Disaster Preparedness

How to prepare for a disaster

The Tucson Fire Department has been actively working on disaster preparedness long before the events of September 11.

It was apparent that no individual group, fire department, city or county alone could prepare for and manage a major disaster alone while waiting for federal assistance to arrive.

With this in mind the Tucson MMRS committee began to coordinate sub-sections of our community and divide up the community needs with the community resources.

The MMRS plan is using the federal disaster money to help organize all of these systems, identify equipment and training needs, with the goal of giving our community the ability to manage and mitigate the health consequences of nuclear, biological, chemical and weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  This involved assisting with, and often providing needs assessments for, specific key organizations and systems.
How you can Prepare for disasters:
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, are the same for both natural or man-made emergencies.  With a little planning and common sense, you can be better prepared for the unexpected.  Here are some of the things you can do to become better prepared for a disaster.

Emergency Checklist

  • Find out which disasters could occur in your area
  • Ask how to prepare for each disaster
  • Ask how you would be warned of an emergency
  • Learn your community's evacuation routes
  • Ask about special assistance for elderly or disabled persons
  • Ask your workplace about emergency plans
  • Learn about emergency plans for your children's school or day care center

Create An Emergency Plan

  • Discuss the dangers of fire, earthquake, and other emergencies
  • Discuss how to respond to each disaster that could occur
  • Discuss what to do about power outages and personal injuries
  • Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two escape routes from each room
  • Learn how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at main switches
  • Post emergency telephone numbers near telephones
  • Teach children how and when to call 911, police, and fire
  • Instruct household members to turn on the radio for emergency information
  • Pick one distant and local contact for family to call if separated by disaster 
  • Teach children how to make long distance telephone calls
  • Pick a meeting place outside the home 
  • And outside the neighborhood in case you cannot return home
  • Take a Basic First Aid and CPR Class
  • Keep family records in a water-and fire-proof container

Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit

Assemble supplies you might need in an evacuation. Store them in an easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack or duffel bag.

  • A supply of water (one gallon per person per day). Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers. Identify the storage date and replace every six months
  • A supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener
  • A change of clothing, rain gear, and sturdy shoes
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • A first aid kit and prescription medications
  • An extra pair of glasses if used
  • A battery-powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries
  • Credit cards and cash
  • An extra set of car keys
  • A list of family physicians
  • A list of important family information; the style and serial number of medical devices, such as pacemakers
  • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members