631 9th Street
Arcata, CA 95521
(707) 825-2000 (office)
(707) 822-7951 (fax)
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Closed All Holidays
Arcata Fire has only three staffed two-person engine companies on duty each day to cover 63 square miles. Arcata-Mad River Ambulance provides paramedic transport services to everyone from Indianola to the Humboldt County/Del-Norte line. If a major disaster occurs, multiple requests for service are typically received simultaneously. Calls are screened by trained dispatchers for medical priority… Unfortunately, it may be hours or even days before help can reach you.
Disasters usually occur quickly and without warning. You could awaken in the night to find your home on fire. You could be forced to evacuate your home (hazardous material leak or earthquake) or you could be confined to your home without water, electricity, and/or phone for days.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE AND AFTER DISASTER STRIKES
Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services—water, gas, electricity, or telephones—were cut off? Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away. Families can—and do—cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Follow the steps listed below to create your family’s disaster plan. Knowing what to do is your best protection.
FOUR STEPS TO SAFETY
Find Out What Could Happen to You —
Ask about animal care after a disaster. Animals are not allowed inside emergency shelters because of health regulations.
Find out how to help elderly or disabled persons, if needed.
Find out about the disaster plans at your workplace, your children’s school or day care center, and other places where your family spends time.
Create a Disaster Plan
Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster.
Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children.
Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.
Discuss the types of disasters most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.
Pick two places to meet.
Ask an out-of-state friend to be your “family contact”. After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. All family members should call this person to report their whereabouts. Each family member must know your family contact’s phone number.
Discuss what to do in an evacuation. Plan how to take care of your pets.
Complete This Checklist.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors.
Working with neighbors can save lives and property. Meet with your neighbors to plan how the neighborhood will work together after a disaster. If you’re a member of a neighborhood organization, such as a homeowners association or crime watch group, introduce disaster preparedness as a new activity. Know your neighbors’ special skills (e.g., medical, technical) and consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as disabled and elderly persons. Make plans for childcare in case parents can’t get home.
Home Hazard Hunt
During a disaster, ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage. Anything that can move, fall, break, or cause fire is a home hazard. For example, a hot water heater or bookshelf can fall. Inspect your home at least once a year and fix potential hazards.
Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards.
Evacuate immediately if told to do so.
Listen to your battery-powered radio and follow the instructions of local emergency officials.
Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
Take your Disaster Supply Kit.
Use travel routes specified by local authorities—don’t use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassible or dangerous.
If you’re sure you have time:
Shut off water, gas, and electricity before leaving, if instructed to do so.
Make arrangements for your pets.
Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least three (3) days. Assemble a disaster supplies kit with items you may need in an evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as backpacks, duffle bags, or covered trash containers.
Your disaster supplies kit should include the following:
Locate the main electric fuse box, water service main and natural gas main. Learn how and when to turn these utilities off. Teach all responsible family members. Keep necessary tools near gas and water shut-off valves. Remember to turn off the utilities only if you suspect the lines are damaged or if you are instructed to do so. If you turn the gas off, you will need a professional to turn it back on.
If Disaster Strikes
DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT
Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. And when disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. A fire or hazardous material leak could mean evacuation. A winter storm could confine your family at home. An earthquake, flood, or any other disaster could cut water, electricity, and telephone for days.
After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it may take days. Would your family be prepared to cope with an emergency until help arrives? Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes. An essential component of any family's disaster preparedness plan is a disaster supplies kit.
Prepare Your Kit
Review the checklist below.
Gather the supplies that are listed.
Place the supplies you'd most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container (such as a backpack, duffel bag, covered trash container). These supplies are listed below with.
There are six basics you should stock for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing, and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items.
Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members.
Keep a smaller version of your disaster supplies kit in the trunk of your car.
Keep items in airtight plastic bags.
Change your stored water and food supply every six months.
Reevaluate your kit and family needs at least once a year: replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.
Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts (a half-gallon) of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
Store at least three gallons of water (a three-day supply) per person.
Store at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food. Select foods that require no preparation or cooking and little or no water, such as canned meats, fruits, and vegetables. If you must heat food, store a can of Sterno or a camping stove and fuel. Select food items that are compact and lightweight.
First Aid Kit
Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit should include the following:
Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants, elderly or disabled persons, and pets.
There is little we can do to prevent disasters; however, we can put ourselves in the best position possible by being prepared.
The telephone book is an excellent resource for First Aid and Survival Guides. The following are documents and links to websites that will help you and your families prepare for disasters.