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Sioux Empire Safety Village

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Click here to download these documents-

Staying Safe in Thunderstorms & Tornadoes
Driving in Snow and Ice Winter Safety Kit (3)
Winter Safety Kit (3)
Falls When Entering or Exiting Vehicle

Staying Safe in Winter Storms and Extreme Cold

While the danger from winter weather varies across the country, nearly all Americans, regardless of where they live, are likely to face some type of severe winter weather at some point in their lives. That could mean snow or subfreezing temperatures, as well as strong winds or even ice or heavy rain storms. One of the primary concerns is the winter weather’s ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home or office, sometimes for days at a time. The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the “Deceptive Killers” because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. Instead, people die in traffic accidents on icy roads and of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. It is important to be prepared for winter weather before it strikes.

Step 1: Get a Kit

  • Get an Emergency Supply Kit which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries.
  • Thoroughly check and update your family’s Emergency Supply Kit before winter approaches and add the following supplies in preparation for winter weather:
    • Rock salt to melt ice on walkways
    • Sand to improve traction
    • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
    • Also include adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.

Step 2: Make a Plan

Prepare Your Family

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • 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.
  • Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class from your local Citizen Corps chapter. Keep your training current.

Step 3: Be Informed

Prepare Your Home

  • Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and windowsills to keep the warm air inside.
  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.
  • Hire a contractor to check the structural stability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow – or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
  • If you have a car, fill the gas tank in case you have to leave. In addition, check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
    • Antifreeze levels – ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
    • Battery and ignition system – should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
    • Brakes – check for wear and fluid levels.
    • Exhaust system – check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
    • Fuel and air filters – replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas.
    • Heater and defroster – ensure they work properly.
    • Lights and flashing hazard lights – check for serviceability.
    • Oil – check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
    • Thermostat – ensure it works properly.
    • Tires – make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
    • Windshield wiper equipment – repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.

Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify winter weather.

  • Freezing Rain creates a coating of ice on roads and walkways.
  • Sleet is rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • Winter Weather Advisory means cold, ice and snow are expected.
  • Winter Storm Watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
  • Winter Storm Warning means severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.
  • Blizzard Warning means heavy snow and strong winds will produce a blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts and life-threatening wind chill.
  • Frost/Freeze Warning means below freezing temperatures are expected.
  • When a Winter Storm WATCH is issued
    • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, and television stations, or cable television such as The Weather Channel for further updates.
    • Be alert to changing weather conditions.
    • Avoid unnecessary travel
  • When a Winter Storm WARNING is issued
    • Stay indoors during the storm.
    • If you must go outside, several layers of lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. Gloves (or mittens) and a hat will prevent loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.
    • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
    • If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
    • Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
    • Avoid traveling by car in a storm, but if you must…
    • Carry an Emergency Supply Kit in the trunk.
      • Keep your car’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
      • Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
      • Eat regularly and drink ample fluids, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
      • Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.

Listen to Local Officials

Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials. For further information on how to plan and prepare for winter storms as well as what to do during and after a winter storm, visit: Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA Watch, or  American Red Cross.

Winter Safety Tips for your Home

Home Safety Tips for a Safe and Healthy Winter

In the winter, more home fires are started by heating equipment than any other cause. Portable and electric space heaters are the most dangerous. But it is possible to be warm and safe this winter by following these tips.

Portable Space Heaters

  • Make sure your heater has been tested for safety. Look on the bottom for a label such as ETL, UL or CSA.
  • Space heaters need to have plenty of space around them.
  • Place space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn – including furniture, people, pets and curtains.
  • There should always be an adult in the room when a space heater is on. Turn off space heaters before leaving a room or going to sleep.
  • Supervise children and pets at all times when a portable space heater is in use.
  • Never use space heaters to dry clothing or blankets.

Fireplaces and Wood Stoves

  • Burn only seasoned hardwood like oak, ash or maple. Do not burn trash, cardboard boxes or Christmas trees because these items burn unevenly, and may contain poisons or cause a home fire.
  • Have a professional chimney sweep inspect chimneys every year. They will fix any cracks, blockages and leaks and clean out any build-up in the chimney that could start a fire.
  • Creosote logs can be used to help reduce the build-up of creosote in fireplaces. Check labels to make sure the log has been tested and approved by UL. Even if you use creosote logs, fireplaces should still be inspected by a professional each year.
  • Open flues before fireplaces are used.
  • Use sturdy screens or glass doors to keep embers inside fireplaces.
  • Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and inside or near sleeping areas.
  • Keep young children away from working wood stoves and heaters to avoid contact burn injuries.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Precautions:

Carbon monoxide is known as “the silent killer.” You cannot see it, smell it or taste it. CO claims the lives of nearly 300 people in their homes each year according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). CO is a deadly gas that is produced by fuel-burning heating equipment, such as furnaces, wood stoves, fireplaces, and kerosene heaters. Follow these guidelines to help keep your family safer.

  • Install at least one CO alarm near sleeping areas.
  • Have a trained professional inspect, clean and tune-up your home’s central heating system and repair leaks or other problems. Fireplaces and woodstoves should also be inspected each year and cleaned or repaired as needed.
  • Keep gas appliances properly adjusted and serviced.
  • Never use an oven or range to heat your home.
  • Never use a gas or charcoal grill inside your home or in a closed garage.
  • Portable electric generators must be used outside only. Never use them indoors, in a garage or in any confined area that can allow CO to collect. Follow usage directions closely.

Be “Ready-to-Go” or “Ready-to-Stay” if the Power Goes Out:

  • Stock up on batteries, flashlights, portable radios, canned foods, manual can openers, bottled water and blankets.
  • Use flashlights instead of candles to avoid a possible fire hazard.
  • If the temperature outside is below freezing and your home has no heat, run water at a trickle to help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
  • Store perishable food outside in the snow or in an unheated outside building if the power goes out.

Staying Safe in Floods

Flooding is the nation’s most common natural disaster. Flooding can happen in every U.S. state and territory. However, all floods are not alike. Some can develop slowly during an extended period of rain, or in a warming trend following a heavy snow. Others, such as flash floods, can occur quickly, even without any visible signs of rain. It’s important to be prepared for flooding no matter where you live, but particularly if you are in a low-lying area, near water or downstream from a dam. Even a very small stream or dry creek bed can overflow and create flooding.

Step 1: Get a Kit

Get an Emergency Supply Kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car. This kit should include:

  • Copies of prescription medications and medical supplies;
  • Bedding and clothing, including sleeping bags and pillows;
  • Bottled water, a battery-operated radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, a flashlight;
  • Copies of important documents: driver’s license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.

Step 2: Make a Plan

Prepare your family

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • 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.
  • Be sure to consider the specific needs of your family members
    • Notify caregivers and babysitters about your plan.
    • Make plans for your pets
  • Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class from your local Citizen Corps chapter. Keep your training current.

Step 3: Be Informed

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a flood hazard

  • Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information
  • Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.

Understand Some of the Most Frequent Causes of Flooding:

  • Tropical Storms and Hurricanes: Hurricanes pack a triple punch: high winds, soaking rain, and flying debris. They can cause storm surges to coastal areas, as well as create heavy rainfall which in turn causes flooding hundreds of miles inland. While all coastal areas are at risk, certain cities are particularly vulnerable and could have losses similar to or even greater than those caused by the 2005 hurricane, Katrina, in New Orleans and Mississippi. When hurricanes weaken into tropical storms, they generate rainfall and flooding that can be especially damaging since the rain collects in one place. In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison produced more than 30 inches of rainfall in Houston in just a few days, flooding over 70,000 houses and destroying 2,744 homes.
  • Spring Thaw: During the spring, frozen land prevents melting snow or rainfall from seeping into the ground. Each cubic foot of compacted snow contains gallons of water and once the snow melts, it can result in the overflow of streams, rivers, and lakes. Add spring storms to that and the result is often serious spring flooding.
  • Heavy Rains: Several areas of the country are at heightened risk for flooding due to heavy rains. The Northwest is at high risk due to La Niña conditions, which include: snow melts, heavy rains, and recent wildfires. And the Northeast is at high risk due to heavy rains produced from Nor’easters. This excessive amount of rainfall can happen throughout the year, putting your property at risk.
  • West Coast Threats: The West Coast rainy season usually lasts from November to April, bringing heavy flooding and increased flood risks with it; however, flooding can happen at anytime. A string of large wildfires have dramatically changed the landscape and ground conditions, causing fire-scorched land to become mudflows under heavy rain. Experts say that it might take years for vegetation to return, which will help stabilize these areas. The West Coast also has thousands of miles of levees, which are meant to help protect homes and their land in case of a flood. However, levees can erode, weaken, or overtop when waters rise, often causing catastrophic results.
  • Levees & Dams: Levees are designed to protect against a certain level of flooding. However, levees can and do decay over time, making maintenance a serious challenge. Levees can also be overtopped, or even fail during large floods, creating more damage than if the levee wasn’t even there. Because of the escalating flood risks in areas with levees, especially in the mid-west, FEMA strongly recommends flood insurance for all homeowners in these areas.
  • Flash Floods: Flash floods are the #1 weather-related killer in the U.S. since they can roll boulders, tear out trees, and destroy buildings and bridges. A flash flood is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas in less than six hours, which is caused by intense rainfall from a thunderstorm or several thunderstorms. Flash floods can also occur from the collapse of a man-made structure or ice dam.
  • New Development: Construction and development can change the natural drainage and create brand new flood risks. That’s because new buildings, parking lots, and roads mean less land to absorb excess precipitation from heavy rains, hurricanes, and tropical storms.

Know Your Risks, Know Your Safety

  • Find out if your home is at risk for flood and educate yourself on the impact a flood could have on you and your family. FEMA’s Flood Insurance Study compiled statistical data on river flows, storm tides, hydrologic/hydraulic analyses, and rainfall and topographic surveys to create flood hazard maps that outline your community’s different flood risk areas.
  • Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Talk to your insurance provider about your policy and consider if you need additional coverage.
  • The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves if additional coverage is required. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. To find out more about the NFIP visit www.FloodSmart.gov.

Prepare Your Home

  • Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.
  • Consider installing “check valves” to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
  • If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency by visiting:
     http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/emergency/index.html

Prepare Your Business

  • Plan to stay in business. talk to your employees, and protect your investment.
  • Carefully assess how your company functions, both internally and externally, to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating.
  • Identify operations critical to survival and recovery.
  • Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not accessible.
    • Consider if you can run the business from a different location or from your home.
    • Develop relationships with other companies to use their facilities in case a disaster makes your location unusable.
  • Learn about programs, services, and resources at U.S. Small Business Administration.

Listen to Local Officials

  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

Federal and National Resources

Staying Safe in Thunderstorms

In the United States, lightning kills 300 people and injures 80 on average, each year. All thunderstorms produce lightning and all have the potential for danger. Those dangers can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, wildfires and flash flooding, which is responsible for more fatalities than any other thunderstorm-related hazard.

Lightning’s risk to individuals and property is increased because of its unpredictability, which emphasizes the importance of preparedness. It often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.

Step 1: Get a Kit

Get an Emergency Supply Kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries.

Step 2: Make a Plan

Prepare Your Family

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan.
  • Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan.
  • Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class from your local Citizen Corps chapter. Keep your training current.
  • Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.

Step 3: Be Informed

Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a thunderstorm hazard

  • A thunderstorm watch means there is a possibility of a thunderstorm in your area.
  • A thunderstorm warning means a thunderstorm is occurring or will likely occur soon. If you are advised to take shelter, do so immediately.

Prepare Your Home

  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency by visiting:
     http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/emergency/index.html

Listen to Local Officials

Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

For further information on how to plan and prepare for thunderstorms and lightening as well as what to do during and after a thunderstorm, visit: Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA Watch, or American Red Cross.

Staying Safe in Tornadoes

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. They can appear suddenly without warning and can be invisible until dust and debris are picked up or a funnel cloud appears. Planning and practicing specifically how and where you take shelter is a matter of survival. Be prepared to act quickly. Keep in mind that while tornadoes are more common in the Midwest, Southeast and Southwest, they can occur in any state and at any time of the year, making advance preparation vitally important.

Step 1: Get a Kit

  • Get an Emergency Supply Kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries.
  • Store it in your shelter location

Step 2: Make a Plan

Prepare Your Family

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • 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.
  • Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning:
    • Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
    • If underground shelter is not available, go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
    • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
    • Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they attract debris.
    • A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection. Plan to go quickly to a building with a strong foundation, if possible.
    • If shelter is not available, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
    • Plan to stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed.
  • Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class from your local Citizen Corps chapter. Keep your training current.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency by visiting:
     http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/emergency/index.html

Step 3: Be Informed

Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a tornado hazard.

  • A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
  • A tornado warning is when a tornado is actually occurring, take shelter immediately.

Listen to Local Officials

Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

For further information on how to plan and prepare for tornadoes as well as what to do during and after a tornado, visit: Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA Watch or American Red Cross.

Staying Safe in Extreme Heat

A heat wave is an extended period of extreme heat, and is often accompanied by high humidity. These conditions can be dangerous and even life-threatening for humans who don’t take the proper precautions.

Step 1: Get a Kit

  • Get an Emergency Supply Kit which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries.

Step 2: Make a Plan

Prepare Your Family

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • 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.
  • Be sure to consider the specific needs of your family members
    • Notify caregivers and babysitters about your plan.
    • Make plans for your pets
  • Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class from your local Citizen Corps chapter. Keep your training current.

Step 3: Be Informed

Prepare Your Home

  • Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
  • Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
  • Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
  • Keep storm windows up all year.

Listen to Local Officials

Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

For further information on how to plan and prepare for extreme heat, visit: Federal Emergency Management Agency, American Red Cross or NOAA Watch.

 

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