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MAKE A PLAN:
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.
FAMILY EMERGENCY PLAN
Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area and how you will be notified. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door to door.
You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare, and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together in the event of an emergency. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance.
DECIDING TO STAY OR GO
Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the attack, the first important decision is whether you stay put or get away. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information, including what you are learning on this web page, to determine if there is immediate danger.
In an emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, your should monitor TV and radio news reports for information or official instructions as they become available. If you are specifically told to evacuate or seek medical treatment, then do so immediately.
Whether you are at home, work or elsewhere, there may be situations when it is best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside.
There are other circumstances when staying put and creating a barrier between yourself and potentially contaminated air outside, a process known as "sealing the room," is a matter of survival. Use available information to assess the situation. If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if local authorities say the air is badly contaminated, you may want to take this kind of action.
There may be conditions under which you will decide you need to evacuate, or there may be situations when you are ordered to leave. Plan how you will assemble your family and anticipate where you will go. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency.
If time allows:
AT WORK AND SCHOOL
Like individuals and families, schools, daycare providers, workplaces, neighborhoods and apartment buildings should all have site-specific emergency plans.
If you are an employer, make sure your workplace has a building evacuation plan that is regularly practiced.
SCHOOLS AND DAYCARE
If you are a parent, or guardian or an elderly or disabled adult, make sure schools and daycare providers have emergency response plans.
IN A HIGH RISE BUILDING
IN A MOVING VEHICLE
© 2001-2011 City of Buffalo
Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios