Emergencies, disasters, accidents, injuries, and crime can occur at any time without warning. Being physically and psychologically prepared to handle unexpected emergencies is an individual as well as an organizational responsibility.
Preparing for Emergencies
Keep enough emergency supplies in your home, office or car (medication, flashlight, comfortable shoes, bottled water, food, batteries, portable radio) for up to seventy-two hours in case of a serious emergency.
- Become familiar with this quickest exit routes from your building.
- Locate the nearest fire extinguisher.
- Prepare a plan for yourself and your family specifying what to do, where to go, and how to cope until you are all able to get home.
Emergency: Civil Disturbance
Civil disturbances include riots, property damage, threatening individuals, or assemblies that have become significantly disruptive.
Demonstrations are visible actions designed to advocate a position on a particular issue. Most are peaceful and only occasionally cause an inconvenience; but they can also become problematic. In Case of Civil Disturbance or Demonstration
- Avoid provoking or obstructing demonstrators
- Secure your area (lock doors and safes; remove files, vital records, and expensive equipment)
- Avoid area of disturbance
- Continue with normal routines as much as possible.
- If the disturbance is outside, stay away from doors or windows. Stay inside
Emergency: Bomb Threat by Telephone
- Do not hang up. Remain calm
- Take the caller seriously. Assume the threat is real
- If you have a digital phone, look for originating number
- Do no use cell phone, two-way radio, or any wireless communication device, as it can trigger the bomb
In the event of explosion take the following actions:
- Immediately take cover under tables, desks, or anything else that provides protection against flying glass and debris.
- If necessary, activate the building fire alarm system.
- Evacuate the immediate area of the explosion
- Seek out and assist injured and disabled persons in evacuating the building. Exit via the stairway. Do not use the elevator.
- Once outside, move at least 150 away from the building and proceed to the designated area for evacuation. Keep roadways and walkways clear for emergency vehicles.
- Wait for instructions. Do not reenter the building until instructed to do so.
If You Discover a Fire
- Activate the fire alarm system
- Determine if it is safe for you to attempt to extinguish the fire
- Immediately exit the building, using the stairs and closing doors behind you. Do not use elevators
- Call the police or fire service
Using a Fire ExtinguisherIf you have been trained and it is safe to do so, you may fight small, contained fires with a fire extinguisher.
Fire Extinguisher Instructions
P Pull safety pin from handle.
A Aim at base of fire.
S Squeeze the trigger handle.
S Sweep from side to side at base of fire.Once Fire Alarm Is Activated
- Walk to the nearest exit closing doors between you and the fire
- Assist people who have special needs.
- Notify fire personnel if you suspect someone is trapped inside the building
- Gather at designated building assembly area. Do not attempt to reenter the building until instructed to do so
If Trapped in a Room
- Wet and place cloth material around or under the door to prevent smoke from entering the room
- Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire
- Be prepared to signal to someone outside
If Caught in Smoke
- Drop to hands and knees and crawl toward exit
- Stay low, as smoke will rise to ceiling level
- Hold your breath as much as possible
- Breathe shallowly through nose, and use a filter such as a shirt or towel
If forced to advance through flames
- Hold your breath
- Move quickly
- Cover your head and hair
- Keep your head down and your eyes closed as much as possible
Prepare yourself in advance; know where to go and how to get there. Your own common sense is the finest safety device ever developed. Above all use your head.