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Safety Checklist Program for Schools

October 2003
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-101

Emergency Action Plan (Template)

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DISCLAIMER:

Some of the additional resources listed below were provided by other organizations; they are intended to supplement the occupational safety and health information in this product. NIOSH is not responsible for the contents or accuracy of material obtained from these organizations. Furthermore, mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by NIOSH. In addition, citations to Web sites do not constitute NIOSH endorsement of the sponsoring organizations or their programs or products. Also, NIOSH is not responsible for the content of these Web sites.

Severe Weather and Natural Disasters

Tornado:

  • When a warning is issued by sirens or other means, seek inside shelter. Consider the following:

    • Small interior rooms on the lowest floor and without windows,
    • Hallways on the lowest floor away from doors and windows, and
    • Rooms constructed with reinforced concrete, brick, or block with no windows.

  • Stay away from outside walls and windows.
  • Remain sheltered until the tornado threat is announced to be over.

Earthquake:

  • Use arms to protect head and neck
  • Stay calm and await instructions from the Emergency Coordinator or the designated official.
  • Keep away from overhead fixtures, windows, filing cabinets, and electrical power.
  • Assist people with disabilities in finding a safe place.
  • Evacuate as instructed by the Emergency Coordinator and/or the designated official.


Flood:

If indoors:

  • Be ready to evacuate as directed by the Emergency Coordinator and/or the designated official.
  • Follow the recommended primary or secondary evacuation routes.


If outdoors:

  • Climb to high ground and stay there.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood water.
  • If car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to a higher ground.

Hurricane:

  • The nature of a hurricane provides for more warning than other natural and weather disasters. A hurricane watch issued when a hurricane becomes a threat to a coastal area. A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane winds of 74 mph or higher, or a combination of dangerously high water and rough seas, are expected in the area within 24 hours.

    Once a hurricane watch has been issued:

  • Stay calm and await instructions from the Emergency Coordinator or the designated official.
  • Moor any boats securely, or move to a safe place if time allows.
  • Continue to monitor local TV and radio stations for instructions.
  • Move early out of low-lying areas or from the coast, at the request of officials.
  • If you are on high ground, away from the coast and plan to stay, secure the building, moving all loose items indoors and boarding up windows and openings.
  • Collect drinking water in appropriate containers.

    Once a hurricane warning has been issued:

  • Be ready to evacuate as directed by the Emergency Coordinator and/or the designated official.
  • Leave areas that might be affected by storm tide or stream flooding.

    During a hurricane:

  • Remain indoors and consider the following:

    • Small interior rooms on the lowest floor and without windows,
    • Hallways on the lowest floor away from doors and windows, and
    • Rooms constructed with reinforced concrete, brick, or block with no windows.

Blizzard:

If indoors:

  • Stay calm and await instructions from the Emergency Coordinator or the designated official.
  • Stay indoors!
  • If there is no heat:

    • Close off unneeded rooms or areas.
    • Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors.
    • Cover windows at night.

  • Eat and drink. Food provides the body with energy and heat. Fluids prevent dehydration.
  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, light-weight, warm clothing, if available.

    If outdoors:

  • Find a dry shelter. Cover all exposed parts of the body.
  • If shelter is not available:

    • Prepare a lean-to, wind break, or snow cave for protection from the wind.
    • Build a fire for heat and to attract attention. Place rocks around the fire to absorb and reflect heat.
    • Do not eat snow. It will lower your body temperature. Melt it first.

      If stranded in a car or truck:

  • Stay in the vehicle!
  • Run the motor about ten minutes each hour. Open the windows a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked.
  • Make yourself visible to rescuers.

    • Turn on the dome light at night when running the engine.
    • Tie a colored cloth to your antenna or door.
    • Raise the hood after the snow stops falling.

  • Exercise to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.

 
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  • Page last reviewed: June 6, 2014
  • Page last updated: June 6, 2014
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