Emergency Preparedness for Seniors & Everyone!
From American Red Cross
An emergency can
strike at any time. It is only a ‘disaster’ if we are
not prepared and do not have alternatives available to ensure our
comfort and peace of mind. To avoid getting caught unprepared, we
urge you to immediately review the enclosed information and fill
in the appropriate local emergency numbers. Be sure to keep this
helpful reference tool in a handy place for quick reference.
More information is always available
through the City of Lawndale’s Emergency Preparedness Office,
- Prepare NOW for a sudden emergency
- Learn how to protect yourself
and cope with disaster by planning ahead.
- Even if you have physical limitations,
you can still protect yourself.
- Disaster can strike quickly and
Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after
a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away.
Keep in touch with your neighbors
and look out for each other.
Knowing What to Do Is Your
Best Protection And Your Responsibility.
Every day some part of the country
is affected by one or more of the following emergencies:
- Winter Storms
- Toxic Spills
Which three are
most likely to happen in your area? In Lawndale, our most probable
threats are 1) earthquakes; 2) toxic spills (think of all the traffic
on the 405 freeway and Hawthorne Boulevard); and 3) residential
Preparing for a disaster
that is most likely to happen in your area will help you be prepared
for any disaster. Remember anything can happen at any time.
How You May
Be Notified Of A Possible Emergency
- Door to door warning from local
follow their instructions!
Be aware of anyone in your neighborhood
who may need special help. If available, take advantage of advance
registration systems in your area for those who need help.
Family Disaster Plan
The next time disaster strikes,
you may not have much time to act. Prepare now for a sudden emergency.
By planning ahead you can avoid
waiting in long lines for critical supplies, such as food, water
and medicine. Remember to review your plan regularly.
Use the following checklist to get
Your Disaster Checklist
- Assemble a disaster supplies kit.
- Arrange for someone to check
- Plan and practice the best escape
routes from your home.
- Plan for transportation if you
need to evacuate to a Red Cross shelter.
- Find the safe places in your
home for each type of emergency.
- Have a plan to signal the need
- Post emergency phone numbers
near the phone.
- If you have home health care
service, plan ahead with your agency for emergency procedures.
- Teach those who may need to assist
you in an emergency how to operate necessary equipment. Be sure
they will be able to reach you.
Medical Emergency Supplies
For your safety and comfort, you
need to have emergency supplies packed and ready in one place before
You should assemble enough supplies
to last for at least three days.
- Assemble the supplies you would
need in an evacuation, both medical and general supplies.
- Store them in an easy-to-carry
container, such as a backpack or duffel bag.
- Be sure your bag has an ID tag.
- Label any equipment, such as
wheelchairs, canes or walkers, that you would need.
For Your Medical Needs
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medicines, list
of medications including dosage, list of any allergies
- Extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid
- Extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen
- List of the style and serial
numbers of medical devices such as pacemakers
- Medical insurance and Medicare
- List of doctors and relatives
or friends who should be notified if you are injured
- Any other items you may need
General Disaster Supplies
- Battery-powered radio and flashlight
with extra batteries for each
- Change of clothing, rain gear,
and sturdy shoes
- Blanket or sleeping bag
- Extra set of keys
- Cash, credit cards, change for
the pay phone
- Personal hygiene supplies
- Phone numbers of local and non-local
relatives or friends
- Insurance agent's name and number
- Other items you want to include
It may not be necessary to evacuate,
or you may be ordered to stay in your home. If this happens, you
will need in addition to the above items:
- Water supply: one gallon per
day per person. Remember, plan for at least 3 days. Store water
in sealed, unbreakable containers that you are able to handle.
Identify the storage date and replace every six months.
- Non-perishable food supply--including
any special foods you require. Choose foods that are easy to store
and carry, nutritious and ready-to-eat. Rotate them regularly.
See section, "For More Information".
- Manual can opener you are able
- Non-perishable food for any pets.
Shelter In Place
In a chemical emergency, you may
be told to shelter in place. This means staying where you are and
making yourself as safe as possible until the emergency passes or
you are told to evacuate.
In this situation it is safer to
remain indoors than to go outside where the air is unsafe to breathe.
If You are Told To Shelter
- Close all windows in your home.
- Turn off all fans, heating, and
air conditioning systems.
- Close the fireplace damper.
- Go to an above-ground room (not
the basement) with the fewest windows and doors.
- Take your Disaster Supplies Kit
- Wet some towels and jam them
in the crack under the doors. Tape around doors, windows, exhaust
fans or vents. Use plastic garbage bags to cover windows, outlets
and heat registers.
- If you are told there is danger
of explosion, close the window shades, blinds or curtains. To
avoid injury, stay away from the windows.
- Stay in the room and listen to
your radio until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate.
Red Cross Shelters may
be opened if
- A disaster affects a large number
- The emergency is expected to
last several days.
Be Prepared to Go to a Shelter
if. . .
- Your area is without electrical
- There is a chemical emergency
affecting your area.
- Flood water is rising.
- Your home has been severely damaged.
- Police or other local officials
tell you to evacuate.
Services Provided at a Red
- Temporary shelter.
- Basic First Aid.
*NOTE: Pets are NOT allowed in Red Cross shelters! Service animals
are allowed with authorizing paperwork.
To Learn About Red Cross
Shelters Serving Your Area
- Listen to your battery-powered
- Check with your local Red Cross
All American Red Cross emergency
services are provided free of charge.
If You Need To Evacuate
- Coordinate with your home
care provider for evacuation procedures.
- Try to car pool if possible.
- If you must have assistance
for special transportation call the American Red Cross or
your local officials.
- Wear appropriate clothing
and sturdy shoes.
- Take your Disaster Supplies
- Lock your home.
- Use the travel routes specified
or special assistance provided by local officials. Don't
take any short cuts, they may be unsafe.
- Notify shelter authorities
of any need you may have. They will do their best to accommodate
you and make you comfortable.
- Take care of your pets!
If You Are Sure You Have
- Shut off water, gas, and electricity
if instructed to do so and if you know how. Gas must be turned
back on by a professional.
- Let others know when you left
and where you are going.
- Make arrangements for pets. Animals
other than working animals may not be allowed in public shelters.
One emergency we could all face at any time is a home fire. A home
fire could be a special challenge for one with physical limitations.
However, there are some things we can do to improve our safety:
Before a Fire
- Plan two escape routes out of
each room. If you cannot use stairways, make special arrangements
for help in advance. Never use elevators.
- Sleep with the bedroom door closed.
This gives you extra minutes of protection from toxic fumes and
- Test your smoke detector battery
regularly, and as a reminder, change batteries on the same day
each year. Vacuum it occasionally to remove dust.
In Case Of Fire
- Remain calm.
- Drop to the floor and crawl.
Most fire fatalities are due to breathing toxic fumes and smoke.
The cleanest air is near the floor. Breathing toxic fumes and
smoke is more dangerous than the risk of injury in getting to
the floor quickly.
- Feel any door before you open
it. If it is hot, find another way out.
- If your smoke detector goes off,
never waste time to get dressed or collect valuables or pets.
Get out of the house immediately.
- Do not try to fight the fire!
Call for help from a neighbor's phone.
- Never go back into a burning
building for any reason.
- If your clothes catch on fire,
drop to the floor and roll to suffocate the fire. Keep rolling
(running from the fire only "fans" the flames and makes
- If you are in a wheelchair or
cannot get out of your house, stay by the window near the floor.
If you are able, signal the need to help.
It is estimated that 3.4 million children live in a household headed
by grandparents. And, many children visit their grandparents often.
The following safety advice for children can help grandparents prepare
a safe environment at home for children:
- Store matches and lighters up
high, away from children.
- Move cleaning chemicals like
cleansers, soap, drain cleaner, and other poisons to high cupboards
OR install a child-proof lock if you must keep these items in
- Store prescription medicines
and over-the-counter drugs like aspirin, cough medicines, and
stomachache remedies in a cabinet out of reach of children.
- If children are playing outside
or in a pool when skies grow dark or you hear thunder, ask them
to come indoors right away.
- Install plastic covers over all
exposed electrical outlets.
Children Can Help Grandparents,
- Have children test each smoke
detector in your home to make sure it is working by using a broom
handle to push the test button. See that the battery is changed
in each detector that doesn't work.
- Ask children to draw a floor
plan of your home and show two ways out of every room in case
Summary and Reminders
- Take responsibility by planning
- Listen for information on radio
and TV about hazardous weather and other events, and heed the
advice of local officials. Leave right away if told to do so.
- In some communities, people who
need help or transportation during an evacuation are asked to
register that need with their local government. Call your local
emergency management office for information and suggestions about
what to do during an evacuation.
- Gather essential supplies, and
be sure to keep a copy of your eyeglass prescription, list of
medications and their dosage, and other important papers to take
with you if you have to leave your home.
For More Information:
If you would like more information
on disaster planning or on the disasters likely to happen in your
area, call the City of Lawndale’s Emergency Preparedness Office,
The following may be ordered free
from the U.S. Fire Administration
Smoke Detectors and Fire Safety:
A Guide for Older Americans
FEMA/U.S. Fire Administration
P.O. Box 2012
Jessup, MD 20794-2012
NOAA Weather Radio information
NOAA Weather Radio
Stock #: NOAA PA 76015
Contact your local National Weather
Includes frequency information,
type of information broadcast and where to obtain a NOAA Weather
The following may be ordered
P.O. Box 2012
Jessup, MD 20794-2012
Preparedness for People with Disabilities
Pub. # FEMA-75
Hurricane Awareness-Action Guidelines
for Senior Citizens
Emergency information may
also be obtained from your utility company.
Emergency Phone Numbers
Local emergency services number:_______________________
Out of state contact:____________________________________
Local Red Cross Chapter:_______________________________