Emergency Preparedness Tips

Emergency Preparedness Tips
La Grande Police Department
In a flood or other emergency residents have the choice to evacuate or to shelter in place. It is important for residents to know that if they are encouraged to evacuate and choose not to, emergency services personnel may not have the resources to rescue them later.
It is recommended that residence have a battery powered radio to monitor emergency information via your local radio channels. Emergency workers may attempt a variety of methods to notify residents such as door to door contact, local radio station broadcasts, public address system announcements or telephone calls. Resources and circumstances will dictate which methods will be used.
Being prepared to evacuate increases your odds of a successful evacuation if needed. The following preparations are recommended:
·         Have an easy to carry container (backpack, duffle bag , suitcase, etc) containing essential items such as prescription medications, clothing, toiletries, child care items, financial resources, key contact information, etc. which you can pick up and leave with promptly.
  • Secure your home. If you have time, move essential items to an upper floor.
·         Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so and you are familiar with how to do this. If water appears to rise to the level of entering your home you may wish to turn off the electricity at the circuit box. FOR YOUR SAFETY: Always shut off all the individual circuits before shutting off the main circuit breaker. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
Movement through flood water:
  • Avoid  walking through moving water if at all possible. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
Driving in flood water:
The following are important points to remember when driving in flood conditions:
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
Household water safety:
Water quickly becomes a precious resource following many disasters. It is vital that all household members learn how to shut off the water at the main house valve.
  • Cracked lines may pollute the water supply to your house. It is wise to shut off your water until you hear from authorities that it is safe for drinking.
  • The effects of gravity may drain the water in your hot water heater and toilet tanks unless you trap it in your house by shutting off the main house valve (not the street valve in the cement box at the curb—this valve is extremely difficult to turn and requires a special tool).
Shelter in place:
·         Have battery powered flashlights and other lights readily available.
·         Have bottled drinking water available
·         Be prepared to turn off utilities as described above.
·         If flooding is present, locate to the highest safe point in the residence.
·         Monitor your radio and other communication sources for updated emergency information.