The attacks of September 11, 2001 and more recent events since have left some citizens feeling anxious and concerned. We all need to find a balance between living our lives normally, yet taking necessary precautions at home , around town and about the county. Rowan County Health Department, along with our local American Red Cross chapter, Salisbury Police Department, City of Salisbury Fire Department, Rowan County Sheriff's Department, and Rowan County EMS, Rowan County Rescue Squad, and Rowan Regional Medical Center have worked hard preparing a Bio-Terrorist Response Preparedness Plan.
How You Can Prepare
1. Create an emergency communications plan
Choose an out-of-town contact your family will call or email to check on each other should a disaster occur. Your
selected contact should live far enough away that they would be unlikely affected by the same event and they should
know they are the chosen contact. Make sure every member of your household, as well as your children’s schools, have the contact information.
2. Establish a meeting place
Establish a meeting place away from your home and make sure all family members are aware of the meeting place ahead of time to minimize confusion should your home be affected or the area evacuated. Be sure to include any pets in these plans, since most pets are not permitted in shelters and hotels.
3. Assemble a disaster supplies kit
If you need to evacuate your home, having some essential supplies on hand will make you and your family more
comfortable and safe:
Prepare a disaster supplies kit in an easy-to-carry container (such as a duffel bag or small plastic trash can.) You should store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Your kit should include:
~ First aid supplies - such as sterile adhesive bandages, safety pins, soap, latex gloves, scissors, tweezers, and a thermometer. You should also include non-prescription drugs, such as aspirin, anti-diarrhea medication, and antacid.
~ Special needs items - such as infant formula, diapers, bottles, denture needs, contact lenses and supplies, or any special prescription medications, such as heart and high blood pressure medication and insulin.
~ Food and water - Store one gallon of water per person per day in clean, sealed plastic containers. Store non-perishable food that requires no refrigeration or preparation. You should keep at least a three-day supply of food and water per person.
~ Tools and supplies - including a battery-operated radio and extra batteries, flashlight with batteries, cash or traveler’s checks, non-electric can opener, utility knife, tape, eating utensils, small fire extinguisher, paper and pencil.
~ Sanitation items - such as toilet paper, towelettes, soap, feminine supplies, personal hygiene items, disinfectant, plastic garbage bags, and a plastic bucket with tight lid.
In Case of an Emergency, remember:
~ Remain calm and be patient.
~ Follow the advice of local officials by tuning in to your local TV or radio stations. You may be asked to shelter at home/office or evacuate to a community shelter designated by local authorities.
~ If the disaster occurs near you, check for injuries and provide first aid. Get help for seriously injured people.
~ If the disaster occurs near your home, check for damage using a flashlight. Do not light matches, candles or turn on electrical switches. Check for fire hazards, like exposed wires, and other household hazards. If you smell a strong odor of gas or suspect a leak, get everyone outside quickly and leave the door open behind you. Call the gas company from another location. Also, in the event of a gas leak in your home, do NOT use your cell phone from there.
~ Confine or secure your pets.
~ Call your family contact— do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
Sheltering and Evacuation Information:
If you are advised to shelter at home/office, you should locate your disaster supplies kit and make sure the radio and flashlight are working. Then close and lock all windows and exterior doors, close fireplace dampers, turn off all fans, and heating/air conditioning systems and go to an interior room without windows that is above ground level. You should seal all vents and cracks around the door. Listen to your radio or TV until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate.
If you are advised to evacuate, use a route you are familiar with to get to the designated area of safety. Remember to take any prescription medications with you. Lock your home. If you are going to a shelter, remember that most shelters only allow assistance pets (such as seeing-eye dogs).
Information source: The American Red Cross Greater Carolinas Chapter: http://www.redcrosshelps.org/index.html
Another good source for information about emergency preparedness is the Emergency Services/Emergency Management Department of Rowan County:
Local Disaster Preparedness Information:
When Disaster Strikes