General Rules of Thumb

If an emergency or disaster happens, there are a few things you should do right away.

  1. Stay calm: Try not to panic. Take time to understand what has happened and to think about what you can do to stay safe or avoid worse injury.
  2. Check the scene: Pay attention to your surroundings to see whether you are safe where you are, and whether anyone around you needs help. If you think you are in danger, get to a safer place as soon as you can.
  3. Give and get help: If you or others are hurt or still in danger call 911 and explain what has happened, where you are, what injuries people have, and whether the danger still exists.
  4. Listen for emergency announcements: Local radio stations and television stations will give emergency updates and instructions and will be your best source of information.
  5. Be prepared to evacuate if told to by local authorities: If told to leave your home or work, do so right away, follow exact evacuation routes, and go to the specified shelter or safe area. If you can, bring your Emergency Kit with you, and get in touch with your family’s emergency contact person as soon as you can to let them know how and where you are.

Getting Ready

An emergency often happens without warning, leaving little or no time for you and your family to plan what to do next. So it is important for you to learn about the things you can do to be ready before an emergency happens. Two key things you can do are to make an Emergency Plan and put together an Emergency Kit.