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Since Manmade or Natural Disasters can produce significant threats to Life, Property, Infrastructure or National Interests often provide little or no advance warning, it is prudent and wise to be prepared and know how to respond in a manner that will mitigate the potential risks, impacts, avoidable suffering, significant losses, severe injuries or unnecessary loss of a loved one.

Appropriate planning, preparation, training, practice drills, resources, communications & vigilance combined with timely actions are key to protecting the health, safety & well being of people, pets & animals in times of Emergencies & Disasters!

Hurricane Symbol - Remembering Hurricane 
      Katrina - August 23, Remembering 9/11/2001 - World Trade Center, NY

Coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda September 11, 2001  -  3834 lives lost as of June 2009 (2,998 as a direct result of the attacks and 836 associated with the rescue & recovery efforts).

Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005  -  Costliest ($81.2 billion in 2005 dollars) & one of deadliest (over 1,836 lives lost) U.S. hurricane stretching from central Florida to Texas.

May those impacted by Manmade or Natural Disasters find the strength, fortitude, support, resources and assistance needed to get their lives back on a path to recovery and healing.

Emergency & Disaster Categories  |  Prepare, Respond & Recover Information/Resources

Check How Prepared You Would Be If a Disaster or Emergency Should Unexpectedly Strike?

Quiz
Based on Quiz copyright © 2004 by The America Prepared Campaign

Jot down your answers so you can check them against the responses below

  1. Which of the following items is NOT necessary to be prepared for natural or manmade disasters?
    1. Having a family emergency communications plan
    2. Stockpiling antibiotics
    3. Becoming knowledgeable about types of potential disaster and appropriate responses
    4. Creating and maintaining an emergency preparedness kit

    Go To Answer

  2. Do you have an up-to-date emergency communication plan that everyone in your circle understands, is comfortable with, knows how / when to use & can readily access which includes: 1) a safe & secure meeting place that is NOT your home, workplace or schools your children attend; 2) a reliable contact person outside of your local area; 3) a readily accessible list of important phone numbers & 4) reminders on what to do in an emergency?
    1. Yes
    2. No

    Go To Answer

  3. Which item should NOT be included in an emergency communications plan?
    1. A list of important phone numbers, including doctors, local hospitals, police & emergency services
    2. An out of town contact person that all members know & feel comfortable calling
    3. Provisions for each member to be at a specific land line telephone at a specific time
    4. Information on each child's school Emergency Response Plan & the point-of-contact

    Go To Answer

  4. If you are in the vicinity of dust clouds, a heavy concentration of particles in the air or an explosion, it is a good idea to tightly cover your nose and mouth with several layers of cotton material (t-shirt) or dust mask as soon as possible.
    1. True
    2. False

    Go To Answer

  5. What is the FIRST thing you should do if you are outside and see people suddenly getting violently ill, choking or passing out?
    1. Leave area as fast as possible
    2. Stop & try to locate or find a dust mask
    3. Use cotton fabric to cover your mouth & nose, run away as fast as possible
    4. Run into basement of closest building & seal all doors & windows
    5. Put a cotton fabric or dust mask over your nose & mouth, wait for emergency personnel to arrive so you do not spread any contaminants that may be present

    Go To Answer

  6. In event you become trapped under debris, which of the following should only be used as a LAST RESORT to alert rescuers of your presence or location?
    1. Tap on a pipe or wall
    2. Blow a whistle
    3. Shout
    4. Use a flashlight

    Go To Answer

  7. Which of the following is NOT a safe or recommended way to find or create water safe for drinking?
    1. Boiling water for 3-5 minutes
    2. Adding 16 drops of bleach to each gallon of water
    3. Drain & process water from a vehicle, vessel or building radiator system
    4. Drain water from a hot water heater that has not been damaged or breached

    Go To Answer

  8. Which statement is NOT true about shelters during an emergency?
    1. You may be required to create your own shelter in your home or workplace
    2. Shelters are bound by law to accept household pets as long as pets are not a disturbance
    3. When evacuating to a community shelter, you should bring your disaster supply kit
    4. You may be instructed to shelter-in-place even if you are near dangerous substances or conditions

    Go To Answer

  9. Do you have an emergency response kit stored in a manner so that it can be easily moved to other locations if necessary that includes in one place a supply of food & water, manual can opener, matches, first aid kit, battery powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, blankets and/or protective clothing, prescription medications & other items essential to your families health / well being (including pets) & cash including an assortment of coins to cover your needs for several days?
    1. Yes
    2. No

    Go To Answer

  10. If a situation associated with a disease could become an epidemic, then it is always contagious.
    1. True
    2. False

    Go To Answer

  11. Which of the following is NOT true of a biological attack?
    1. A biological attack may not be immediately obvious
    2. A biological attack is the deliberate release of germs or substances that can make you sick
    3. A biological agent can make you sick by being inhaled, eaten or contact your skin or mucus membranes
    4. All biological attacks create a "contagious" situation and can be spread from person to person

    Go To Answer

Based on the typical characteristics associated with different types of emergencies you should take shelter in a protected and safe area as high up as possible (top floor of a building) or as low as possible (basement of a building). For each of the following, identify whether the correct p[lace is "High" or "Low":

  1. Should you shelter HIGH or LOW during a TORANADO or sustained Hurricane Level Winds?
    1. High
    2. Low

    Go To Answer

  2. Should you shelter HIGH or LOW during FLOODING associated with natural and manmade disasters?
    1. High
    2. Low

    Go To Answer

  3. Should you shelter HIGH or LOW during a RADIOLOGICAL incident?
    1. High
    2. Low

    Go To Answer

  4. Should you shelter HIGH or LOW during a CHEMICAL or BIOLOGICAL incident?
    1. High
    2. Low

    Go To Answer

Emergency & Disaster Categories  |  Prepare, Respond & Recover Information/Resources  |  Quiz

Answers to Quiz
Based on Quiz copyright © 2004 by The America Prepared Campaign

  1. Which item is NOT crucial to being prepared to deal with natural or manmade disasters?

    Answer is B.  Stockpiling antibiotics is not recommended because it is impossible to predict the exact nature of a disaster and there is not one antibiotic that effectively treats all related sicknesses. In addition, inappropriate use of antibiotics can potentially lead to dangerous side effects and also exacerbate the problem of antibiotic resistant strains of many organisms.

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  2. Everyone should have an emergency communications plan they carry with them or can easily retrieve.

    So hopefully your answer was A.  Yes. It is important that your emergency communications plan include a safe, secure, well known and accessible primary meeting place plus a backup location that is NOT your home, workplace or the school your children attend, since these locations may be disaster sites.  A reliable point-of-contact outside your local area that knows and is well known to all members of your circle can be a major asset in helping to reunite members if local communication capability is not available. Each member should have access to a list of important phone numbers that contains a brief reminder on what to do in case of an emergency and a list of the pre-established meeting places including addresses and phone numbers, if available. For more information and an easy-to-use communications plan template, visit www.ready.gov.

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  3. Which item should NOT be included in an emergency communications plan?

    Answer is C.  An emergency communication plan should be flexible and accommodate unforeseen conditions.  Thus, inclusion of things like fixed places or times should be avoided.  Each member should have access to a written list of important numbers that contain reminders of what to do in an emergency situation.

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  4. If you are in the vicinity of dust clouds, a heavy concentration of particles in the air or an explosion, it is a good idea to cover your nose and mouth with several layers of cotton or an N95 class dust mask as soon as possible.

    Answer is True.  A dust mask or several layers of a cotton material over your nose and mouth will help limit exposure of your lungs to unhealthy particles.  Although exposure to these particles may not be lethal, they may be cancerous; therefore, it is best to minimize their exposure to your respiratory system.

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  5. The FIRST thing you should do if you are outside and see people suddenly getting violently ill, choking or passing out is tie any available cotton fabric tightly over the nose and mouth to help filter out particles from entering the lungs.

    Answer is C.  Since cotton fabric or dust masks offer little protection from chemicals or biological agents which are usually fast-acting, you should leave the area as quickly as possible avoiding low lying places until you know what is causing the problem.  On the chance you may have been exposed to a chemical or biological agent, you should decontaminate by thoroughly showering with plenty of clean water and soap as soon as possible.  After you decontaminate, you might consider sheltering on an upper floor inside a building to prevent further exposure.  Be sure to close and seal the doors and windows as well as shutting off any type of ventilation systems, especially if the wind is blowing toward you.

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  6. Shout only as a LAST RESORT to alert rescuers of your presence if you become trapped under debris.

    Answer is C.  Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.  A dense-weave cotton material can act as a good filter, so if available try to breathe through it.  You should cover your nose and mouth with anything you have on hand.  Avoid unnecessary movement to minimize kicking up dust.  To signal your location to rescuers, tap on a pipe or wall or, if available, use a whistle and flashlight. 

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  7. Fluid obtained from radiators should not be consumed by humans or animals and is NEVER a good or safe source for obtaining water to drink.

    Answer is C.  Boiling potable water at a rolling boil for a minimum of one (1) minute will kill harmful bacteria and parasites and is the best method for treating water from a non-toxic source.  You can also use regular household liquid bleach that contains no soap or scent to kill harmful bacteria, but it will not kill parasitic organisms.  For each gallon of water, add sixteen drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach, stir and let stand for 30 minutes.  If the water does not have a slight taste or smell of chlorine, add another dose and let stand for another 15 minutes. 

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  8. With the exception of service animals (such as guide dogs), pets are not typically permitted in emergency shelters for health reasons.  If you have pets, be sure to include them in your Emergency Response Plan.

    Answer is B.  Your emergency supply kit should include: 1) which local hotels and motels allow pets and where pet boarding facilities are located (include some outside your local area); 2) records to prove your pets vaccinations are current (required by most boarding facilities); 3) proper identification tags and a means to securely fasten them to the pets collar; 4) current photo of your pets; 5) a secure pet carrier or leash to restrain them and keep them secure; and 6) a pet disaster kit containing all the things needed for them to survive with you for three days including food, water and medicines (American Red Cross Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid Manuals). 

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  9. Every family or individual should have an emergency kit.

    So hopefully your answer was A. Yes.  It is important to have an emergency kit which includes all of the items in one place and staged so that the contents can be easily moved to another location if required.  Kit should include supply of food and water, manual can opener, matches, a first aid kit, battery powered radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, blankets and/or protective clothing, prescription medications and other items that are essential to health and well being (including pets - see answer to question 8).  For more information and easy-to-use guidelines or template for creating and maintaining an emergency kit, visit www.ready.gov

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  10. Situation can exist which create a non-contagious epidemic environment (i.e. situations where contaminant is not transmitted from infected person to healthy person).

    Answer is False.  Anthrax, Botulism and Salmonella are all examples of biological agents that could create a non-contagious epidemic (i.e. not transmitted from infected person to healthy person). 

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  11. As discussed in question 10, there are several biological agents (such as Anthrax) that are not contagious.

    Answer is D.  All biological attacks create a "contagious" situation and can be spread from person to person

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  12. Based on the typical characteristics associated with a TORANADO or sustained Hurricane Level Winds.

    Answer is B. Low.  You should shelter in a sturdy and well protected area away from exterior windows and doors below ground level (basement), if  possible, or in a bathtub or under a strong door frame on the ground floor.  If there is sufficient time to prepare, you should bring all small objects indoors and secure (tie down) any items that cannot be easily moved indoors to reduce the chance of them becoming deadly flying projectiles.  As a minimum, you should have medications, water, a portable radio and extra batteries with you so that you can monitor weather and emergency broadcasts. 

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  13. Based on the typical characteristics associated with FLOODING.

    Answer is A. High.  For flooding associated with natural disasters, you should seek shelter on the highest available ground around or the highest floor possible (potentially the attic), if no other option exists.  If an exit from the attic onto the roof does not exist, be sure to bring something that can be used to create an access hole through the roof.

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  14. Based on the typical characteristics associated with a RADIOLOGICAL incident.

    Answer is B. Low.  For a radiological or nuclear incident, you can reduce the exposure through shielding (such a thick wall) and increasing the distance from the contaminant.  Sheltering below ground can offer an increased level of protection.  However, the best shelter is one that is convenient to get to quickly, can be easily sealed off and is large enough to provide air to breathe for several hours.

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  15. Based on the typical characteristics associated with a CHEMICAL or BIOLOGICAL incident.

    Answer is A. High.  In a biological incident, the biological substance will usually settle on the ground; in a chemical attack, the contaminants would typically be distributed in aerosol form that is heavier than air so it will settle to the ground; and for chemical spills, you need to avoid direct contact and quickly get as far away from the incident as possible without risking potential exposure to fumes (keep incident down wind), since depending on the specific chemical, the fumes could either settle to the ground or rise into the air.  Thus, although in most cases it would be best to shelter on the highest indoor level that is secure, can be easily sealed off from outside air and provides sufficient air to breath for several hours, the best shelter is one that is convenient to get to quickly, can be easily sealed off and is large enough to provide air to breathe for several hours.

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Emergency & Disaster Categories  |  Prepare, Respond & Recover Information/Resources  |  Quiz  |  Quiz Answers

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