When hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi, children were rescued, but many children that were separated from their parents were unable to give officials information about their families. Many of the children did not know their parent’s first names. Some children did not know their own last name or know where they lived (street or city).
This made it almost impossible for authorities to find their parents and reunite the families. The children (and their families) were not properly prepared for this type of emergency.
You protect your family and your children daily. Protection can be as simple as holding their hand while they cross a street or buckling up with a seat belt in the car.
For parents, protecting their family is priority one.
Protecting families is also a priority at St.Francois County Health Center. We would like to take this opportunity to help you better prepare for emergencies with your families.
Let’s Get Ready Planning Together for Emergencies is sponsored by Sesame Street. When visiting their website you will find information about preparing for emergencies. There are activities, tips and other easy ways to help the whole family prepare for emergencies together!!
LET’S GET READY ….. PLANNING TOGETHER FOR EMERGENCIES!!
This link is sponsored by the American Public Health Association. Watch a video that teaches the importance of emergency preparedness. This video is appropriate for younger children.
This link is sponsored by Sesame Street. This site has a fill-in-the-blank form which may be downloaded and printed. Once completed, the form contains important contact information for your family members and tracks important people and places involved in your family’s emergency plan.
This link is sponsored by Sesame Street. This site, through a series of activities and games, you and your children can discover how to get ready for emergencies together. Topics covered include:
1) Make an Emergency Plan with your family
2) Help your child Learn and Practice personal information
3) Create a Family Emergency Kit.
Emergencies come unexpectedly. Being prepared can be the difference between life and death. Prepare for emergencies before they happen.
Local, State, and Federal agencies have plans for various emergency responses. There responses are typically on a massive scale. What about an emergency response for you and your family during/after a catastrophy?
Do you have a plan for emergency response?
YOU Are Reponsible For Your Own Safety In An Emergency!
St. Francois County Health Center and the
Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services recommends
“Ready in 3” – Three steps to prepare for an emergeny.
1. Family Information
Information for each family member would include:
- Date of birth
- Telephone number (home and cellular)
- Doctor’s name and telephone number
- Social Security number
- Special medical information
- Insurance information
- Their usual location (day or night)
2. Workplace Information/School Information/Day Care Information
Addresses and telephone numbers for each
3. Nearest Relative(s) Information
Names, Addresses and telephone numbers
4. A plan of how to stay in contact if separated by disaster
Choose two meeting places; primary & secondary
5. Choose an out-of-town friend or family member as a contact for
everyone to call
Name, address, telephone (home/work/cellular)
6. Designate a room in your home to stay in for several days
7. Designate a place where your family will be able to stay for several days in case of evacuation including the address and telephone number of location or site.
These items should be part of your emergency kit and kept in a container that can be easily carried.
1 gallon/person/day – 3 day supply
Canned/Dried Foods (opener)
Non-perishable – 3 day supply
Formula Baby Food
Extra Credit Card/Money
Matches (water proof container)
Missouri Department of Health & Senior
Services Center for Emergency Response and Terrorism,
P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102
Will your business survive a disaster? Twenty five percent of businesses never re-open following a natural disaster. Ninety percent of businesses that are affected by a significant event are forced to close within two years. Boonslick Regional Planning Commission can help you with each step of creating a business continuity plan. There is no cost to you except the time it takes to complete the form. Click here for more information or go to www.boonslick.org
About Boonslick Regional Planning Commission – Serving Lincoln, Montgomery & Warren Counties
Boonslick provides professional services such as grant preparation and administration, solid waste administration, community planning, transportation planning, environmental planning, GIS
and mapping services, data management and disaster relief.
While Boonslicks’s primary focus is on the communities in the counties it serves, the emergency/disaster information provided at their website is outstanding.
Please click on the link below. This will take you to a “Fillable” MS Word Doc that you can use to create your own Business Continuity Plan. Open the document and save it to your desktop, then begin filling it out. When completed, you can print the document for your records or save it to your computer or server.
A disaster can strike practically anytime, anywhere- a storm, plane crash, flood, chemical spill, terrorist attack. Although these emergencies are different, they all have one crucial element in common: large numbers of people could be forced from their homes with little to no warning. During or following a disaster, homes and businesses may be inaccessible, destroyed or uninhabitable. Individuals forced to evacuate, need a place to go until it is safe to return home. They may need to stay for only a few hours, but it could be for days, even weeks. Under such stressful conditions, it is essential to maintain basic human survival needs such as shelter, safe food, and potable water. While this is a simple concept, providing a consistent and ample supply of safe food and water in a safe environment is a major challenge full of potential problems.
While there will always be countless variables for which pre-planning is impossible, there are crucial elements that can be addressed that remain constant regardless of the emergency or community. Because disasters affect communities, they require a community response. Emergency shelters and mass feeding sites provided during a disaster are often operated by private organizations. When planning an emergency shelter, contact should be made with the Emergency Management Director of the local jurisdiction, as well as, fire and rescue, law and code enforcement, hospitals, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, local churches, health care providers, and service/civic groups. Partnering with these organizations provides vital insight in choosing a shelter site that meets the needs from their perspective, as well as, including public health, security, and life safety.
Additionally, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has created a guide to introduce and discuss some of the many aspects of planning for and opening an emergency shelter. This guide is an excellent tool to provide to Shelter Coordinators and staff. This guide can be found at this website (click to open).
Finally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also developed an Environmental Health Shelter Assessment Tool located at the following web site: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/shelterassessment/ to be used by Environmental Public Health Specialist in conducting a rapid assessment of shelter conditions during emergencies and disasters. The tool is an assessment form that covers 14 general areas of environmental health, ranging from basic food safety and water quality to pet/companion animal wellness, and allows for the documentation of immediate needs in shelters. It can be easily modified to meet local needs.
Generally, sites such as churches, schools, hotels, arenas, and community building, are preferred as these facilities normally contain the right mix of amenities to make them ideal for emergency shelters. However, the site is only a portion of the equation; properly trained staff is also critical. In regard to life safety, the emergency shelter site should provide:
Accessibility to persons with disabilities
Enough sleeping space with provisions to provide separate spaces for families, single men, and single women
A main entrance with several remote emergency exits
Exits signs and emergency lighting
Accessible grounded outlets
Emergency electrical generator(s) or transfer switch hook-up
Compliance with applicable fire and safety codes
Personal safety and security from on-site law enforcement
While the shelter may not provide medical service to shelter residents, it is possible that some of the people who come to the shelter will be sick when they arrive. There could be illnesses ranging from a common cold or stomach virus to more serious diseases such as hepatitis or even tuberculosis. At a minimum the following should be considered:
1. Adequate hand-sink facilities with warm running water, and ample supplies of soap and paper towels. Proper hand washing is critical to lowering the risk of disease transmission.
2. Ensure the site is well stocked with cleaning/disinfecting supplies.
3. Provide training for volunteers in proper cleaning and disinfection methods.
4. Provide separate, approved receptacles for medical waste, such as, sharps containers for syringes, and red trash bags for medical waste.
Of course, in addition to a safe place to stay, two of the most basic human survival needs are food and water. There are many considerations that must be addressed when providing emergency mass feeding services.
Location The ideal site for a mass feeding operation is a building already equipped with suitable food service equipment. Satisfactory sites include a school lunchroom, a church, or a club facility where meals for large numbers of people can be safely prepared and served. Temporary structures, such as mess tents and mobile food units, may be an acceptable alternative when a permanent facility cannot be acquired. The site should include:
Adequate storage Adequate refrigeration equipment
Equipment capable of maintaining hot foods hot and cold foods cold
Hot and cold running water Large ranges and sufficient work surfaces
Adequate dish washing areas Hand washing facilities*
Staff/volunteers trained in safe food handling techniques
*Hand washing facilities shall be provided in food preparation areas and in restrooms. Hand washing facilities shall be provided with clean hot and cold running water, soap, paper towels (hand drying device) and trashcan. If plumbed hand washing facilities are not feasible, a temporary hand washing station may be provided.
Facility-Water Safe drinking water is the most critical necessity to human survival, and one that is often directly affected by disasters. A safe water supply shall be provided. If the center’s water source is a private or non-community water supply, the Environmental Public Health Specialist (EPHS) should test the water for safety just prior to the site beginning operations.
In situations where the water supply has been compromised, the center shall:
1. Provide bottled water;
2. Use a safe, approved alternative water supply; or
3. Boil/disinfect water in accordance with Chapter 7.0 Drinking Water in this manual.
Facility-Waste One of the many unavoidable realities of life is that wherever there are people there will be waste. It is a fact that the basic processes of living create waste, including paper, plastic, food refuse, as well as human waste. Because waste is also a reality of shelter living, a plan must be in place to effectively handle facility waste, while the shelter and/or mass feeding site is operating. If the site is not served by a public wastewater system, one or more of the following shall be provided:
1. An onsite wastewater treatment system operating in accordance with Missouri’s laws and regulations, or applicable local ordinance. The EPHS should evaluate the system prior to the site beginning operations;
2. In cases where no system is available, a properly functioning and maintained temporary holding tank may be a suitable alternative; and/or
3. In cases where the system’s capacity is limited, portable toilets may be appropriate. For other solid waste (trash/garbage), an adequate number and size of garbage bins, trash cans,and trash bags must be provided. Trash and other solid waste shall be stored in a location away from food preparation, storage and service areas until trash collection service resumes.
Personnel All persons volunteering to work at the center should be properly oriented before they begin work. Personal hygiene for food service workers includes:
1. Frequent hand washing – particularly after using the toilet and after handling materials or equipment that may be contaminated.
2. No bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.
3. Clean hands, body, hair and clothing.
4. Excluding people that are ill from working in a food service capacity.
Supervision If possible, a mass feeding operation should be supervised by someone who has experience with food service operations. At a minimum, a person in charge should be designated.
Food Added to issues of adequate food quality, quantity, and variety are the potentially serious risks of foodborne illness. Even for a temporary center, the following should be implemented:
1. All foods shall come from an approved source, in sound condition (No home canned or prepared goods; with the exception of baked cookies and cakes, etc).
2. All potentially hazardous foods must be cooked, held, reheated, and stored at temperatures in accordance with the Food Code requirements or applicable local ordinance. Centers shall have adequate refrigeration and hot/cold holding equipment.
3. Foods shall be stored to prevent contamination (Stored six inches off floor, away from toxic chemicals/substances, raw meats below ready-to-eat foods and fresh fruits and vegetables).
4. Regular cleaning of the food preparation area and feeding area. This includes washing, rinsing, sanitizing and air-drying food equipment and utensils.