September Dear Neighbors,

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2 September 2009 Dear Neighbors, Racine County is susceptible to different forms of natural and man-made disasters. Flooding could damage your home. Severe weather could cut off utility services for several days. A hazardous materials spill on a nearby highway could mean evacuation. When disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. Taking simple preparedness steps in advance will minimize a disaster s impact on you and your family. This RACINE COUNTY GUIDE TO EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS offers information and resources to help you prepare for different emergency situations. Educate your family today, develop a plan, and make a disaster supplies kit. Plan now. Sincerely, William McReynolds County Executive Racine County Prepared by the Racine County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and Racine County Emergency Management with funding assistance by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Planning Sub-Grant, administered by Wisconsin Emergency Management.

3 Be Prepared Be Prepared is not just a Boy Scout motto, it is a way of life. Emergencies occur all the time. Whether accidents, basement flooding, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes or medical problems, all emergencies have some common elements. They are relatively unexpected; you may quickly be overwhelmed; and lives, health, and the environment are often endangered. Some emergencies are more serious than others. How prepared you are will often determine whether or not the emergency produces disastrous consequences for you and your family. Knowing what to do and being prepared can lessen the impact on you and your family. Every family, every school and every business in Racine County should take the steps to BE PREPARED. Those steps include Get a Kit of emergency supplies What would you need to survive on your own for at least three days, maybe longer? Fresh water, food and clean air are essential. What if the power is out? Flashlights and radios, along with extra batteries would be helpful. And don t forget about medical supplies, sanitation needs and any special considerations. Make a Plan for what you will do in an emergency Every family should have a Family Communication Plan, a Shelter-In-Place Plan and an Evacuation Plan. In addition, become familiar with emergency plans at school and work. Practice those plans by holding both scheduled and unscheduled fire and tornado drills at both home and work. Be Informed about what might happen Take the time to learn more about the natural and man-made threats that can impact us in Southeastern Wisconsin. Get Involved in preparing our community There are many different ways that you can get involved. Start a Neighborhood Watch group on your block, volunteer at the Volunteer Center of Racine County and become involved with Citizen Corps, which actively involves citizens in making our communities and our nation safer, stronger and better prepared. Together we can build a safer community. Neighborhood Watch Neighborhoods across the nation use Neighborhood Watch to prevent crime and build stronger relationships with law enforcement. Yet Neighborhood Watch is not just about crime prevention, it is about getting to know neighbors and enhancing the quality of life in the neighborhood. An important goal is to learn more about each other so neighbors are available to help each other during difficult times. Contact the Racine County Sheriff s Department or your local police department for more information.

4 Warning Devices Local radio and television, text alerts, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio All Hazards and outdoor warning sirens are all tools used to warn the public. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages and no one should use just one as their sole means of warning. For example, many people rely on outdoor warning sirens to alert them of tornadoes. However, not all communities have installed outdoor warning sirens; and in those communities that have, these devices are meant to warn people who are outdoors, not indoors. Instead, every household, school and business should rely on several different methods to ensure that they are informed of severe weather and other emergencies. One tool that is highly recommended is the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards. Every household, every school and every business should have at least one such radio. They should be as common as smoke detectors, because of their reliability and the ability of first responders to use them as an all hazard warning tool. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts official weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. NWR broadcasts National Weather Service (NWS) warnings, watches, forecasts and other non-weather related hazard information 24 hours a day. NWR broadcasts warnings and post-event information for all types of hazards: weather (e.g., tornadoes, floods), natural (e.g., earthquakes, forest fires and volcanic activity), technological (e.g., chemical releases, oil spills, nuclear power plant emergencies, etc.), and national emergencies (e.g., terrorist attacks). During an emergency, NWS forecasters interrupt routine broadcasts and send a special tone activating local weather radios. Weather radios equipped with a special alarm tone feature sound an alert to give you immediate information about a life-threatening situation. These radios are generally inexpensive and can be purchased at most stores that sell electronic goods. Make a Kit PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES WITH A KIT! Your family should have basic supplies on hand in order to survive for at least three days if an emergency occurs. When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it s best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. Here are some items to include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit: Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation Food, at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both Flashlight and extra batteries First aid kit Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-inplace Whistle to signal for help Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food) Local maps Cell phone with chargers Copies of important family documents, such as insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container In addition, you should consider adding items for infants, those with special medical needs and pets, if applicable.

5 Floods PREVENTIVE STEPS There are several preventive steps homeowners can take to help minimize or even prevent flooding in their homes. They include: Elevate the furnace, water heater, appliances and electric panel if susceptible to flooding. Install check valves in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home. Seal the walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage. Keep gutters clean of debris. Extend downspouts at least 10 feet from the home. This is the minimum distance needed to properly handle discharge water coming off the roof. Paving and the ground around the house should slope away from the home. Seal the joints at paved areas that abut the house. If sealant is cracked, it will need to be replaced. Make sure your sump pump has a battery back-up and consider keeping a spare motor on hand. Check with your insurance company to make sure that you would be covered if your basement flooded. Nine Steps To Flood Recovery: 1. Take Care of Yourself First Protect yourself and your family from the stress, fatigue and health hazards that follow a flood. 2. Give Your Home First Aid Once it is safe to go back in, take steps to protect your home and its contents from further damage. 3. Get Organized Make the most of your time and money develop a recovery plan. 4. Dry Out Your Home Floodwaters damage your home and things in it. They also leave mud and unknown contaminants, and they promote the growth of mildew. 5. Restore the Utilities The rest of your work will be much easier if you have heat, electricity, clean water and sewage disposal. 6. Clean Up The walls, floors, closets, shelves, and every flooded part of your home should be thoroughly washed and disinfected. 7. Check on Financial Assistance Insurance, government disaster programs, volunteer organizations and businesses can help you recover from a flood. 8. Rebuild and Flood proof Rebuild correctly and make improvements that will protect your home from damage by the next flood. 9. Prepare for the Next Flood Protect yourself from the next flood with flood insurance, a flood response plan, and community flood protection programs. Mark Hertzberg The Journal Times

6 Evacuation or Shelter in Place During a chemical spill/release or hazardous materials (hazmat) emergency, you may be told to evacuate your home or shelter-in-place. Notification to evacuate or shelter in place may come via NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, local radio, TV, vehicle loudspeaker and/or door to door by police or firefighters. If you are told to evacuate, remain calm and follow all instructions. Racine County Emergency Management and other organizations and volunteers may establish shelters for residents in public schools, recreation centers and other appropriate facilities. Residents needing shelter are asked to bring along prescription medications or other medical supplies which may be needed for day to day use in case the evacuation is long-term. Residents should also bring changes of clothes, blankets and pillows if able. With the exception of service dogs, pets are prohibited from shelters. Some other arrangement would be necessary. If you are told to shelter in place, stay indoors and make your environment as isolated as possible from the outdoors. 1) Get family and pets inside; 2) Close doors, windows, and fireplace dampers; 3) Turn off air conditioning, fans, heating units, and other vents; 4) Get to an upper or lower room with the fewest windows or doors as directed; 5) Wet towels and jam in cracks of doors; 6) Listen to your NOAA radio. Remember the 3 P s of Evacuation You may not know how long you will be evacuated from your home, so remember to take the following three P s with you Purses Identification, cash, credit cards Pills Prescription medications Pets Household pets and an animal care pack that includes pet identification, current vaccination records, prescription medications, pet carrier/crate Check on Relatives and Neighbors During weather-related or other emergency events, check to see how your family, friends and neighbors are coping, especially those that are elderly or persons with disabilities. Be proactive and make sure to have a list and telephone numbers of relatives and neighbors as a reference. Fire Prevention Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home. Test once a month and change batteries twice a year in your smoke alarms. Create a fire escape plan and practice it a least once a year. Never leave the stove or candles unattended. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of young children. In case of fire, crawl low under the smoke. Before opening any door, check to see if it is hot. If the door is hot, go out another way. Get out. Follow your escape plan and stay out. Call 911 from a neighbor s house. If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll until the fire is out. A carbon monoxide alarm is beneficial for detecting this invisible and odorless gas.

7 Are You Prepared For The Flu? What is seasonal flu? Seasonal (or common) flu is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted person to person. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Every year in the United States, on average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and; about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. What is pandemic flu? Pandemic flu is virulent human flu that causes a global outbreak, or pandemic, of serious illness. Because there is little natural immunity, the disease can spread easily from person to person. What is novel H1N1 (swine flu)? Novel H1N1 (referred to as swine flu early on) is a new influenza virus causing respiratory illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April This virus is spreading from person-toperson worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of novel H1N1 flu was underway. The symptoms of novel H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. How To Avoid Getting Sick To limit the spread of germs and prevent colds and flu: Cover your mouth and nose. Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze and drop it in the trash. If you don t have a tissue, cough and sneeze into your sleeve. Clean your hands often. Wash your hands with soap and water every time you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based gels also work well. Stay home when ill. Those that are ill with fever should stay home from work or school and avoid other people until they are better.

8 Important Phone Numbers EMERGENCY (Police, Fire & Rescue) 911 Racine County Emergency Management (262) Caledonia/Mt. Pleasant Health Department (262) City of Racine Health Department (262) Western Racine County Health Department (262) American Red Cross (800) Racine County Human Services Hotline 211 WE-Energies 24-Hour Number (To report outages and emergencies) Electrical (800) Gas Leak/emergencies (800) Digger s Hotline (emergency only) 811 / (877) Wisconsin Road Conditions 511 / (800) Physician Hospital Pharmacy Insurance Agent

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