After a Disaster – Procedures Checklist
1. Be extremely careful and exercise caution in working on or entering buildings that may have been damaged by the disaster. They could collapse without warning. There may also be gas leaks or electrical short circuits.
2. Steer clear of fallen or damaged electrical wires which may still pose a problem.
3. Keep any lighted items such as cigarettes, torches, or lanterns away from damaged buildings because there may be leaking gas lines or other material that might be flammable.
4. Check for leaking gas lines in your building. This should be done by smell only. Do not use candles or matches. If gas odor is present, ventilate the building as well as possible. Make sure the gas main valve is shut off. Notify the proper authorities such as the gas company or fire department. Do not re-enter the house until the problem is taken care of.
5. If any electrical appliances are wet, first turn off the main power switch in the house, then unplug the wet appliance, dry it out thoroughly. When completely dry, reconnect and turn on the main power switch. Make sure you do not do any of these things while you are standing in water or are wet. If a fuse blows when the power is turned back on, turn off the main power switch again and then re-inspect for short circuits in the house appliances, equipment, and wiring.
6. Check any food and water supplies before using them. Refrigerated foods may be spoiled due to an interruption in power. Do not eat any food that came in contact with flood waters. Be sure to check with local authorities concerning the use of food and water supplies.
7. Be as self sufficient as possible. If needed, get food, clothing, medical care and shelter at the Red Cross or from local government authorities.
8. Keep away from disaster areas. Your curiosity could get in the way of rescue efforts and interfere with first aid or rescue work and may be dangerous as well.
9. Don’t drive unless it is absolutely necessary and drive with caution. Be careful and watch for hazards to others and yourself. Report any hazards to the local emergency authorities.
10. Communicate with relatives by phone, writing, or telegraph after the emergency is over so they will know you are safe.