to cover your mouth to
31
The National Weather
Service issues two types of
flash flood advisories: a flash
flood watch and a flash flood
warning. A watch means
that heavy rains occurring
or expected may soon
cause flash floods in certain
areas, and citizens should
be alert to the possibility of
a flood emergency that
would require immediate
action. A warning means
that flash flooding is occurring or imminent on certain
streams or designated
areas, and immediate
action should be taken by
those affected.
During heavy rains, be
aware of the hazards of flash
floods and be prepared to
protect yourself. If you see
any possibility of a flash
flood occurring where you
are, immediately move to a
safer location and then notify
local authorities of the
danger, so other people
can be warned.
During periods of heavy
rainfall —
■ STAY AWAY FROM
NATURAL
STREAMBEDS, gullies
and other drainage
channels during and
■
■
■
■
24
after rainstorms. Water
runs off the higher elevations very rapidly, causing the natural drainage
system to overflow with
floodwaters and their
deadly cargo of rocks,
mud, smashed trees and
other debris.
USE YOUR MAPS.
Know where you are
and whether you are on
low ground. You do not
have to be at the bottom
of a hill to be a target of
flash flooding.
KNOW WHERE THE
HIGH GROUND IS and
how to get there in a
hurry. Many roads and
trails parallel existing
drainage patterns and
may be swept away by
flood waters.
STAY OUT OF
FLOODED AREAS. The
water may still be rising
and the current could be
swift. Never try to cross
a flowing stream on foot
if the water is above
your knees.
ABANDON STALLED
VEHICLES IN FLOODED AREAS if you can
do so safely. Flood
waters may rise and
sweep the vehicle and
its occupants away.
Many deaths have
resulted from attempts
to move stalled vehicles.
■ IF YOU ARE CAUGHT
IN FLOOD WATERS, try
to keep a flashlight or
other light source with
you to attract help. To
stay afloat, hang on to
driftwood or other
debris. As a last resort,
button up a shirt and tie
knots in the sleeves or
tie knots in the legs of
pants to trap air to act
as a life vest.
■
■
■
After the Flood
■ Do not use fresh food
that has come in contact
with flood waters.
■ Have drinking water
tested for contaminants.
Wells should be pumped
out and the water tested
before drinking. (See
pages 26 through 28 for
information on how to
disinfect a well).
■ Do not visit the disaster
area. Your presence will
interfere with rescue and
emergency efforts.
■ Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet
■
■
25
areas. Electrical equipment should be checked
and dried before being
returned to service.
Use battery-powered
lanterns or flashlights,
not oil or gas lanterns or
torches, to examine
buildings. Flammables
may be inside, which
could ignite.
Report broken utility
lines to police, fire or
utility companies.
Keep tuned to local radio
or television stations for
advice and instructions
on where to obtain medical care, and where to
get housing, clothing
and food assistance.
Notify your insurance
company if your property
was damaged.
Flooded indoor areas
must be scrubbed with
warm soapy water. Also,
scrub food-contact surfaces (counter tops,
pantry shelves, refrigerators, stoves, cutting
boards, etc.) and areas
where small children
play. Then, rinse with a
solution of 1/2 cup of
laundry bleach to each
gallon of water.
■ A WINTER STORM
WARNING is issued
when heavy snow
(expected snowfall of 4
inches or more in a 24hour period), sleet or
freezing rain are forecast to occur separately
or in combination. A
WINTER STORM
WATCH indicates there
is a threat of severe winter weather.
■ FREEZING RAIN OR
FREEZING DRIZZLE is
forecast when expected
rain is likely to freeze as
soon as it strikes the
ground, putting a coating
of ice on roads and
walkways. If a substantial
layer of ice is expected
to accumulate from the
freezing rain, a winter
storm warning is issued.
■ SLEET is small particles
of ice, usually mixed
with rain. If enough sleet
accumulates on the
ground, it will make the
roads slippery.
■ TRAVELERS’ ADVISORIES are issued
when ice and snow are
expected to hinder travel
but not seriously enough
to require warnings.
Be Prepared for Isolation
At Home
If you live in a rural area,
make sure you can survive
at home for a week or two
in case a winter storm isolates you and it is impossible to leave. You should —
■ Keep an adequate supply
of heating fuel on hand
and use it sparingly. Your
regular supplies may be
curtailed by storm conditions. If necessary, conserve fuel by keeping
the house cooler than
usual, or by temporarily
closing off some rooms.
Have some kind of
EMERGENCY heating
equipment and fuel
available so you could
keep at least one room
of your house warm
enough to be livable.
Keep in mind when fuel
heating devices are
used, there must be
adequate ventilation to
avoid a buildup of potentially toxic fumes. Be sure
to use only the proper
fuel recommended by
the manufacturer. If you
have a fireplace, keep a
good supply of dry wood
on hand. If your furnace
30
Winter
Storms
Heavy snow and extreme
cold can immobilize an
entire region. Even areas
that normally experience
mild winters can be hit with
a major snow storm or
extreme cold. The results
can range from the havoc of
cars trying to maneuver on
ice-covered highways to
isolation due to power outages and blocked roads.
Whatever the case, winter
storms can cause seasonal
deaths and injuries. To protect yourself and your family
from the many hazards of
winter weather —blizzards,
heavy snows, low temperatures, freezing rain or sleet
— follow these safety tips.
Keep Posted On Weather
Conditions
Use radio and television
to keep informed of current
weather conditions and
forecasts. Even a few hours
warning may enable you to
avoid being caught in a
storm, or at least be
better prepared to
cope with it. You also
should understand the
terms commonly used
in weather reports:
29
How to Disinfect a Drilled Well
Diameter of well
(in inches)
3
4
5
6
8
10
12
Gallons
per foot
.37
.65
1.0
1.5
2.6
4.1
6.0
Amount of disinfectant required
for each 100 gallons of water
Laundry bleach (5.25% chlorine)
3 cups*
Hypochlorite granules (70% chlorine)
2 ounces**
*1 cup = 8-ounce measuring cup*
*1 ounce = 2 heaping tablespoons of granules
■ Wash all linens and
clothing in hot water, or
dry clean them.
■ It is best to discard items
that cannot be washed
or dry-cleaned, such as
mattresses, upholstered
furniture, etc. If you must
keep such items, air dry
them in the sun, then,
thoroughly vacuum them
and spray with a disinfectant.
■ Steam clean or discard
carpeting.
feet. Example: A well with a
6-inch diameter contains
1.5 gallons of water per
foot. To determine the number of gallons in a well that
is 120 feet deep, multiply
1.5 by 120 (1.5 x 120 = 180).
2. For each 100 gallons
of water in the well, use the
amount of chlorine (liquid or
granules) indicated.
Example: 180 gallons of
water X 2 ounces of chlorine
granules (per 100 gallons of
water) = 3.6 ounces of
granules (use 4 ounces).
Mix this total amount of
liquid or granules in about
10 gallons of water. Be sure
dry granules or tablets are
completely dissolved before
adding to the well.
Drilled Wells
1. Using the above
table, determine the amount
of water in the well by multiplying the gallons per foot
by the depth of the well in
26
fixtures that discharge into
septic tank systems to a low
flow to avoid overloading the
disposal system.
3. Pour the solution into
the top of the well before
the seal is installed.
4. Connect a hose from
a faucet on the discharge
side of the pressure tank to
the well casing top. Start
the pump. Spray the water
back into the well and wash
the sides of the casing for
at least 15 minutes.
5. Open every faucet in
the system and let the
water run until the smell of
chlorine can be detected.
Then close all the faucets
and seal the top of the well.
6. Let stand for several
hours, preferably overnight.
7. After you have let the
water stand, operate the
pump, discharging water
from all outlets (turning on all
faucets) until all odor of chlorine disappears. Adjust the
flow of water from faucets or
Dug Wells
1. The amount of water
in the well determines how
much disinfectant (bleach or
granules) is required. Use
the table below to make calculations.
2. To determine the
exact amount of chlorine
liquid or granules to use,
multiply the amount of disinfectant indicated (according
to the diameter of the well)
by the depth of the well.
Example: A well 5 feet in
diameter requires 4 1/2
cups of bleach per foot of
water. If the well is 30 feet
deep, multiply 4 1/2 by 30 to
determine the total number
of cups of bleach required
How to Disinfect a Dug Well
Diameter of well
(in feet)
3
4
5
6
7
8
10
Amount of 5.25%
laundry bleach
per foot of water
1 1/2
3
4 1/2
6
9
12
18
cups
cups
cups
cups
cups
cups
cups
27
Amount of 70%
chlorine granules
per foot of water
1
2
3
4
6
8
12
ounce
ounces
ounces
ounces
ounces
ounces
ounces
tic tank systems to low flow
to avoid overloading the disposal system.
(4 1/2 X 30 = 135). 135
cups = 8.44 gallons (16
cups = 1 gallon; use 8 1/2
gallons).
Example: A well 6 feet in
diameter requires 4 ounces
of chlorine granules or powder per foot of water. If the
well is 40 feet deep, multiply
4 (ounces) by 40 (feet). This
well, then, requires 160
ounces of granules or powder, or 10 pounds.
3. Add this total amount
of liquid or dry bleach to
about 10 gallons of water.
Splash the mixture around
the lining or wall of the well.
Be certain the bleach solution contacts all parts of the
well.
4. Seal the well top.
5. Open all faucets and
pump water until a strong
odor of chlorine is noticeable
at each faucet. Then stop
the pump and allow the
solution to remain in the
well overnight.
6. After it stands overnight, operate the pump,
discharging water from all
outlets (turning on all
faucets) until the chlorine
odor disappears. Adjust the
flow of water faucets or fixtures that discharge to sep-
Driven Wells
All that is necessary to
restore a driven or sandpoint well is to pump it out
thoroughly.
If the well has a pit,
pump out any water that
has accumulated in the pit.
28
fixtures that discharge into
septic tank systems to a low
flow to avoid overloading the
disposal system.
3. Pour the solution into
the top of the well before
the seal is installed.
4. Connect a hose from
a faucet on the discharge
side of the pressure tank to
the well casing top. Start
the pump. Spray the water
back into the well and wash
the sides of the casing for
at least 15 minutes.
5. Open every faucet in
the system and let the
water run until the smell of
chlorine can be detected.
Then close all the faucets
and seal the top of the well.
6. Let stand for several
hours, preferably overnight.
7. After you have let the
water stand, operate the
pump, discharging water
from all outlets (turning on all
faucets) until all odor of chlorine disappears. Adjust the
flow of water from faucets or
Dug Wells
1. The amount of water
in the well determines how
much disinfectant (bleach or
granules) is required. Use
the table below to make calculations.
2. To determine the
exact amount of chlorine
liquid or granules to use,
multiply the amount of disinfectant indicated (according
to the diameter of the well)
by the depth of the well.
Example: A well 5 feet in
diameter requires 4 1/2
cups of bleach per foot of
water. If the well is 30 feet
deep, multiply 4 1/2 by 30 to
determine the total number
of cups of bleach required
How to Disinfect a Dug Well
Diameter of well
(in feet)
3
4
5
6
7
8
10
Amount of 5.25%
laundry bleach
per foot of water
1 1/2
3
4 1/2
6
9
12
18
cups
cups
cups
cups
cups
cups
cups
27
Amount of 70%
chlorine granules
per foot of water
1
2
3
4
6
8
12
ounce
ounces
ounces
ounces
ounces
ounces
ounces
tic tank systems to low flow
to avoid overloading the disposal system.
(4 1/2 X 30 = 135). 135
cups = 8.44 gallons (16
cups = 1 gallon; use 8 1/2
gallons).
Example: A well 6 feet in
diameter requires 4 ounces
of chlorine granules or powder per foot of water. If the
well is 40 feet deep, multiply
4 (ounces) by 40 (feet). This
well, then, requires 160
ounces of granules or powder, or 10 pounds.
3. Add this total amount
of liquid or dry bleach to
about 10 gallons of water.
Splash the mixture around
the lining or wall of the well.
Be certain the bleach solution contacts all parts of the
well.
4. Seal the well top.
5. Open all faucets and
pump water until a strong
odor of chlorine is noticeable
at each faucet. Then stop
the pump and allow the
solution to remain in the
well overnight.
6. After it stands overnight, operate the pump,
discharging water from all
outlets (turning on all
faucets) until the chlorine
odor disappears. Adjust the
flow of water faucets or fixtures that discharge to sep-
Driven Wells
All that is necessary to
restore a driven or sandpoint well is to pump it out
thoroughly.
If the well has a pit,
pump out any water that
has accumulated in the pit.
28
Winter
Storms
Heavy snow and extreme
cold can immobilize an
entire region. Even areas
that normally experience
mild winters can be hit with
a major snow storm or
extreme cold. The results
can range from the havoc of
cars trying to maneuver on
ice-covered highways to
isolation due to power outages and blocked roads.
Whatever the case, winter
storms can cause seasonal
deaths and injuries. To protect yourself and your family
from the many hazards of
winter weather —blizzards,
heavy snows, low temperatures, freezing rain or sleet
— follow these safety tips.
Keep Posted On Weather
Conditions
Use radio and television
to keep informed of current
weather conditions and
forecasts. Even a few hours
warning may enable you to
avoid being caught in a
storm, or at least be
better prepared to
cope with it. You also
should understand the
terms commonly used
in weather reports:
29
How to Disinfect a Drilled Well
Diameter of well
(in inches)
3
4
5
6
8
10
12
Gallons
per foot
.37
.65
1.0
1.5
2.6
4.1
6.0
Amount of disinfectant required
for each 100 gallons of water
Laundry bleach (5.25% chlorine)
3 cups*
Hypochlorite granules (70% chlorine)
2 ounces**
*1 cup = 8-ounce measuring cup*
*1 ounce = 2 heaping tablespoons of granules
■ Wash all linens and
clothing in hot water, or
dry clean them.
■ It is best to discard items
that cannot be washed
or dry-cleaned, such as
mattresses, upholstered
furniture, etc. If you must
keep such items, air dry
them in the sun, then,
thoroughly vacuum them
and spray with a disinfectant.
■ Steam clean or discard
carpeting.
feet. Example: A well with a
6-inch diameter contains
1.5 gallons of water per
foot. To determine the number of gallons in a well that
is 120 feet deep, multiply
1.5 by 120 (1.5 x 120 = 180).
2. For each 100 gallons
of water in the well, use the
amount of chlorine (liquid or
granules) indicated.
Example: 180 gallons of
water X 2 ounces of chlorine
granules (per 100 gallons of
water) = 3.6 ounces of
granules (use 4 ounces).
Mix this total amount of
liquid or granules in about
10 gallons of water. Be sure
dry granules or tablets are
completely dissolved before
adding to the well.
Drilled Wells
1. Using the above
table, determine the amount
of water in the well by multiplying the gallons per foot
by the depth of the well in
26
sweep the vehicle and
its occupants away.
Many deaths have
resulted from attempts
to move stalled vehicles.
■ IF YOU ARE CAUGHT
IN FLOOD WATERS, try
to keep a flashlight or
other light source with
you to attract help. To
stay afloat, hang on to
driftwood or other
debris. As a last resort,
button up a shirt and tie
knots in the sleeves or
tie knots in the legs of
pants to trap air to act
as a life vest.
■
■
■
After the Flood
■ Do not use fresh food
that has come in contact
with flood waters.
■ Have drinking water
tested for contaminants.
Wells should be pumped
out and the water tested
before drinking. (See
pages 26 through 28 for
information on how to
disinfect a well).
■ Do not visit the disaster
area. Your presence will
interfere with rescue and
emergency efforts.
■ Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet
■
■
25
areas. Electrical equipment should be checked
and dried before being
returned to service.
Use battery-powered
lanterns or flashlights,
not oil or gas lanterns or
torches, to examine
buildings. Flammables
may be inside, which
could ignite.
Report broken utility
lines to police, fire or
utility companies.
Keep tuned to local radio
or television stations for
advice and instructions
on where to obtain medical care, and where to
get housing, clothing
and food assistance.
Notify your insurance
company if your property
was damaged.
Flooded indoor areas
must be scrubbed with
warm soapy water. Also,
scrub food-contact surfaces (counter tops,
pantry shelves, refrigerators, stoves, cutting
boards, etc.) and areas
where small children
play. Then, rinse with a
solution of 1/2 cup of
laundry bleach to each
gallon of water.
■ A WINTER STORM
WARNING is issued
when heavy snow
(expected snowfall of 4
inches or more in a 24hour period), sleet or
freezing rain are forecast to occur separately
or in combination. A
WINTER STORM
WATCH indicates there
is a threat of severe winter weather.
■ FREEZING RAIN OR
FREEZING DRIZZLE is
forecast when expected
rain is likely to freeze as
soon as it strikes the
ground, putting a coating
of ice on roads and
walkways. If a substantial
layer of ice is expected
to accumulate from the
freezing rain, a winter
storm warning is issued.
■ SLEET is small particles
of ice, usually mixed
with rain. If enough sleet
accumulates on the
ground, it will make the
roads slippery.
■ TRAVELERS’ ADVISORIES are issued
when ice and snow are
expected to hinder travel
but not seriously enough
to require warnings.
Be Prepared for Isolation
At Home
If you live in a rural area,
make sure you can survive
at home for a week or two
in case a winter storm isolates you and it is impossible to leave. You should —
■ Keep an adequate supply
of heating fuel on hand
and use it sparingly. Your
regular supplies may be
curtailed by storm conditions. If necessary, conserve fuel by keeping
the house cooler than
usual, or by temporarily
closing off some rooms.
Have some kind of
EMERGENCY heating
equipment and fuel
available so you could
keep at least one room
of your house warm
enough to be livable.
Keep in mind when fuel
heating devices are
used, there must be
adequate ventilation to
avoid a buildup of potentially toxic fumes. Be sure
to use only the proper
fuel recommended by
the manufacturer. If you
have a fireplace, keep a
good supply of dry wood
on hand. If your furnace
30
protect your lungs from the
extremely cold air.
is controlled by a thermostat and your electricity
is cut off by a storm, the
furnace will not operate
and you will need emergency heat.
■ Stock an emergency
supply of food and water
as well as emergency
cooking equipment such
as a portable stove.
Some of this food should
not require refrigeration
or cooking.
■ Keep on hand the simple
tools and equipment
needed to fight a fire
such as a fire extinguisher. Be certain that all
family members know
how to take precautions
to prevent fire at such a
time when the fire
department may not be
available or able to
reach you.
Travel Only If Necessary
If you must travel, use
public transportation if possible. If you are forced to
use your automobile for a
trip of any distance, take
these precautions:
■ Make sure your car is in
good condition, properly
serviced, equipped with
chains or snow tires, and
filled with gas.
■ If possible, take another
person with you.
■ Make sure someone
knows where you are
going, your approximate
schedule and your estimated time of arrival.
■ Have emergency “winter
storm” supplies in the
car, such as a container
of sand, shovel, windshield scraper, tow chain
or rope, flares and a
flashlight with extra batteries. It is also good to
have heavy gloves or
mittens, overshoes,
extra woolen socks and
winter headgear to cover
your head and face.
■ If you can, travel by
daylight and use major
Dress for the Season
If you spend time outdoors, wear several layers
of loose-fitting, lightweight,
warm clothing rather than a
single layer of thick clothing.
Mittens are warmer than
gloves. Use a hood to protect
your head and face and a
scarf to cover your mouth to
31
The National Weather
Service issues two types of
flash flood advisories: a flash
flood watch and a flash flood
warning. A watch means
that heavy rains occurring
or expected may soon
cause flash floods in certain
areas, and citizens should
be alert to the possibility of
a flood emergency that
would require immediate
action. A warning means
that flash flooding is occurring or imminent on certain
streams or designated
areas, and immediate
action should be taken by
those affected.
During heavy rains, be
aware of the hazards of flash
floods and be prepared to
protect yourself. If you see
any possibility of a flash
flood occurring where you
are, immediately move to a
safer location and then notify
local authorities of the
danger, so other people
can be warned.
During periods of heavy
rainfall —
■ STAY AWAY FROM
NATURAL
STREAMBEDS, gullies
and other drainage
channels during and
■
■
■
■
24
after rainstorms. Water
runs off the higher elevations very rapidly, causing the natural drainage
system to overflow with
floodwaters and their
deadly cargo of rocks,
mud, smashed trees and
other debris.
USE YOUR MAPS.
Know where you are
and whether you are on
low ground. You do not
have to be at the bottom
of a hill to be a target of
flash flooding.
KNOW WHERE THE
HIGH GROUND IS and
how to get there in a
hurry. Many roads and
trails parallel existing
drainage patterns and
may be swept away by
flood waters.
STAY OUT OF
FLOODED AREAS. The
water may still be rising
and the current could be
swift. Never try to cross
a flowing stream on foot
if the water is above
your knees.
ABANDON STALLED
VEHICLES IN FLOODED AREAS if you can
do so safely. Flood
waters may rise and
■ Disconnect any electrical
appliances or equipment
that cannot be moved,
but do not touch them if
you are wet or standing
in water.
■ Lock all doors and
windows.
TRAVEL WITH CARE. If
you are walking or driving
your car to another location,
keep these points in mind:
■ Leave early enough to
avoid being marooned
by flooded roads.
■ Make sure you have
enough gasoline in your
car.
■ Follow recommended
routes.
■ As you travel, listen to
the radio for additional
information and instruction from local authorities.
■ Watch for washed-out or
undermined roadways,
earth slides, broken
sewer or water mains,
loose or downed power
lines, and falling or fallen
objects.
■ Watch for areas where
rivers or streams may
suddenly flood.
■ Do not try to cross a
stream or pool of water
unless you are certain
the water will not be
over your knees, or
above the middle of your
car wheels. Sometimes
the water hides a bridge
or part of the road that
has been washed out. If
you decide it is safe to
drive across, put your
car in low gear and drive
very slowly to avoid
splashing water into the
engine and causing it to
stall. Also, remember
your brakes may not
work well after the
wheels of your car have
been in deep water.
Pump the brakes a few
times when you reach
dry ground.
Special Advice
On Flash Floods
In many areas, unusually
heavy rains may cause quick
or flash floods. Small creeks,
gullies, dry streambeds,
ravines,
culverts
or lowlying
ground
can flood
quickly and endanger
people, sometimes before
any warning can be issued.
23
tion and protect you from
carbon monoxide poisoning.
Make sure the exhaust pipe
is not clogged with snow.
Do not leave your car to
search for assistance; you
may become confused and
get lost.
highways. Keep the car
radio tuned to weather
information and advice.
■ Drive with caution. Do
not try to save time by
traveling faster than road
and weather conditions
permit.
■ Do not be daring or foolhardy. Rather than risk
being stalled, lost or
isolated, stop, turn back
or seek help if conditions
threaten to test your
ability or endurance. If you
are caught in a blizzard,
seek refuge immediately.
Avoid Overexertion
Every winter, many
unnecessary deaths occur
because people — old and
young — engage in more
strenuous physical activity
than their bodies can stand.
Cold weather alone puts an
extra strain on your heart. If
you add physical exercise to
which you are not accustomed — such as shoveling, pushing an automobile
or even walking — you are
at greater risk of a heart
attack or stroke. In winter
weather, avoid overexertion.
Keep Calm if You Get In
Trouble
If your car breaks down
during a storm, or if you
become stalled or lost, do
not panic. Think the problem through, decide the
safest and best thing to do,
and use caution. If you are
on a heavily traveled road,
indicate you are in trouble.
Turn on your emergency
flashers or directional lights,
or hang a cloth from the
radio antenna or car window.
Stay in your car and wait for
help to arrive. If you run the
engine to keep warm, open
a window to provide ventila32
Fire
Fire safety rules are of
special importance in an
emergency, but also should
be observed every day to
prevent a disaster.
Most fire deaths occur in
the home. A smoke alarm is
a low-cost device that has
proven successful in saving
lives. Deaths from fire in the
home are substantially
reduced when smoke
alarms are present.
A smoke alarm should
be placed as close as possible to the bedrooms. It is
also a good idea to install a
smoke alarm on each level
of the house near stairways.
Smoke alarms should be
tested and maintained regularly. Each member of your
family should know what to
do if the smoke alarm
sounds. A little time
spent selecting
escape routes
and practicing
what to do may
save lives if a
fire occurs in your
home. Agree on a
place to meet outside
so you can be sure
everyone gets
out of the
house safely.
33
basement walls and under
the floor, creating pressure
that could damage the walls
or raise the entire basement.
In most cases, it is better to
permit the flood waters to
flow freely into the basement
(or flood the basement yourself with clean water, if you
feel sure it will be flooded
anyway. This will equalize the
water pressure on the outside of the basement walls
and floors, and thus avoid
structural damage to the
foundation and the house.)
If flooding is likely and
time permits, move essential
items and furniture to the
upper floors of your house.
Disconnect any electrical
appliances that cannot be
moved, but do not touch
them if you are wet or
standing in water.
If you are advised to evacuate, do so promptly. If you
are instructed to move to a
certain location, go there —
do not go anywhere else. If
travel routes are specified
or recommended, use those
routes rather than trying to
find short cuts on your own.
It would be helpful if you
previously became familiar
with the routes likely to be
used. If you are told to shut
off water, gas or electrical
service before leaving
home, do so. In case you
need to use them, find out
from radio or television
broadcasts where emergency housing and feeding
stations are located.
SECURE YOUR HOME
BEFORE LEAVING. If you
have time, and if you have
not received other instructions from local authorities,
take the following actions
before leaving home:
■ Bring outside possessions inside the house,
or tie them down
securely. This includes
outdoor furniture,
garbage cans, garden
tools, signs and other
movable objects that
might be washed away.
Evacuation
If you are advised to
evacuate your home and
move to another location
temporarily, there are certain
things to remember to do.
The following are the most
important.
FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS AND ADVICE OF
YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT.
22
Before the Flood
Flood losses are not
covered under normal
homeowner insurance policies, but flood insurance is
available in participating
communities through the
federally sponsored National
Flood Insurance Program.
Contact a local licensed
insurance broker or agent
for more information.
Usually there is a five-day
waiting period for coverage
to take effect, so do not wait
until the last minute.
Find out how many feet
your property is above or
below possible flood levels.
When predicted flood levels
are broadcast, you can
determine if you may be
flooded.
Keep materials like
sandbags, plywood, plastic
sheeting and lumber on
hand for emergency waterproofing. If flooding of significant depth is imminent,
DO NOT stack sandbags
around the outside walls of
your house to keep water
out of your basement. Water
seeping downward through
the soil (either beyond the
sandbags or over them)
may collect around the
and television and through
local government emergency
personnel:
■ Flood forecast means
rainfall is heavy enough
to cause rivers to overflow their banks or melting snow is mixing with
rainfall to produce similar
effects.
■ Flood warning or forecast
of impending floods
describes the affected
river or lake, the severity
of flooding (minor, moderate or major) and when
and where the flooding
will begin.
■ Flash flood watch
means current or
expected heavy rains
may cause sudden flash
flooding in specified
areas. Be alert to the
possible emergency,
which may require
immediate action.
■ Flash flood warning is
announced when flash
flooding is occurring or
imminent along certain
streams and designated
areas. Careful preparations and prompt
response will ensure
personal safety and
reduce property loss.
21
by faulty furnaces and
stoves, cracked or rusted
furnace parts, and chimneys with creosote
buildup. Be sure whatever
heating source you use
is clean and in good
working order.
■ Energy shortages and
high heating costs have
made alternative heating
sources, such as wood,
coal and kerosene burning stoves, popular.
When using any type of
room or area heating
device, make sure there
is adequate ventilation
to the outside. Make
sure there is adequate
space around the heater
and that the floor and
nearby walls are properly
insulated. Use only the
fuel designated for your
unit; DO NOT SUBSTITUTE. Properly store
ashes in a metal container outside and away
from the building.
■ When stoves or heaters
have an open flame,
keep the unit away from
walls, furniture, draperies
and other flammable
items, and place a
screen in front of the
Common sense fire prevention rules are of special
importance in an emergency.
To keep fires from starting —
■ Clean out attics, closets
and garages frequently.
Do not let trash and junk
accumulate.
■ Do not overload extension cords. Check cords
for fraying and avoid
running them under rugs.
An extension cord used
to connect an appliance
should always be the
proper size and capacity
for the appliance.
■ Store flammable liquids
in approved containers,
outside the home if possible. Never use gasoline, benzene, naphtha
and similar liquids
indoors because their
fumes can readily ignite
from any kind of spark.
Rags soaked with cleaning fluids or turpentine
sometimes catch fire by
themselves and they
should be safely discarded after use. Never
smoke when handling
flammable liquids.
■ Check your home’s
heating sources. Many
home fires are started
34
extinguishing chemicals.
If you can turn off the
electricity, you can then
use water or anything
else available to put out
the fire.
■ Oil and grease fires
(most of which occur in
the kitchen) can be
smothered with baking
soda or salt or by putting
a lid over the flame if it
is burning in a small pan
on the stove.
■ Small fires can be controlled with water or fire
extinguishers, but do not
try to fight a fire that is
getting out of control.
Get everyone out of the
house and call the fire
department.
Most fire departments
have free brochures and
pamphlets on a variety of
fire safety topics. Contact
your local fire department or
public safety office for additional information.
flame. Also, remember
to keep newspapers and
other flammable items
away from gas appliances
that have pilot lights,
such as water heaters
and furnaces.
■ When installing home
insulation, care should
be taken to keep it clear
of electrical wiring.
■ Know where your main
gas meter and central
electrical panels are so
they can be shut off in
an emergency. Keep a
wrench next to the gas
meter at all times. If your
gas line must be shut off,
it should only be returned
to service by a gas company representative.
Remember the Ways to
Put Out a Fire
■ Take away its fuel.
■ Take away its air
(smother it).
■ Cool it with water or fire
extinguishing chemicals.
Special types of fires
require special methods.
Whichever method is
used, act quickly.
■ Never use water on an
electrical fire. Use only
specially designed fire
35
Floods
Floods are the most
common and widespread of
all natural hazards. Some
floods develop over a period
of days, but flash floods can
produce raging waters in
just a few minutes. Water
runs off steeper ground
very rapidly, causing natural
drainage systems to overflow with rushing flood
waters and a deadly cargo
of rocks, mud, smashed
trees and other debris.
Remember, even very
small streams, gullies,
creeks, culverts, dry
streambeds or low-lying
ground that may appear
harmless in dry weather
can flood.
Wherever you live, be
aware of potential flooding
hazards. If you live in a lowlying area, near water or
downstream from a
dam, you should be
prepared for a flood.
Know the National
Weather Service
terms for
potential
flooding
conditions
that will be
broadcast
on radio
20
lowest floor, in a small
room such as a closet or
bathroom, or under
heavy furniture. Stay
away from windows to
avoid flying debris. Do
not remain in a trailer or
mobile home if a tornado
is approaching; take
cover in a nearby shelter
or lie flat in the nearest
depression or ditch.
■ IF YOU ARE AT WORK
in an office building, go
to an interior hallway on
the lowest floor, or to a
designated shelter area.
■ IF YOU ARE AT
SCHOOL, follow the
instructions of school
authorities. These usually
involve taking shelter in
interior hallways on the
lowest floor, and staying
out of structures with
wide, free-span roofs,
such as auditoriums and
gymnasiums.
■ IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE
IN OPEN COUNTRY,
take cover and lie flat in
the nearest depression,
such as a ditch, culvert,
excavation or ravine, and
cover your head with
your arms.
immediately to your local
police department, sheriff’s
office or weather service.
If a TORNADO WARNING is issued for your area,
take shelter immediately. A
warning means a tornado
has been sighted, or has
been indicated by radar, and
may strike in your vicinity.
What To Do During A
Tornado
Take action to protect
yourself from being struck
by falling objects, injured by
flying debris or blown away.
The best protection is an
underground shelter, cave
or steel-framed or reinforced
concrete building. If none of
these is available, there are
other places where you can
take refuge.
■ IF YOU ARE AT HOME,
go to an underground
storm cellar or basement
if you have one. If not, go
to a corner of your home
and take cover under a
sturdy workbench or
table (but not underneath
heavy appliances on the
floor above). If your
home has no basement,
take cover in the center
part of the house, on the
19
Nuclear
Power Plant
Accident
Nuclear power plants in
Illinois provide approximately
one-fifth of the state’s electrical power. About 150,000
Illinoisans live within 10 miles
of a nuclear power plant.
The operation of these
facilities is closely monitored
by the state and regulated
by the federal Nuclear
Regulatory Commission.
Accidents or a terrorist
attack at these plants are
unlikely but possible. An
accident or terrorist attack
could result in a release of
radiation that might affect
the health and safety of the
public living near the
nuclear power plant.
Illinois state, county and
local governments have
developed an emergency
response plan — called the
Illinois Plan for Radiological
Accidents — for use in the
event of a nuclear power
plant accident or terrorist
attack. The plan defines two
“emergency planning zones.”
One covers an area
within a 10-mile
radius of the
plant,
where
people
could be
36
health effects that might be
caused by low-level exposure to radiation cannot be
distinguished from those
caused by other environmental hazards.
If you are within 10 miles
of a nuclear power plant
and a release of radiation
occurs in your area, local
authorities would activate a
loud, steady warning siren
that holds a pitch for three
minutes or more. Instructions
on how you should protect
yourself would be broadcast
on local radio stations.
In general, there are
three ways to minimize radiation exposure to your body:
distance, shielding and time.
■ Distance. The greater
the distance between
you and the source of
the radiation, the better
your chance of reducing
exposure. In a serious
nuclear power plant
accident or terrorist
attack, local authorities
will call for an evacuation
to increase the distance
between you and the
radiation.
■ Shielding. Like distance,
the more heavy, dense
materials between you
harmed by direct radiation
exposure. The second zone
covers a broader area, usually up to a 50-mile radius
from the plant, where radioactive materials could contaminate water supplies,
food crops and livestock.
Understanding Radiation
Each of us is exposed to
radiation — energy that can
travel through the air —
from radioactive materials
that exist in nature. Small
traces of radiation are even
present in food and water.
Radiation also is released
from man-made sources
such as X-ray machines,
television sets and
microwave ovens.
Nuclear power plants
use the heat generated
from nuclear fission in a
contained environment to
convert water to steam,
which powers generators to
produce electricity.
In general, radiation has
a cumulative effect. The
longer a person is exposed
to radiation, the greater the
risk. A high exposure to
radiation can cause serious
illness or death. Studies
show that any negative
37
Tornadoes
A tornado is a violent
storm with whirling winds of
up to 300 miles per hour. It
appears as a rotating, funnelshaped cloud, from gray to
black in color, that extends
toward the ground from the
base of a thundercloud. A
tornado spins like a top and
may sound like the roaring
of an airplane or locomotive.
These short-lived storms
are the most violent of all
storms and the most
destructive. They occur most
frequently during April, May
and June.
A TORNADO WATCH
(forecast) means that tornadoes may occur in or near
your area. Listen to local
radio or television stations for information
and advice. Do not
use the telephone.
Watch the sky to the
south and southwest for
revolving, funnel-shaped
clouds. Report these
18
■ Put something over
your mouth and nose
to protect yourself
from dust.
■ Keep still so you do
not kick up dust.
■ Tap (on metal or concrete) to make noise;
shouting may not be
heard in a large
building.
Do not be surprised if
you feel more than one
shock. After the first motion
is felt, there may be a temporary decrease in the
motion followed by another
shock. This phenomenon is
the arrival of different seismic
waves from the same earthquake. Aftershocks also may
occur. These are separate
earthquakes that follow the
main shock. Aftershocks
may occur several minutes,
hours or even days afterwards. Aftershocks can
cause additional damage or
collapse structures already
weakened by the main
earthquake.
Be prepared to deal with
the emotional needs of family members. Stay close
enough to touch and comfort
each other.
4. If you are in a public
place, get under a table or
any sturdy object, or in an
interior doorway. Avoid stopping under anything that
could fall. Do not dash for
an exit. If you must leave,
choose your exit carefully.
5. If you are outdoors,
move to an open area away
from buildings, utility wires
and brick or block walls that
could fall. Once in the open,
lie or sit down to avoid
being thrown around by the
quake until the shaking
stops.
6. If you are in a vehicle, stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in it until
the shaking stops. Avoid
stopping near or under
buildings, overpasses, trees
and utility lines. When you
drive on, watch for hazards
created by the earthquake,
such as fallen objects,
downed electric wires, or
broken or undermined roadways.
7. Insure all telephone
receivers in the house or
office are returned to the
cradle.
8. If you are trapped in
a collapsed building —
17
■ ALERT means a small
problem has occurred,
and small amounts of
radiation could leak
inside the plant. This will
not affect you. Federal,
state and county officials
will be on standby. You
should not have to take
action.
■ SITE AREA
EMERGENCY is a more
serious problem. Small
amounts of radiation
could leak from the
plant. Federal, state and
county officials will take
necessary action to
assure public safety.
Area sirens may be
sounded. Listen to your
radio or television for
safety information.
■ GENERAL EMERGENCY
is the most serious problem. Radiation could leak
outside the plant and off
the plant site. The sirens
will sound. Tune to your
local radio or television
station for reports. State
and county officials will
act to assure public
safety. Be prepared to
follow their instructions
promptly.
and the source of the
radiation, the better. For
this reason local authorities may advise you to
remain indoors if an
accident occurs at a
nearby nuclear power
plant. In some cases,
the walls of your home
would provide sufficient
shielding to protect you.
■ Time. Most radioactivity
loses its strength fairly
quickly. In a nuclear
power plant accident or
terrorist attack, the Illinois
Department of Nuclear
Safety will monitor any
release of radiation and
advise local authorities
when the threat has
passed.
How to Prepare
1. Know the terms used
to describe a nuclear emergency.
■ NOTIFICATION OF
UNUSUAL EVENT
means a small problem
has occurred at the
plant. No radiation leak
is expected. Federal,
state and county officials
will be told right away.
No action on your part
will be necessary.
38
■ Consider your transportation options. If you do not
own or drive a car, call
your state or local emergency management
agency office and ask
for more information on
alternative transportation.
■ See the evacuation and
checklists chapters for
important details.
2. Learn your community’s warning system.
Nuclear power plants are
required to install sirens
and other warning systems
to cover a 10-mile area
around the plant.
■ Siren tests occur on the
first Tuesday of each
month at 10 a.m.
■ Determine whether you
can hear the siren from
your home, and become
familiar with the sound.
3. Obtain public emergency information materials
from the utility that operates
your local nuclear power
plant or from your local
emergency services office. If
you live within 10 miles of
the power plant, you should
receive these materials
every year from the utility.
4. Learn the emergency
plans for schools, day care
centers, nursing homes and
other places where members
of your family might be. Stay
tuned to your local radio
stations for further updates.
5. Be prepared to
evacuate:
■ Gather, in advance,
clothing, a batterypowered radio and
personal items.
What To Do In A Nuclear
Power Plant Emergency
1. Keep calm. Not all
incidents result in the
release of radiation. The
incident could be contained
inside the plant and pose
no danger to the public.
2. Stay tuned to local
radio or television stations.
Local authorities will provide
specific information and
instructions.
■ The advice given will
depend on the nature of
the emergency, how
quickly it is evolving and
how much radiation, if
any, is likely to be
released.
■ Local instructions take
precedence over any
advice given in this
handbook.
■ Review the public infor39
During an Earthquake
1. Keep calm. Do not
run or panic. Stay where
you are. Most injuries occur
as people are entering or
leaving buildings.
2. If you are indoors,
take cover under a table,
desk or bench, or brace
yourself against
inside
Another important step is to
be sure your family knows
what to do if an earthquake
occurs. You should learn
where to seek shelter and
how to protect yourself.
In addition, you should —
■ Anchor the water heater,
refrigerator and tall or
heavy furniture to wall
studs. Prevent the refrigerator or other heavy
appliances from moving
by blocking the rollers.
■ Move heavy items to
lower shelves.
■ Install clips, latches and
other locking devices on
cabinet doors.
■ Add bracing to support
air conditioners, particularly on rooftops.
■ Secure gas lines by
installing flexible connectors to appliances.
■ Remove all flammable
liquids, such as painting
and cleaning products,
to the garage or outside
storage area. Be sure
these items are stored
away from heat sources
and appliances, particularly the hot water
heater or furnace.
■ Locate beds away from
windows.
walls
or doorways. Watch for falling, flying
and sliding objects. Stay
away from outside doors,
heating units, stoves, glass,
windows, chimneys and
heavy objects (such as
refrigerators and machinery)
that may topple or slide
across the floor.
3. If you are in a highrise building, get under a
desk until the shaking stops.
Seek safety where you are.
Do not use the elevator to
evacuate. Wait for instructions from building authorities. Falling debris around a
building is a common hazard.
16
Earthquakes
An earthquake is the
shaking or trembling of the
crust of the earth, caused
by underground volcanic
forces or by breaking and
shifting of rock beneath the
surface. Earthquakes usually
last only for a few seconds,
but can last for as much as
a minute. Minor earthquakes
will cause rattling windows
and dishes; if stronger, you
may feel a shaking sensation
or, in a severe earthquake,
the ground may sway like
the deck of a ship. The
movement can cause buildings and other structures
to shake or collapse. The
earth, however, does not
open up and swallow a
whole neighborhood.
Earthquake deaths and
injuries are seldom caused
by the actual movement
of the ground but from
falling objects and
debris, splintering glass
and fires.
Earthquake
Preparedness
Survey your home for
possible hazards and
then take action
to lessen those
hazards.
15
6. Do not use the telephone unless absolutely
necessary. All lines will be
needed for emergency calls.
mation materials you
received from the utility
company or government
officials.
3. Evacuate if you are
advised to do so.
■ Close and lock home
doors and windows.
■ Keep car windows and
vents closed; use
recirculating air.
■ Listen to radio broadcasts
for evacuation routes and
other instructions.
4. If you are not advised
to evacuate, remain indoors.
■ Close doors and windows.
■ Turn off the air conditioner, ventilation fans,
furnace and other air
intakes.
■ Go to a basement or
other underground area
if possible.
■ Keep a battery-powered
radio with you at all
times.
■ If you must go outdoors,
cover your nose and
mouth with a handkerchief.
5. Shelter livestock and
give them stored feed and
protected water, if you are
advised to do so by local
authorities.
40
Terrorism
Terrorism is the unlawful
use of force or violence, or
the threat of violence for
purposes of intimidation,
coercion or ransom.
Terrorists often use such
threats or actions to create
fear among the public, to try
to convince citizens their
government is powerless to
prevent terrorism and to get
public attention for political
or social objectives.
The effects of terrorism
can vary significantly from
injuries and loss of life to
property damage and disruptions in services such as
electricity, water supply,
public transportation and
communications.
Attacks can take several
forms, depending on the
technological means available to the terrorist, the
nature of the political issue
motivating the attack and
the points of weakness of
the terrorist’s target.
Before the Sept. 11,
2001, attacks on New
York and on the
Pentagon, most terrorist
incidents in the United
States were bombings.
Other terrorist methods
include kidnappings, arson,
41
trench or pit 24 inches deep
and empty the contents of
the receptacle into this pit
as soon as possible after
each use. Also empty any
water used to wash the
receptacle into the pit or
trench. Cover the waste in
the trench after each use
with a small layer of dirt,
ashes or lime. When closing
the trench, cover it with at
least 12 inches of earth.
Empty, used bags can be
disposed of with normal
garbage. It is very important
that good hand washing
practices are followed after
handling human waste.
Good hand washing is the
first line of defense against
the spread of many illnesses,
from the common cold to
more serious illnesses such
as hepatitis A, meningitis,
E. Coli and most other types
of infectious diarrhea.
Sewage Disposal
Often sewage systems
are not usable after disasters.
Earthquakes can cause
extensive underground
damage in addition to structural damage to buildings and
dwellings. Tornado damage
is typically limited to above
ground. In either case, an
extensive period of time is
required to make repairs.
After flood waters recede,
minimal repairs are usually
necessary for the sewage
system to properly function.
Many communities provide portable toilets, but
these may be limited.
Flooded outdoor toilets
should be scrubbed thoroughly with a solution of
one-half cup of laundry
bleach per gallon of water.
If no toilet facilities are
available, deposit human
waste in a sturdy water-tight
receptacle used for that
purpose only. Double line
the container with garbage
bags. To make it easier to
empty, place a small amount
of water in the receptacle
before it is used. If waste
system becomes functional,
dispose of waste into this
system.Another option is to
bury waste by digging a
14
■ Fruits and vegetables
can be kept at room
temperature safely until
there are obvious signs
of spoilage (mold, slime,
wilt). With good ventilation, vegetables last
longer at room temperature. Remove them from
the refrigerator if electrical service may not
resume soon.
freezing for three to four
days. Do not stick your
head into a freezer that
contains dry ice. Dry ice
gives off carbon dioxide,
which replaces oxygen,
so leave the door open a
short time before examining your food.
■ If you are not sure how
long the electricity has
been off, discard any food
that smells bad, is slimy,
has an unusual color or
is room temperature.
■ If food is still “cold-to-thetouch,” it may be cooked
and eaten immediately,
or refrozen.
Cleanup
If property damage is
extensive, heavy equipment
such as bulldozers may be
used. It is important to
identify or “flag” any underground utilities, such as
private sewage systems or
water wells, so they are not
damaged by the equipment.
During cleanup, it is
important to wear protective
clothing. Boots,
rubber gloves and
long-sleeved
shirts help reduce
contact with
contaminated
items. Take
care not to
step on
nails or other
protruding
items.
What To Do When Your
Refrigerator Fails
When power goes off in
the refrigerator, you can
normally expect food inside
to stay safely cold for four to
six hours, depending on
how warm your kitchen is.
■ High-protein foods (dairy
products, meat, fish, poultry) should be consumed
as soon as possible if
power is not restored
immediately. They cannot
be stored safely at room
temperature.
13
shootings and the use of
chemical, biological or
nuclear agents.
Terrorists look for visible
targets where they can
avoid detection before and
after an attack, such as
international airports, large
cities, major international
events, resorts or high-profile landmarks. One way the
government has attempted
to reduce the nation’s vulnerability to terrorist incidents is
by increasing security at
airports and other public
facilities, along with helping
private industry to enhance
security for vital assets and
infrastructure.
You can prepare to deal
with a terrorist incident by
adapting many of the same
techniques used to prepare
for other crises. But, people
should take additional precautions:
■ Be alert and aware of
your surroundings. The
very nature of terrorism
suggests there may be
little or no warning.
■ Be careful when traveling. Be aware of conspicuous or unusual
behavior. Do not accept
packages from
strangers. Do not leave
luggage unattended.
■ Learn where emergency
exits are located. Think
ahead about how to
evacuate a building,
subway or congested
public area in a hurry.
Learn where staircases
are located.
■ Notice your immediate
surroundings. Be aware
of heavy or breakable
objects that could move,
fall or break in an explosion.
Preparedness
Develop a disaster plan for
your family
■ Choose an out-of-town
contact your family or
household will call or
E-mail to check on each
other should a disaster
occur. Your selected
contact should live far
enough away that
he/she would be unlikely
to be directly affected by
the same event; be sure
the person knows
he/she is the chosen
contact. Make sure every
household member has
the contact’s and each
other’s E-mail addresses
42
■ School emergency
plans. If you have children, learn what the
emergency plans are at
their school(s). Some
schools will send children
home alone; others
require a parent or
designated adult to pick
them up. Be sure the
school has updated
information about how to
reach parents or responsible caregivers.
■ Work emergency plans.
Learn what the emergency plans are at your
workplace.
and telephone numbers
(home, work, pager and
cell).
■ Establish a meeting
place. Having a predetermined meeting
place right outside your
house and another outside your neighborhood
will save time and minimize confusion should
your home be affected
or the area evacuated.
You may even want to
make arrangements to
stay with a family member or friend in case of
an emergency. Be sure
to include any pets in
these plans.
■ Prepare disaster supply
kits. If you need to stay
in your home, evacuate
your home or are asked
to take shelter, having
essential supplies on
hand will make you and
your family more comfortable. Two kits should be
prepared — one that
can be kept in the house
and another that can be
taken with you. For complete information on what
to include in the kits, refer
to the emergency supplies
chapter in this booklet.
Preparing for a building
explosion
The use of explosives by
terrorists can result in collapsed buildings and fires.
People who live or work in a
multi-level building should
do the following:
■ Review emergency
evacuation procedures.
Know where the fire
exits are located.
■ Keep fire extinguishers
in working order. Know
where they are located
and how to use them.
■ Learn first aid. Contact
the local chapter of the
43
What To Do When Your
Freezer Fails
When the electricity is
off, a fully stocked freezer
will keep food frozen two
days if the door remains
closed. A half-full freezer can
keep foods frozen about one
day. What can you do if
electric service will not be
re-connected within one or
two days?
■ Keep the freezer door
closed.
■ Divide up your frozen
foods among friends’
freezers if they have
electricity.
■ Seek freezer space in a
store, church, school or
a commercial meat locker or freezer that has
electrical service.
■ Know where you can
buy dry and block ice.
■ Put dry ice in your freezer. Never touch dry ice
with bare hands! It
freezes everything it touches. Twentyfive pounds of
dry ice will
hold a 10cubic-foot
freezer
below
(1/4-cup bleach in one
gallon of water) for one
minute, then dry to prevent rusting.
■ If cans have pitted rust
spots that cannot be
buffed off with a soft
cloth, corrosion may
allow contamination to
enter through holes in
the walls of the can.
Discard these cans.
■ Cans with ends that
bulge or spring in and
out when pressed,
should be discarded
immediately. This usually
means bacteria are
growing inside and producing gas to expand
the can. Do not taste
the contents of such
cans.
■ If a can is crushed,
dented or creased,
closely examine it to see
if it is safe to use. A dent
may weaken the seam
and allow contamination.
If a dent or crease is
very sharp, the contents
may be contaminated.
Discard these cans. Do
not taste.
12
■ Refrigerate leftovers
immediately after the
meal. If there are large
volumes of food to cool
(more than one or two
pounds, or 1/2 gallon of
liquid), divide the food
into several shallow containers or smaller pieces
to cool it faster. This prevents bacteria from multiplying rapidly in the
warm food.
■ Do not thaw frozen food
at room temperature.
Either cook it frozen or
thaw it in the refrigerator
or in a place where the
temperature is lower
than 41 degrees F.
■ Use only pasteurized
milk.
■ Wash your hands thoroughly before handling
food, especially after
handling raw meats or
poultry and after using
the bathroom.
■ Do not leave high-protein
foods (raw or cooked)
sitting out at room temperature. Keep them hot
(over 145 degrees F) or
keep them cold (under
41 degrees F).
Examine Canned Goods
Carefully examine
canned goods that have
been submerged in flood
waters, frozen, in a fire or
crushed. Some cans may
be safe to use after a good
cleaning and some may not.
Follow these guidelines:
■ Containers with corklined lids or caps, screw
tops or pop tops are
nearly impossible to
clean thoroughly around
the opening after being
underwater or in a fire. If
there have been any
major temperature
changes, contaminants
may actually have been
sucked into the container.
Discard these containers.
5. What is in the package? Chemicals? Germs?
6. What will cause it to
explode or release its contents?
7. Did you place the
package, bomb or device?
8. Why?
9. What is your address?
10. What is your name?
American Red Cross for
additional information.
■ Keep the following items
in a designated place on
each floor of the building
— portable, batteryoperated radio and extra
batteries; several flashlights and extra batteries;
first aid kit and manual;
several hard hats; and
fluorescent tape to rope
off dangerous areas.
Exact wording of the threat
Additional information
Sex of caller
Race
Age of caller
Call duration
Bomb threats
If you receive a bomb
threat, get as much information as possible from the
caller. Keep the caller on
the line and record everything that is said. The following checklist will assist you
in recording the necessary
information:
Caller’s voice
(check all that apply)
Calm
Nasal
Angry
Stutter
Excited
Lisp
Slow
Raspy
Soft
Ragged
Loud
Clearing throat
Laughing
Deep breathing
Crying
Cracked voice
Normal
Disgusted
Distinct
Accent
Slurred
Familiar
Whispered Altered
Time
Date
Caller ID #
■ Tin cans are usually
safe if they appear
undamaged. Wash these
cans in bleach water
11
Questions to ask
1. When is the device
going to explode or release?
2. Where is it right now?
3. What does it look like?
4. What kind of device or
package is it?
If voice is familiar, who did it
sound like?
44
If accented, what type of
accent?
After you have been
notified of a bomb threat,
do not touch any suspicious
packages. Clear the area
around any suspicious
package and notify the
police immediately. When
evacuating a building, avoid
standing in front of windows
or other potentially hazardous areas. Move a safe distance away from the building.
Do not restrict sidewalk or
streets to be used by emergency officials.
Background sounds
Street noises
Factory noises
Restaurant noises
Animal noises
Voices
Clear
P.A. system
Static
Music
Local
House noises
Long distance
Motor
Phone booth
Office machines
Other
What To Do In A Terrorist
Attack
Take action to protect
yourself and others. Remain
calm and be patient. Listen
to the radio or television for
news and instructions, and
follow the advice of local
emergency officials.
In a building explosion,
get out of the building as
quickly and calmly as possible. If items are falling off of
bookshelves or from the
ceiling, get under a sturdy
table or desk. Untrained
persons should not attempt
to rescue people who are
inside a collapsed building.
Wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
Threat language
Well spoken (educated)
Incoherent
Taped
Foul
Irrational
Message read by threat
maker
Report call immediately to
your local police agency
Phone number
Your name
Your telephone number
45
■ Use sanitary disposable
eating utensils when
there is a shortage of
safe drinking water.
Food Spoilage vs. Food
Poisoning
It is important to know
the organisms that cause
food to spoil are different
from the organisms that
cause food poisoning and
make you sick. When
spoilage organisms —
some bacteria, molds and
yeasts — affect the look,
smell or taste of the food,
throw the food away.
Unfortunately, the bacteria that commonly cause
foodborne illness — mild to
severe symptoms of vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea
and sometimes fever — are
not so obvious. These
organisms rarely affect
smell, taste and appearance
of food to indicate that it is
unsafe to eat. Following
these simple rules will help
prevent foodborne illness:
■ Cook foods thoroughly,
especially meats, poultry
and pork. Use a meatroasting thermometer in
the thickest portion of
the meat. Cook chicken
to 180 degrees F, pork
to 160 degrees F and
beef to 160 degrees F.
Illness
Disease outbreaks may
occur after disasters. In the
event illness occurs, report
symptoms to a physician or
nurse. Persons with diarrhea
or vomiting, and those living
in temporary group housing
who develop fever, sore
throat, cough or other
symptoms (except for the
common cold) should notify
a physician or health nurse.
Persons who are sick should
not help prepare meals.
Because children sometimes have intestinal infections without showing symptoms, and then often have
inadequate hygienic practices, adults should check
that children (especially
young children) thoroughly
wash hands after using the
toilet. This reduces the risk
of disease transmission.
Dispose of used diapers
in a plastic bag or other
container that can be closed
tightly to prevent contact by
others.
10
cut, burn or infection on
your hands.
■ Wash hands, work surfaces and utensils in hot,
soapy water after each
step in food preparation.
Do not put cooked meat,
poultry or fish in the
same container that held
the raw product. The
If the presence of
radioactive material is suspected, law enforcement will
rope off and station guards
around the area.
Follow the advice and
instructions of your local
government on ways to help
yourself and your community
recover from the emergency.
Be prepared to evacuate if
necessary.
Notify your relatives
when you are at a safe
location. Local authorities
may use valuable time and
resources looking for family
members if their location is
unknown.
cooked food may
become contaminated
with bacteria from the
raw juices.
■ Keep cloths washed and
dish towels clean.
Bacteria can linger or
remain in towels and
cloths, so wash kitchen
linen often.
■ Wash dishes and utensils only in water that is
safe to drink. Boil unsafe
water for five minutes or
add eight drops of laundry bleach to each gallon
of water, mix thoroughly
and allow to stand 30
minutes before using it.
Personal Hygiene and
General Cleanliness
Following a disaster, it
can be difficult to maintain
good hygiene and cleanliness. These steps will help
you serve safe foods and
beverages:
In order to prevent the
spread of infection, always
wash your hands with plenty of soap and water before
handling or preparing food
or eating. Make sure children do the same. Use
plastic or rubber gloves if
you have any kind of skin
9
fire hazards and other
household hazards. Sniff for
gas leaks, starting at the
water heater. If you smell
gas or suspect a leak, turn
off the main gas valve, open
windows and get everyone
outside quickly.
Shut off any other damaged utilities. Confine or
secure your pets. Call your
family contact. Do not use
the telephone again unless
it is a life-threatening emergency because the telephone lines will most likely
be overwhelmed. Check on
your neighbors, especially
those who are disabled or
elderly.
If you are trapped in
debris –
■ Use a flashlight.
■ Stay in your area so that
you do not kick up dust.
Cover your mouth with a
handkerchief or clothing.
■ Tap on a pipe or wall so
that rescuers can hear
where you are. Use a
whistle if one is available. Shout only as a
last resort – shouting
can cause a person to
inhale dangerous
amounts of dust.
If there is a fire –
■ Stay low to the floor and
exit the building as
quickly as possible.
■ Cover nose and mouth
with a wet cloth.
■ When approaching a
closed door, use the
palm of your hand and
forearm to feel the lower,
middle and upper parts
of the door. If it is not
hot, brace yourself
against the door and
open it slowly. If it is hot
to the touch, do not
open the door; seek an
alternative escape route.
■ Heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect
first along the ceiling.
Stay below the smoke at
all times.
If the terrorist attack
occurs near you, check for
injuries. Give first aid and
get help for seriously
injured people.
If the attack occurs near
your home while you are
there, check for damage
using a flashlight. Do not
light matches or candles or
turn on electrical switches
because gas lines may be
broken and an explosion
could occur. Check for fires,
46
Bioterrorism
Biological agents are
organisms or toxins that can
produce illness or death in
people and animals. They
can be dispersed as
aerosols or airborne particles
or by infected individuals.
Terrorists also can use biological agents to contaminate
food or water.
Numerous biological
agents could be used as
weapons, but government
officials believe the most
likely pathogens would
cause diseases that include
anthrax, smallpox, botulism,
cholera, plague, Q fever,
salmonellosis, tularemia
and viral hemorrhagic fever.
Because biological
agents take time to cause a
disease, a biological attack
may not be obvious for days
to weeks depending on the
incubation period of the disease. If government officials
become aware of a biological
attack through an informant
or warning by terrorists, they
would most likely instruct
citizens to either seek shelter
where they are and seal the
premises or evacuate
immediately.
If there is no warning,
the most likely way the
attack will be detected is
through the state or federal
government’s disease surveillance system. Through
this system, health care
providers and public health
officials are constantly on
guard for unusual clusters
of illness.
A person affected by a
biological agent requires
the immediate attention of
professional medical personnel. Some resultant diseases – plague, smallpox
and viral hemorrhagic
fevers – are contagious,
and victims may need to be
isolated. While it is possible
for Q fever to be transmitted
from person to person, it
is rare.
Information, treatment
options and other advice
would be provided by government officials to the public
through the news media.
47
to each gallon of water. Mix
thoroughly and allow to
stand for 30 minutes. Only
water that is clean in
appearance and free of
odor should be treated this
way. To be safe, drink bottled water, juices or water
previously stored in the
refrigerator.
Be sure to follow the
instructions of local authorities concerning the use of
food and water.
If necessary, seek food,
clothing, medical care and
shelter from Red Cross
emergency shelter sites or
from local government
authorities.
Open closets and cupboards carefully.
Check emergency supplies.
Stay away from disaster
areas. Sightseeing could
interfere with first aid or
rescue work and may be
dangerous as well.
Do not drive unless
necessary; if you drive, do
so with caution. Watch for
hazards to yourself and
others, and report them to
local authorities.
Do not pass on rumors
or exaggerated reports of
damage.
Emergency water may be
obtained from such sources
as hot water tanks, toilet
tanks (not the bowl and only
if the tanks do not have
deodorizers) and melted ice
cubes. If water from hot
water heaters or the tanks
of toilets is used, it should
be boiled first.
Check your food supplies
before using them. Foods
that require refrigeration
may be spoiled if electric
power has been off for an
extended period of time. Do
not eat food that has come
in contact with flood waters.
A disaster may damage
public water supply systems
resulting in contaminated
water. After a flood, consider
all water unsafe. Listen for
public announcements on
the safety of
the municipal water
supply. If
you have
to use
water
from the
faucet, boil
it at a rolling
boil for at least five minutes.
If you cannot boil, add eight
drops of household bleach
8
stoves can generate a substantial amount of carbon
monoxide and should not
be used for heat.
If damage to the electrical system is suspected
(frayed wires, sparks or the
smell of hot insulation), turn
off the electrical system at
the main box. If any of your
electrical appliances are wet,
first turn
off the
main
power
switch,
then
unplug the appliance, dry it
out, reconnect it and finally
turn on the main power
switch. If fuses blow when
the electric power is
restored, turn off the main
power switch again and
then inspect for short circuits
in your home wiring, appliances and equipment.
(Caution: Do not do any of
these things if you are wet
or standing in water.)
Do not touch downed
power lines or objects
touched by downed power
lines.
If water leaks are found
or suspected, shut off the
water at the main valve.
There also may be gas leaks
or electrical short circuits.
Put on heavy shoes to
avoid injury from glass and
other debris.
Use battery-powered
flashlights or lanterns if you
do not have electricity. Do
not use candles, oil or gas
lanterns, or torches because
gas lines may be broken and
an explosion could occur.
Check for leaking gas
pipes in your home. Do this
by smell only — do not use
matches or candles. If you
smell gas or suspect a leak,
turn off the main gas valve
at the meter, open all windows and leave the house.
Immediately notify the
gas company, police or fire
department. Do not turn
lights on or off, light matches or do anything that could
cause a spark. Do not reenter the house until you
are told it is safe to do so.
If you are without heat,
put on several layers of
clothing. A fireplace or electric stove may be used for
heat. Fireplaces should be
checked for cracks and
damage to the chimney or
flue. Unnoticed damage
could lead to a fire. Gas
7
Bioterrorism Disease Chart
Disease
Germ
Symptoms
Treatment
Anthrax
(bacterial)
Bacillus
anthracis
Inhalation: Fever,
fatigue, chest pain,
difficulty breathing
Antibiotics, if
prescribed early
Skin: Fever, fatigue,
Antibiotics
headache, swollen lymph
nodes and skin ulcer
Gastrointestinal: Sore
throat, difficulty swallowing, fever, swollen lymph
nodes, vomiting blood or
bloody diarrhea
Antibiotics, if
prescribed early
If given early, equine
antitoxin treats most cases.
Botulism
(bacterial)
Clostridium
botulinum
Progressive paralysis,
respiratory failure
Cholera
(bacterial)
Vibrio cholerae
Acute diarrhea, vomiting, Immediate replacement of
leg cramps
fluids. Antibiotics can
shorten course and
diminish severity of illness.
Hemorrhagic
fevers
(viral)
Several viruses
Vary by type, but often
include fever, headache,
dizziness, muscle aches,
abnormal bleeding
No treatment for most
VHFs other than supportive
therapies. Ribavirin for
some VHFs
Pneumonic
plague
(bacterial)
Yersinia pestis
High fever, chills,
headache, cough with
bloody sputum
Several antibiotics,
including streptomycin,
doxycycline and
ciprofloxacin
Q Fever
(bacterial)
Coxiella burnetii
Fever, headache,
weakness, severe
sweating
Doxycycline is most
effective when initiated
within first three days.
Salmonellosis Salmonella
(bacterial)
Diarrhea, fever, chills,
dehydration
Usually resolves in five to
10 days and does not
require treatment in most
cases
Smallpox
(viral)
Variola virus
High fever, aches
(mostly back), rash on
arms, legs, palms of
hands, soles of feet
Vaccination up to four days
after exposure; no proven
treatment later; antibiotics
for secondary bacterial
infections
Tularemia
(bacterial)
Francisella
tularensis
Fever, headache, tiredness, chest discomfort,
loss of appetite, cough
Antibiotics such as
streptomycin or gentamicin
48
Stockpiling Antibiotics
Antibiotics are used to
successfully treat a variety
of diseases, but there is no
one antibiotic effective
against all diseases. The
precautionary use of antibiotics when there is no exposure is not recommended
because such a measure
can weaken resistance
against other diseases and
deplete the supply of drugs
that might be needed in a
real emergency. Antibiotics
should only be taken with
medical supervision.
Keeping a supply of antibiotics poses other problems
because there is a limited
shelf life before they lose
their strength.
The federal government
has stockpiled antibiotics for
large-scale distribution in
the event of a bioterrorist
attack. The National Strategic
Stockpile is designed to
ensure the availability and
rapid deployment of lifesaving pharmaceuticals,
antidotes, other medical
supplies and equipment to
any U.S. location in the
event of a terrorist attack
involving a biological or
chemical agent.
Gas Masks
A gas mask is not a
good buy or good protection
against potential bioterrorist
threats. Different types of
masks and filters protect
against different types of
biological and chemical
agents. If you were to buy
one type and an attack with
a different agent occurred,
your mask would be useless. In addition, most of the
gas masks on the market
are used and gas masks
lose their effectiveness over
time.
New gas masks with
NBC (nuclear, biological,
chemical) filters are effective
against a variety of agents.
However, protection against
some airborne agents may
require a full protective suit.
Even if you had the proper
mask and/or suit for a given
agent, you would have to
wear it 24 hours a day in
order to be safe. Biological
and chemical agents could
be in the air without your
knowledge.
To make matters worse,
gas masks can be difficult
to use properly. People
have been known to suffocate in their masks.
49
After a
Disaster
Your first concern after a
disaster is the safety of your
family, friends and neighbors.
If possible, obtain medical
attention for serious injuries.
Persons with a puncture
wound or deep cut may
need a tetanus shot if they
have not had one in the
past five years.
If professional medical
assistance is not immediately available, persons with a
knowledge of first aid and
emergency medical care
can save lives and reduce
suffering. Do not attempt to
move seriously injured persons unless they are in
immediate danger of further
injury.
Tune to a local radio or
television station for
advice and instructions
and the latest emergency
information. If your area is
declared a disaster
area, local radio and
television stations will
carry information on
where to go for disaster
assistance.
Use extreme caution
in entering or working in
buildings that may have
been damaged or weakened
by the disaster — they may
collapse without warning.
6
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
person, with at least a
three-day supply for each
person in your household,
and as much drinkable
liquid (fruit and vegetable
juices, soft drinks, etc.) as
can be carried
canned or sealed packaged foods that do not
require refrigeration or
cooking and a can opener
a blanket or sleeping bag
for each family member
writing materials to take
notes or information from
radio or television broadcasts
hammer, pliers and
wrench
pocket knife
fire extinguisher
signal flare and whistle
soap and towels
paper towels and toilet
paper
household laundry bleach
(unscented)
an extra set of car keys
and a credit card, cash or
traveler’s checks
one change of clothing
and footwear per person
a list of family physicians
first-aid kit and manual
non-prescription drugs,
including mild pain relievers and antiseptic
any special prescription
medicines or foods needed by family members,
such as insulin, heart
tablets, dietetic food and
baby food (Do not store in
the kit for long periods but
add at the last minute.)
Ideally you should prepare two kits and store
each in water-tight containers. Keep one in the basement of your home or near
the front door. Keep the
second kit in the trunk of
your car.
Additional Supplies
Other items may prove
helpful:
■ plastic bags (small and
large)
■ a cooler and freezer-packs
■ salt
■ paper cups
■ baking soda
■ spoons
■ matches
■ tape
■ needles and thread
■ pre-moistened
towelettes
■ splinting material
■ hand lotion
■ disposable diapers
■ cotton balls
■ sanitary napkins
■ bandages
■ extra eye glasses
■ medicine dropper
■ contact lenses and
supplies
5
the package
■ Oily stains, discolorations or odor
■ Lopsided or uneven
envelope
■ Excessive weight
■ Ticking sound
■ Protruding wires or aluminum foil
Suspicious packages or
envelopes should be handled
as follows:
■ Do not shake or empty
the contents of a suspicious package or envelope.
■ Do not carry the package
or envelope, show it to
others or allow others to
examine it.
■ Put the package or envelope on a stable surface;
do not sniff, touch, taste
or look closely at the
package or any contents
that may have spilled.
■ Alert others in the area
about the suspicious
package or envelope.
Leave the area, close
any doors and take
actions to prevent others
from entering the area. If
possible, shut off the
ventilation system.
■ Wash hands with soap
and water to prevent
Suspicious Mail
Terrorists have used a
biological agent, Bacillus
anthracis, in letters mailed
through the U.S. Postal
Service. Other forms of
attack, such as bombs, also
can be distributed by mail.
Characteristics of suspicious packages and letters
include –
■ Inappropriate or unusual
labeling
■ Excessive postage
■ Handwritten or poorly
typed addresses
■ Misspellings of common
words
■ Strange return address
or no return address
■ Incorrect titles or title
without a name
■ Not addressed to specific
person; marked with
restrictions, such as
“Personal,” “Confidential”
or “Do not X-Ray”
■ Marked with threatening
language
■ Postmark from a city or
state different from the
return address and
excessive packaging
material
Appearance
■ Powdery substance felt
through or appearing on
50
spreading potentially
infectious material to
face or skin. Seek additional instructions for
exposed or potentially
exposed persons.
■ If at work, notify a
supervisor, a security
officer or a law enforcement official. If at home,
contact the local law
enforcement agency.
and the duration of exposure. There are four categories of agents:
■ Nerve – These types of
chemicals disrupt the
transmission of nerve
impulses in the body.
The effects of nerve
agents appear almost
immediately and often
include visual disturbance, runny nose,
chest tightness, nausea,
vomiting, convulsions
and death.
■ Blister – These agents
cause skin burns and
blisters, and may damage
the eyes, airways, lungs
and other internal organs.
■ Blood – These rapidly
acting agents can cause
seizures, respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.
■ Pulmonary – If inhaled,
these types of chemicals
can result in varying
degrees of pulmonary
edema, usually after a
symptom-free period
that varies in duration
with the amount inhaled.
Quick decontamination
of exposed surfaces is possible for most chemical
agents. Bleach, special
powders, or soap and water
Chemical Terrorism
Chemical agents are
poisonous gases, liquids or
solids that can kill or incapacitate people and animals. Some chemical
agents are odorless and
tasteless, thus making them
difficult to detect. These
chemicals can have an
immediate or delayed effect.
Depending on the agent,
human exposure can occur
via skin, inhalation, ingestion of contaminated water
or food, or entry through
other mucous-lined areas
such as the eyes, nose and
open cuts.
Exposure to chemical
agents can be fatal.
Severity of injuries depends
on the type and amount of
the chemical agent used
51
Emergency
Supplies
A disaster of almost any
kind may interfere with your
normal supplies of food,
water, heat and other dayto-day necessities. Keep a
stock of emergency supplies
on hand sufficient to meet
your needs for a week.
If you stay at home during
the disaster, these supplies
could help you live through
the period of emergency
without hardship. If you
must evacuate your home
and move temporarily to
another location, your
emergency supplies
could be taken with
you. Even if you only
move to an emergency
shelter station, these
supplies might lessen
the burden on the shelter and make your stay
easier.
It is also a good idea to
prepare a disaster supplies kit. Some items that
are easily obtainable may
become difficult to find
after a disaster. The kit
should include the following:
■ a battery-powered radio
and a flashlight, with extra
batteries for each
■ bottled drinking water—
one gallon per day per
4
insurance purposes will be
essential after the disaster.
tors, collapsible ladders, first
aid kits and utility shut off
points. Next, draw a broken
line charting at least two
escape routes from each
room. Finally, mark a place
outside of the home where
household members should
meet if an evacuation is
necessary. Be sure to
include important points
outside, such as garages,
patios, stairways, elevators,
driveways and porches. Put
together escape plans for
each floor of your home.
Practice emergency evacuation drills with all household members at least two
times each year.
Maintain your car in good
operating condition with an
ample supply of gasoline in
case you have to leave your
home.
Know how and where to
shut off gas, water and
electricity to your household. Keep necessary tools
or wrenches handy.
Keep important papers
in a safety deposit box at a
bank. House deed, insurance policies, birth certificates, and lists and photos
of your possessions for
3
can neutralize some of
these agents. For example,
bleaching powder can
lessen skin injuries from
exposure to mustard gas, a
type of blister agent, if
applied soon after contact.
Medical or drug treatment can help some victims
of chemical weapons. There
are antidotes available that
neutralize the effects of
nerve agents. Since nerve
agents can kill in minutes,
the antidotes must be
injected almost immediately
after exposure.
For the effects of most
other chemical weapons,
symptomatic and/or supportive treatments can be
administered.
In the event of a chemical
agent attack, authorities
would instruct citizens either
to seek shelter where they
are and seal the premises
or to evacuate immediately.
Most chemical agents are
not detectable without special equipment so you should
not leave the shelter until
appropriate notification has
been given that the chemical
agent is no longer a threat.
Do not leave the shelter to
assist or rescue victims.
Nuclear Terrorism
Terrorists could potentially
target nuclear facilities.
The primary risk associated with nuclear facilities is
a physical attack or act of
sabotage designed to cause
an uncontrolled release of
radioactivity to the surrounding environment. If terrorists
were to attack a nuclear
power plant, the state’s
emergency response and
the actions to be taken by
the public would be the
same as if there were an
accident at a nuclear plant.
(See previous chapter on
nuclear power plants.)
Although terrorists have
never used a nuclear
weapon, some terrorist
groups have attempted to
acquire the material to make
one. The nuclear industry is
keenly aware of the dangers
of nuclear material falling
into terrorists’ hands. There
is a complex infrastructure
at work to ensure nuclear
material is accounted for,
safeguarded from diversion,
and protected from theft
and sabotage.
52
place,” it means you are to
remain inside your home or
office and protect yourself
there.
■ Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.
■ Turn off all fans and
heating and air conditioning systems.
■ Close the fireplace
damper.
■ Get your disaster supplies kit and make sure
the radio is working.
■ Go to an interior room
without windows that’s
above ground level. In
the case of a chemical
threat, an above-ground
location is preferable
because some chemicals
are heavier than air and
may seep into basements
even if the windows are
closed.
■ Using duct tape, seal all
cracks around the door
and any vents into the
room. Keep listening to
your radio or television
until you are told all is
safe or you are told to
evacuate. Stay if told to
do so.
Following a terrorist attack
Evacuation
If local authorities ask
you to leave your home,
they have a good reason to
make this request and you
should heed the advice
immediately. Listen to your
radio or television and follow the instructions of the
local emergency officials
and keep these simple tips
in mind:
■ Wear long-sleeved
shirts, long pants and
sturdy shoes so you can
be protected as much as
possible.
■ Take your disaster supplies kit.
■ Take your pets with you;
do not leave them
behind.
■ Lock your home.
■ Use travel routes specified by local authorities.
Don’t use shortcuts
because certain areas
may be impassable or
dangerous.
■ Stay away from downed
power lines.
Shelter in Place
If you are advised by
local officials to “shelter in
53
may be broadcast by local
authorities.
Use your telephone only
to report important events
(such as fires, flash floods
or tornado sightings) to
local police. If you tie up the
telephone lines, you may
prevent emergency calls
from being completed.
A knowledge of first aid
and emergency medical
care can save lives and
reduce suffering. Both
adults and teenagers can
acquire these valuable skills
by taking general first aid
courses and specialty
courses, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation
(CPR), which are offered
free in many communities.
In a fire or other emergency, you may need to
evacuate your house, apartment or mobile home on a
moment’s notice. You should
be ready to get out fast.
Develop an escape plan
by drawing a floor plan of
your residence, showing the
location of doors, windows,
stairways and large furniture. Indicate the location of
emergency supplies, fire
extinguishers, smoke detec-
General
Guidance
There are actions you can
take that will help you to get
ready for, and to cope with,
almost any type of disaster.
Knowing what to do is your
best protection and your
responsibility.
Perhaps the most basic
thing to remember is to keep
calm. This may mean the
difference between life and
death. In disasters, people
often are killed or injured
needlessly because they
acted thoughtlessly or did
nothing.
In a time of disaster, taking proper action may save
your life. Take time to think,
and then take the appropriate action. Usually, this will
be action you have planned
in advance, or the action
you are instructed to take
by local authorities.
Whenever a major storm
or other potential disaster
threatens, keep your radio
or television turned on to
hear weather reports and
forecasts, as well as other
information and advice that
2
nature and should supplement specific instructions
issued by local authorities.
For information on your
community’s disaster plan,
contact your local emergency management office.
Introduction
No matter where you
live, your community may
experience a natural or manmade disaster — a tornado,
flood, winter storm, earthquake, fire, nuclear power
plant accident or terrorist
attack. In any type of disaster, lives can be saved if
people are prepared for the
emergency, and know what
actions to take when it
occurs. This handbook can
help. It was compiled by the
Illinois Department of Public
Health, with assistance from
the Office of Homeland
Security, the American Red
Cross, the Federal
Emergency Management
Agency and the Illinois
Emergency Management
Agency. This handbook contains information and guidance on what can be done
to enhance survival in the
event of a disaster.
Evacuation
Disasters force people
to evacuate their homes
more often than you may
realize. Transportation or
industrial accidents release
harmful substances, forcing
thousands of people to
leave their homes for a
safer area. Fires and floods
result in evacuation even
more frequently.
Therefore, local evacuation planning is important.
Specific evacuation plans
vary by community and by
the type of disaster, so contact your local emergency
management or civil defense
office for your community’s
plans.
How Much Time Will You
Have to Evacuate?
The amount of time you
will have to evacuate
your home or community
depends on the type of
disaster. In disasters
resulting from a hazardous material spill, you
may have only moments
to leave. This
means you must
prepare now, for
you may have
no time to collect even the
most basic necessities.
Individuals and families
can prepare for any type of
emergency by using the
basic information in this
handbook. The actions recommended are general in
1
54
■ Find out where children
will be sent if they are in
school when an evacuation is announced.
3. Plan now where you
will go if you must evacuate.
■ Consider the homes of
relatives or friends who
live nearby but outside
the potential disaster
area.
■ Contact the local emergency management or
civil defense office for
community evacuation
plans. Review public
information to identify
reception centers and
shelter areas such as
schools, churches,
national guard armories
or other public buildings.
4. Keep fuel in your car
at all times. During emergencies, filling stations may be
closed. Never store extra
fuel in the garage.
5. If you do not have a
car or other vehicle, make
transportation arrangements
with friends, neighbors or
your local emergency management office.
6. Know where and
how to shut off your home’s
electricity, gas and water at
the main switches and
Evacuation Periods
Evacuation periods can
last for hours or several
days. For part or all of this
time, you may be responsible
for your own food, clothing
and other supplies until
help arrives or utilities are
repaired.
Advanced Planning for
Evacuation
1. Use the chapter on
emergency supplies as a
guide to learn what you
should gather for you and
your family in case of evacuation. Collect these crucial
materials, especially food
and water, well in advance
of a disaster. Remember,
once you are told to evacuate, you may have only minutes to leave.
2. Review evacuation
procedures with your family
so that everyone understands what to do and
where to meet if you are
separated.
■ Ask a friend or relative
outside your area to be
the “checkpoint,” so family members can call
that person to say they
are safe.
55
SURVIVING DISASTERS
A Citizen’s Emergency Handbook
Table of Contents
Introduction .............................................................1
General Guidance...................................................2
Emergency Supplies...............................................4
After a Disaster .......................................................6
Earthquakes..........................................................15
Tornadoes .............................................................18
Floods ...................................................................20
Winter Storms .......................................................29
Fire........................................................................33
Nuclear Power Plant Accident ..............................36
Terrorism ...............................................................41
Evacuation ............................................................54
2. Follow recommended
evacuation routes. Do not
take shortcuts. They may be
blocked.
3. Listen to the radio for
instructions and emergency
shelter information.
4. Carry a family safety
kit. See the emergency supplies chapter for a list of
those items the kit should
include.
valves. Make sure you
have the necessary tools to
do this (usually pipe and
crescent or adjustable
wrenches). Check with your
local utilities for instructions.
What to Do When You Are
Told to Evacuate
1. If there is time,
secure your house.
■ Unplug appliances.
■ Turn off natural gas,
propane or other fuel
valves where they enter
the house. In a flood
hazard area, store
propane tanks or secure
them to the structure.
■ Turn off the main water
valve.
■ Take any actions needed
to prevent damage to
water pipes by freezing
weather, if this is a threat.
■ Securely close and lock
all doors, windows and
the garage.
■ Place a sign on the front
door or window to notify
authorities that your
house or apartment has
been evacuated and no
one remains inside. If
possible, leave a number
where you can be
reached.
Returning Home
1. Do not return to the
emergency site until local
authorities say the area is
safe.
2. Continue listening to
the radio or television for
information and instructions.
3. Use extreme caution
when entering or working in
buildings —structures may
be damaged or weakened.
Beware of poisonous
snakes in flooded structures
and debris.
4. Do not take lanterns,
torches or any kind of flame
into a damaged building.
Leaking gas or other flammable materials may be
present. Use battery-operated flashlights for light.
However, if you suspect a
gas leak, do not use any
56
9. Wear sturdy shoes
when walking through
debris or broken glass, and
use heavy gloves when
removing debris.
kind of light. The light itself
could cause an explosion.
5. If you smell gas, turn
off the main gas valve at
the meter.
■ Do not turn on lights —
they can produce sparks
that will ignite the gas.
■ Leave the house immediately and notify the gas
company or the police.
■ Do not re-enter the
house until an authorized
person tells you it is safe
to do so.
6. Notify the power
company or fire department
if you see fallen or damaged
electrical wires.
7. If any appliances are
wet, turn off the main electrical power switch in your
home before you unplug
them. Dry out appliances,
wall switches and sockets
before you plug appliances
in again. Call utility companies for guidance.
8. Check food and
water supplies for contamination and spoilage. Follow
specific instructions from
your local health department
or agriculture extension
agency.
SURVIVING DISASTERS
A Citizen’s Emergency Handbook
Illinois Department of Public Health
57
State of Illinois
Illinois Department of Public Health
For more information on how you can better cope
with specific disasters and emergencies,
contact your local library or –
Illinois Emergency Management Agency
2200 S. Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, IL 62703
217-782-2700
800-782-7860
or
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Center Plaza
500 C St. SW
Washington, D.C. 20472
202-566-1600
Printed by Authority of the State of Illinois
SURVIVING
DISASTERS
A Citizen’s Emergency Handbook
Illinois Department of Public Health
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