September is National Preparedness Month, which is a great reminder to be prepared for disasters and emergencies in your home, neighborhood, and workplace. Business owners should also prepare for the worst. As the scouting motto goes, “be prepared” is widely recognized by many as solid advice. Knowing what hazards exist in the community can also help emergency readiness. It is the job of our Emergency Manager, Aaron Sainsbury, to be prepared for ALL hazards. So, he put together a list of situations for which you too can be prepared.
Hazards in the Community
Every community has potential hazards that can result in a localized emergency in your neighborhood
or a city-wide disaster. Knowing what can happen is an important first step to developing individual, neighborhood, and community emergency plans. Hazards can be divided into two categories; those
that occur naturally and cause disruption, and those that are caused by human activities either on purpose or by accident.
The following are the hazards to consider in South Jordan City and ways you can prepare:
- Severe Weather
- Winter Storm
- High Winds/Microburst
- Heat Wave
Human Caused/Technological Hazards
- Hazardous Material Incident
- Power Outage
- Fallen Aircraft
- Terrorism/Criminal Acts
- Civil Disturbance
- Dam Failure
Preparing Your Family for Disaster
1. Stock up on at least a four day supply of food, water, clothes, medical supplies and other necessary equipment for everyone in your family (including pets). Make sure everyone knows where these items are located.
2. Decide where and when to reunite your family should you be apart after a disaster.
3. Choose a person outside the immediate area to contact if family members are separated. Long distance phone service will probably be restored sooner than local service. Do not use the phone immediately after the disaster. Texting will probably be more reliable.
4. Know the policies of the school or daycare center your children attend. Make plans to have someone pick them up if you are unable to get them.
5. If you have a family member that does not speak English, prepare an emergency card written in English indicating that person’s identification, address and any special needs such as medication or allergies. Tell that person to keep the card with them at all times.
6. Conduct drills every six months with your family.
7. Know the safest place in each room; it may be difficult or unsafe to move from one room to another.
8. Locate the shutoff valves for water, gas and electricity. Learn how to shut off the valves before a disaster. Do not shut off gas valves prior to smelling an odor or observing a hazard as it may cause additional issues. If you have any questions, call your utility company.
9. Make copies of vital records and keep them in a safe deposit box in another city or state. Make sure originals are stored safely.
10. Take photos and videos of your valuables. Make copies and keep them in another city or state.
11. Establish all the possible ways to exit your house. Keep those areas clear.
12. Include your babysitter and other household help in your plans.
13. Keep an extra pair of eyeglasses, house and car keys, and medication on hand.
14. Keep extra cash and change. If electricity is out, you will not be able to use an ATM.
15. When preparing for an earthquake:
- Plan on having enough supplies to get you and your family through at least the first 96 hours. After a major earthquake, there is a good chance that traditional emergency response teams will be too busy to take care of you and your family. You need to prepare your home and neighborhood.
- Stay away from heavy furniture, appliances, large glass panes, shelves holding objects, and other large decorative masonry, brick or plaster, such as fireplaces
- Keep your hallway clear. It is usually one of the safest places to be during an earthquake.Stay away from kitchens and garages, which tend to be the most dangerous places because of the many items kept there.