Deciding To Stay Or Go
One of the important lessons learned, both during and after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, is that an evacuation order should be taken serious. Many people couldn't leave the area because of financial reasons while others didn't leave because they simply didn't believe that things could get as bad as they did.
Those who didn't leave the area found themselves in a very dangerous situation. Many were left without food or clean drinking water, medical supplies, or adequate shelter.
Reports estimate that there were approximately two thousand deaths and many injuries. A large percentage of those who were killed were elderly.
Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first and most important decision you may have to make is deciding whether you stay or go. Your safety and the safety of your family should always be your number one concern.
It is understandable that you may want to stay and protect your home and valuables, but when the situation warrants a smart decision, you should know that you can always start over again if your property is damaged or lost.
You should also be aware that if you stay, especially if there is evidence that staying is not a wise idea, not only are you putting yourself and/or your family in harms way but you may be putting others at risk if they have to come to your rescue.
Deciding whether to stay or go? It is vitally important that you think about and plan for both possibilities because the decision, one way or the other, may have to be made at a moments notice.
Use common sense and available information to determine if there is immediate danger. In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do.
However, you should monitor television, radio, Internet, or social media news reports for information or official instructions as they become available. If you're specifically told to evacuate or seek medical treatment, do so immediately.
If you require additional travel time or need transportation assistance, make these arrangements in advance.
Listed below are talking points developed by FEMA that will help you in making you and your family as prepared as possible if there is a disaster in the area in which you live.
(2) Be informed
(9) Emergency kit
(10) Emergency money
(11) Fire safety
(12) Get involved
(14) Important documents
(15) Make a plan
(16) Medical supplies
(18) Stay or go
(21) Working together
Preparing Makes Sense. Get Ready Now.
Information was developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in consultation with AARP, the American Red Cross and the National Organization on Disability.
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