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What to do During and After an Emergency

Man putting magnet on refrigerator

Are you ready for an emergency?  It is the best way to stay safe.

  • Starting a Personal Support Team and a Personal Disaster Plan will help you when a disaster strikes.
  • Practice leaving from places where you spend time.  Like your home, job, or school.

Learn about getting ready for an emergency. 

The Consumer Advisory Committee and The Office of Human Rights and Advocacy Services have created "Feeling Safe Being Safe" materials.  These materials can help you make your own emergency preparedness plans.  The materials are easy to understand.  You can find a DVD, disaster plan worksheets, a personal assessment, supply lists, a printable magnet and so much more.  Click on the link below to register and get your FREE materials. 

What to say to an emergency rescue worker.

  • Think about what a rescue worker should know about you.  Practice saying this important information.  You might need to tell a worker about:
    • How you understand things best, like using easy words.
    • Any special health problems you have, like diabetes.

Ask your support person to help you write down important information about you on a 4x6 card.

  • This includes:
    • Your name,
    • The best way to speak to you,
    • Any special needs that you have.
  • Keep the card in your supply kit.
  • Give it to the rescue worker.

There are some things you should do during any emergency.

  • Stay calm. 
  • Leave your home if you are told to do so.
  • Take your Emergency Supply Kit.
  • You may not see a rescue worker right away, so:
    • You might have to be alone for several hours.
    • If a rescuer worker comes, follow the instructions they give you.
    • Remember to give the rescue worker your 4x6 card.

Practice what you plan!

  • Follow your Personal Disaster Plan.
    • Go to the safe place you wrote down in your plan.
    • Keep your Personal Disaster Plan with you.
  • If you need to leave your home, leave quickly and calmly.
    • Take your Portable Emergency Supply Kit with you.
    • Use your battery-powered radio to listen to emergency directions.

Take different actions for different emergencies!


  • If you are inside during an earthquake:
    • Stay indoors.
      • Drop to the floor.
      • Take cover under a piece of heavy furniture.
      • Protect your head with one arm.
      • Hold onto the furniture with the other hand.
  • If you are outside during an earthquake:
    • Move into the open.
    • Drop and cover.
  • If you are in a wheelchair, lock the brake and cover your head and neck.
    • Bend over to protect yourself if you can.


  • If the fire is indoors, leave quickly!
  • Stay low to the floor where the air is safest. .......................
  • Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
  • Go to your outside meeting place and then call for help.
  • Never hide in a closet or under a bed. 
  • Once out of the house do not return for any reason. 
  • If smoke, heat, or flames keep you from leaving, stay where you are with the doors closed.
    • Place a wet towel under the door and call the fire department or 9-1-1.
    • Open a window and wave a cloth or flashlight.  This tells people you need help.


  • Listen to local radio and television stations.  Be ready to leave your home at any time.
  • During a flood:
    • Stay away from flood waters.
    • Do not walk in water that is moving.
    • Be careful at night when it is harder to see flood danger.
  • After a flood:
    • Return home only when it is safe.
    • Look outside for damage before entering your home.
    • Leave if you hear or smell gas.  Call the fire department.
    • Wear rubber gloves and rubber boots during cleanup.
    • Do not eat or drink any food or water that has been touched by the flood water.

After an emergency, stay calm.

  • Check to see if you are hurt.  If you are, tell someone and get help.
  • Listen to your radio for emergency information.
  • When you can use the telephone, call your family contact.  Tell them where you are and how you are doing.
  • Return home only when it is safe.  


  • DDS Emergency Preparedness Consumer Corner
Last updated on Fri, 11/19/2010 - 14:34