Emergency situations : are you ready and informed? [fr]
Whether you’ve just settled in the region or you’ve been here for a long time, think of the safety and security of you and your loved ones. Here is some advice to prepare for a natural disaster or other emergency:
Every person in an area susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms needs to have a plan for emergencies.
- Identify the hazards that have happened or could happen in your area and plan for the unique actions for each. Local Emergency management offices can help identify the hazards in your area and outline the local plans and recommendations for each.
Alabama Emergency Management Agency
Georgia Emergency Management Agency
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency
North Carolina Division of Emergency Management
South Carolina Emergency Management Division
Tennessee Emergency Management Agency
- Many families establish a Family Emergency Plan comprised of emergency numbers, contact information for each family member, and an out of town contact. For French citizens, this list should also include the Consular Emergency hotline ((404) 217 9446) as well as the contact information of the local chief of district, who relays information between the French community and the Consulate in case of a state-wide catastrophe.
- Also it is important to have an emergency supply kit on hand, that is updated annually.
- You also stay informed by downloading the alert applications of your region:
Caroline du Nord: http://www.readync.org/index.htm?NAV=DOWNLOADAPP
Caroline du Sud: http://www.scemd.org/component/content/article/2-uncategorised/177-codered-alerts-from-scemd
- Lastly, be mindful of your pets as you plan, in order to ensure their care in case of a natural disaster.
This includes home owners or rental insurance as well as your car and other assets. Having a home inventory is also strongly recommended as it will accelerate the process of assessing damage if anything happens.
Hurricane season starts June 1st and ends November 30.
Though tornadoes can hit at any time, they are usually a seasonal phenomenon. In the Southeast, the "high season" begins in March and ends in May.
Identify your evacuation zone
- Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood. Use the Family Emergency Planto decide these locations before a disaster.
- Become familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency.
- If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if you have to. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.
In case of an evacuation
- Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
- Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.
- Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
- Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency.
- Listen to official instructions before returning to your home.
Watches vs. Warnings
Both watches and warnings are important, but warnings are more urgent.
Hurricane watch: A watch lets you know that weather conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur within 48 hours. During a weather watch, gather awareness of the specific threat and prepare for action - monitor the weather to find out if severe weather conditions have deteriorated and discuss your protective action plans with your family.
Hurricane Warning: A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent - it is either occurring (a tornado has been spotted, for example) - or it is about to occur at any moment. During a weather warning, it is important to take action: grab the emergency kit you have prepared in advance and head to safety immediately.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency: http://www.fema.gov/
- Practical information for civilians : http://www.ready.gov/
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of the Department of Health and Human Services, in charge of the prevention and control of sicknesses and diseases : http://www.cdc.gov/
- The American Red Cross : http://www.redcross.org/
The best way to be ready is to plan and stay informed.