Guidelines Courtesy of Click Here for the SC-EMS Home Page in association with Sedgwick County

Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services--water, gas, electricity or telephones--were cut off? Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away.

Now that the United States has launched its own war against global terrorists who target American interests, what will the consequences be? The current threat of terrorist attack again, within our borders, is very likely. The neighborhood you live in, your children's schools, hospitals, malls, chemical storage facilities, theaters, sports facilities, restaurants, office buildings, and government facilities are potential targets of future terrorist attacks. 

Even though our Local, State, and Federal Governments are doing all they can with the resources they have available, it is still imperative that everyone take personal precautions against terrorism.  In light of the recent string of terrorist incidents, average citizens should make it a point to keep their guard up and their eyes wide open. 

The following information provides a general overview of survival techniques you and your family can implement if another such catastrophic event such as 9/11 should occur within our borders. 

If you have any specific questions regarding disaster preparation not covered in this guide, please feel free to contact

Bear in mind:  Each individual is responsible for their own safety !!!


Table of Contents....

  1. Create a Home Emergency Plan...

  2. Basic Disaster Kit...

  3. Advanced Disaster Kit - Bug Out Kit...

  4. Personal Protection...

  5. Shelter In Place...

  6. Making your home safe...

  7. Know the signs of stress...

  8. Talking to your kids...

  9. If you must evacuate...

  10. Coordinate a business evacuation...

  11. Know how to cope...

  12. Emergency Preparedness tips to practice each month...

  13. Download this guide in PDF booklet form...


Create a Home Emergency Plan....

Family Planning Being prepared starts with a plan.  Involve your family members in developing a plan, then remember to post the plan somewhere everyone can see the details.  Here are some things to consider when creating your plan:
  • Discuss the dangers of fire, severe weather, hazardous materials spills, floods and other emergencies.  Talk about the ways in which you will respond to each situation.

  • Discuss power outages and medical emergencies.  Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1.

  • Draw a floor plan of your home.  Mark two escape routes from each room.

  • Select two meeting places - one near your home in case of fire, and another that is outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home after a disaster.

  • Learn how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at main switches.

  • Post emergency numbers near each telephone in your home.

  • Instruct family members to turn on the radio for emergency information.

  • Take basic CPR and first aid classes.

  • Keep important records in a waterproof and fireproof container.

Other things to consider:

Create an emergency communications plan.  
Choose an out-of-town contact your family or household will call or e-mail to check on each other should a disaster occur. Your selected contact should live far enough away that they would be unlikely to be directly affected by the same event, and they should know they are the chosen contact. Make sure every household member has that contact's, and each other's, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers (home, work, pager and cell). Leave these contact numbers at your children's schools, if you have children, and at your workplace. Your family should know that if telephones are not working, they need to be patient and try again later or try e-mail. Many people flood the telephone lines when emergencies happen but e-mail can sometimes get through when calls don't.

Check on school emergency plans at your child's school.
You need to know if they will they keep children at school until a parent or designated adult can pick them up or send them home on their own. Be sure that the school has updated information about how to reach parents and responsible caregivers to arrange for pick up. And, ask what type of authorization the school may require to release a child to someone you designate, if you are not able to pick up your child. During times of emergency the school telephones may be overwhelmed with calls.

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Basic Disaster Kit....

Your family emergency supply kit will include a number of items.  Here is a list of things you should include:

Bottled water and food items.Water:  Store water in plastic containers.  You will need one gallon of water per person, per day.  (2 quarts for drinking, and 2 quarts for food preparation and sanitation.)  Keep at least a 3-day supply, and change your supply every 90 days.

Remember, the household water heater holds between 30 & 50 Gallons of fresh water which can be utilized in the event of an emergency.  An old garden hose, cut down to approximately 6', can facilitate utilizing the "drain" valve as an emergency water supply.   Ensure that you have turned the temperature knob to the off position.  Opening a faucet somewhere in the home will facilitate allowing the tank to drain.

  Store at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food.  You'll want items that require no refrigeration, little preparation and little or no water.  Good things to include are 

  • canned goods (meats, vegetables and fruits)

  • canned juices, milk and soup; 

  • high-energy foods like peanut butter, jelly, granola bars, trail mix, and crackers

  • comfort foods like cookies, hard candy, cereal, instant coffee and tea bags

Clothing & Bedding:  Plan for one complete change of clothing and footwear for each person in your household.  Other necessities include:

  • sturdy shoes or work boots

  • rain gearClick here for information

  • blankets and sleeping bags (Consider utilizing a space bag storage system)

  • hat and gloves

  • thermal underwear

Portable radio and tools.Tools & Supplies:  Keeping tools and other supplies together will come in handy during an emergency. These items should be included:

  • battery operated TV or radio

  • extra batteries

  • flashlight and batteries

  • cash or traveler's checks and change

  • cellular phone

  • non-electric can opener

  • utility knife

  • matches in a waterproof container

  • pliers and a shut-off wrench for utilities

  • Leatherman type multi-tool

  • tape, paper and pencil

  • paper or plastic eating utensils

  • plastic sheeting

  • needle and thread

  • toilet paper

  • soap and liquid detergent

  • personal hygiene items

First Aid Kit:  In case of minor injuries, a good first aid kit should include:

  • sterile adhesive bandages

  • 2" sterile gauze pads (4 to 6)

  • 4" sterile gauze pads (4 to 6)

  • adhesive tape

  • triangular bandages (3)

  • 2" sterile roller bandages (3)

  • 3" sterile roller bandages (4)

  • scissors, tweezers, needles and safety pins

  • moist towelettes

  • antiseptic spray

  • thermometer

  • petroleum jelly

  • sunscreen

  • latex gloves (2 pair)

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Advanced Disaster Kit - Bug Out Kits


What is a Bug Out Kit?

A Bug Out kit is a backpack or duffle bag packed with essential items that will sustain you in an emergency situation for 3-7 days.  

Why Do I Need A Bug Out Kit?

Events beyond your control my render your home or neighborhood un-inhabitable. You may also find yourself away from your home and family when a disaster strikes.  We all now live in a post 9/11 world where man-made disasters could occur at a moments notice.  The New York/Upper Eastern Seaboard and British blackout of 2003, the US terrorist attack of 2001, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes are all situations that may require relocation/evacuation for a short to extended period of time.

When Should I Bug Out?

There is no definitive answer to this question.  People living in a rural setting will probably be far safer remaining in their home unless directly assaulted by a natural disaster that destroys the dwelling or in the event of a chemical or nuclear cloud that is destined to encompass their property.  Persons living in an urban setting have far less time to make this decision due to the potential for traffic congestion and civil disorder.  Pay close attention to news broadcasts in your immediate area.  Civil unrest, riots and hospital emergency room overcrowding is an early sign that emergency services is not keeping up with the volume of emergency calls following a disaster.  Bug Out Kits are designed to be used at a moments notice - 

10 minutes max.  to leave your home

What Would You Take To Survive?

Packs are broken up into 1 large main compartment, 1 medium size compartment and 2 small side compartment's.

Most items in this section can be purchased online at or below discount store prices.  Links to available items are underlined in each category.

         BackPack / Duffle Bag

Main Compartment

  • 2 full change of heavy duty clothing per person – consider BDU's (placeClick here for information them in a space bag storage system then in a garbage bag to keep dry, plus you can use the garbage bag later)

  • 4 pair of socks & underwear - 2 light cotton, 2 wool - in the summer month's you'll only need the cotton sock's but in the winter or cooler month's cotton then wool over each other is the rule of thumb.

  • 2 Plastic Rain Ponchos

  • You should have a good pair of heavy duty hiking boots

  • 1 small folding saw

  • 1 military style fold up shovel

  • 1 folding tip up for fishing on the ice

  • 1 Jigg stick or pocket fisherman - A Jigg stick is simply a small 2' long fishing pole for ice fishing but can be adapted for regular fishing (you won't be able to cast like a regular pole)

  • 1 small fishing tackle box - 3"x6"x2" Put the items you would use for your area ( if your not sure ask any fisherman in your area)

  • 1 10'x10' heavy duty water proof tarp with grommet's (the round metal tie hole's)

  • 2 100' rolls of parachute cord - very durable and useful

  • 7 day food supply- MRE's or  Mountain House freeze dried foods

  • 1 Hatchet with cover and sharpening stone

  • 4 Rat Trap's - They work great as trap's for small game.

  • 2 rolls of 16 gage wire - small military surplus type is good - Used for snares or emergency repairs.

  • 1 each Mess Kits  with utensils ( the type you can cook with and eat from to save on space and weight)

  • 8 Trioxane Fuel Packets & Pocket Stoves

  • 2 each 100 hour Nu Wick candles & butane lighters/ matches - They provide enough heat and light to keep you some what warm in a good tent.

·         Medium Compartment Camping Gear for Less!

  • 2 one quart plastic canteens

  • 1 Advanced First Aid Kit (see below)

  • 2 Sky blazer flares used in case you're lost or want to be found.

  • 2 Red Smoke signal devices - again if you want to be found.

  • 1 Folding Solar Shower - these are heavy duty black plastic with a hose and nozzle attached and are hung from a tree in the sun to heat up.

  • 1 Marching Compass in Metal Case

  • 1 Extra Pocket knife or Sheath Knife

  • 1 Hand Held GPS (optional)

  • 2 Maps - 1 road map of my area (town or county) and 1 typographical map of the area (these are invaluable if you're in the woods and know how to use them)

  • 2 (one each) FRS Two Way Radios

  • 1 solar battery charger & with rechargeable batteries

  • 1 Radio Shack DX-351 or Kaito KA0007 Radio SW 5.05 to 21.50 range, am/fm, and 150khz to 280khz which cover's most police, weather etc.. (2 AA batteries) very small and light weight.   The Kaito Radio has a dynamo & solar panel as well as Battery backup.

  • 1 folded up roll of Aluminum Foil Heavy duty type - Great for cooking with ashes from a fire, or as reflective material to heat various other foods.

  • 1 each Head Lamp for night movement 2 AA batteries.

·         Outside Compartment

·         Outside Of Packs

Advanced First Aid Kit

  • 50 each - Tylenol / Ibuprofen / Aspirin

  • 2 N95 barrier protection surgical type masks (will protect down to 3-5 microns)

  • 2 package Benadryl (used for allergic reaction & nausea)

  • 1 Primatene Mist inhaler (used for bronchospasm)

  • 10 - 4"x4" sterile gauze pads

  • 10 2"x2" sterile gauze pads

  • 2 rolls 1" Adhesive Tape

  • 2 Pouches QuikClot

  • 1 Box Multi Size Band Aids

  • 4 Crevats - 2' x 2' (non- sterile)

  • 2 Rolls sterile cling (4" wide)

  • 1 3" ace bandage

  • 1 package of mole skin

  • 1 tube SPF 45 sunscreen

  • 1 1oz bottle of Allergan Refresh Tears

  • 1 tube/bottle liquid insect repellant

  • 1 Tube of Triple Anti-biotic

  • 2 Week supply of prescription medications

  • 1 Tube Cortisone Cream

  • 1 Small bottle of Providine Solution

  • 1 Pair of Heavy Duty Scissors

  • 1 Chap Stick

  • 1 Foot Powder

  • 2 Scalpel Blades

  • 1 Snake Bite Kit

  • 2 Suture sets & tube of oral analgesic paste (numbs site for needle insertion)

  • 2 Steri-Strip Packs

  • 1 Med Adult Oral Airway

  • 1 CPR Pocket Mask

  • 1 Sam Splint ( rolls up compact)

  • 6 Safety Pins

  • 1 Antacid Tablet's

  • 1 Anti Diarrhea Tablet's

  • 4 large Kotex Pads ( best for severe bleeding)

  • 1 tourniquet

  • 6 Ammonia Inhalants

  • Hazmat Smart-Strip Chemical Detector (see below)

One last item is to take copies of important documents - wills, deeds, etc., along with you.   You may also want to include $50 in cash and a $10 calling card.  Consider caching some of your goods at or near the location you plan on ending up, depending on your families size - Just be sure all members know it's location. This will help lighten the load when and if you need to Bug Out quickly.

  Click Here for a printable Shopping List


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Some situations will require you to remain in your home during an emergency, usually involving hazardous materials.  This is called "Shelter-in-Place."  Here are the steps to follow if you are directed to Shelter-in-Place:

  1. Turn on the radio or television for information. Click here for Information

  2. Move family members and pets inside immediately, if they are outdoors. 

  3. Close all windows and doors tightly. 

  4. Turn off ventilation systems - furnace, attic fan or air conditioning.

  5. Activate your Hazmat Smart-Strip chemical detection card. (Click on the card to the right for information)

  6. Choose one room, preferably an interior room or bathroom.  Seal the entrance by placing duct tape around the windows and stuffing wet towels under the doors.

  7. DO NOT Shelter-in-Place in your basement.  Some hazardous materials are "Heavier than Air" and may penetrate into your basement.  Seek an interior room on the first or second floor.

Cover windows with plastic and duct tape.Cover air vents with plastic and duct tape.Seal cracks around doors with duct tape and wet towels.

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Making Your Home Safe....

You should know what to check in your home to ensure the safety of your family.  Here are some things to consider before and after a disaster strikes.

  • Know how to turn off your household gas supply and water supply.  Have tools nearby so they are handy during an emergency.

  • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they have a battery backup and fresh batteries.

  • If you have an electric garage door opener, know how to manually open the door in case power goes out.

  • If the electricity does go off, keep refrigerators and freezers shut, and open them only when absolutely necessary.

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Know the Signs of Stress....

Some reactions are normal and expected after emergency events.  Some common experiences include:

Physical Signs - 

  • Headaches
  • Stomachaches
  • Body aches and pains
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Oversleeping
  • Change in appetite
  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Allergy flare-ups
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Increased illness

Emotional Signs -

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Fear or anxiety
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Grief
  • Irritability
  • Shock, disbelief, feeling of numbness
  • Denial, avoiding discussions of the events
  • Outrage
  • Memories of prior events


  • Isolation

  • Becoming overly protective

  • Easily startled

  • Increased conflicts at home and work

  • Greater dependence on others

  • Changes in social activities

  • Difficulty with sexual relationships

  • Change in spiritual/worship habits

Extreme Symptoms:

Other reactions are considered extreme, and should cause you to seek professional help.  Be alert if you or someone you know experiences these symptoms:

  • Extreme cases of normal symptoms, i.e. staying in bed for days or even weeks;

  • Feelings of depression or anxiety that interfere with daily activities;

  • Excessive use of drugs or drinking to escape feelings;

  • Constantly increased conflicts with loved ones;

  • Prolonged physical reactions, i.e. disrupted sleep habits, constant state of anxiety.

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Talking to Your Kids....

Undoubtedly, kids will have many questions when emergencies occur.  Here are some things to keep in mind as children react to emergency events.

There are normal reactions you can expect children to have when they are confronted with disasters or emergencies.  Those normal reactions include:

  • Reluctance in being separated from parents

  • Problems with going to sleep

  • Increased fears not necessarily related to the disaster

  • Stomachaches or headaches

As you talk to children about disasters, take these things into consideration:

  • Kids need to be reassured about their immediate safety.  Remind them that you put their safety first.

  • Reassure kids about your own safety while at work.

  • Provide a simple explanation of the event.  It may be helpful to ask what they have heard and seen on television.

  • Ask kids what they think about the event.  Engaging them in conversation will be comforting.  If you can't answer a question, it is okay to say you don't know.

  • Allow children to talk about the feelings they have and the feelings other people have had about the event.

  • Limit kids' exposure to television and radio coverage of the news.  Graphic images can be very upsetting and scary. 

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If You Must Evacuate....

If local authorities ask you to leave your home, they have a good reason to make this request, and you should heed the advice immediately. Listen to your radio or television and follow the instructions of local emergency officials and keep these simple tips in mind:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and sturdy shoes so you can be protected as much as possible.

  • Take your disaster supplies kit.

  • Lock your home.

  • Use travel routes specified by local authorities-don't use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous.

  • Stay away from downed power lines.

  • Listen to local authorities. Your local authorities will provide you with the most accurate information specific to an event in your area. Staying tuned to local radio and television, and following their instructions is your safest choice.

If you're sure you have time:

  • Call your family contact to tell them where you are going and when you expect to arrive.

  • Plan to take your pets with you; do not leave them behind. Because pets are not permitted in public shelters, follow your plan to go to a relative or friend's home, or find a "pet-friendly" hotel.

  • Shut off water and electricity before leaving, if instructed to do so. Leave natural gas service ON unless local officials advise you otherwise. You may need gas for heating and cooking, and only a professional can restore gas service in your home once it's been turned off. In a disaster situation it could take weeks for a professional to respond.

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Coordinate a Business Evacuation....

It's easy to figure out what you would do at home in case of an emergency, but what about your workplace?  Would you know what to do if you had to evacuate your building at a moment's notice?  Here are some tips in setting up business evacuation plans:

  • Upper management should play a leadership role in instituting, reviewing and updating the program.

  • Employee suggestions should be solicited in designing the plan.

  • Ensure the plan is comprehensive enough to deal with all potential emergencies.

  • Perform a hazard audit to determine potential toxic materials.

  • Include emergency escape procedures and routes for all employees, including the disabled.

  • Provide floor plans and maps that clearly show escape routes and refuge areas.

  • Assign a sufficient number of people to assist in an orderly evacuation.

  • List detailed procedures for employees who will remain behind during an evacuation to oversee essential operations.

  • Establish a chain of command and a person responsible for coordinating emergency activities.

  • Have a plan that will allow you to account for all employees after the evacuation is complete, with someone responsible for reporting any missing personnel.

  • Ensure your facilities have adequate and distinct alarm systems that all people can hear or see.

Finally, hold regular evacuation exercises for the entire workplace, including employees with disabilities.

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Know How to Cope....

You can take steps to help yourself, your family members, friends and co-workers as we all cope with the emotional and physical results of emergencies.  The following is a list of "self-help" suggestions that is designed to help you cope with stressful events.

  • Get some exercise.  Within the first 24 to 48 hours after an event, short periods of physical exercise will alleviate some of the physical reactions to stress.

  • Keep yourself busy.  If you structure your time, you won't have a chance to get "down."

  • Remind yourself that you are normal, and your reactions are normal.

  • Talk.  Conversation is one of the most therapeutic things you can do. 

  • Be conscious of overuse of drugs or alcohol.  This behavior can complicate things further and lead to substance abuse.

  • Keep your life as routine and normal as possible.

  • Realize that it is okay to spend time alone.

  • Help your coworkers by sharing feelings and checking out how they are doing - but respect their feelings if they don't want to talk.

  • Do things you enjoy.  Indulging yourself will make you feel better.

  • Keep in mind that the reactions others have won't be normal; stress could cause them to act and react differently than usual.

  • Write in a journal, especially if you are having trouble sleeping.

  • Don't make any major life changes.  Buying that new car or getting married on the spur of the moment could lead to more stress down the road.

  • Make as many decisions as you can on a daily basis.  This will give you a sense of control over the events of your own life.

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Eleven Emergency Preparedness tips to practice on
the 11th of each month....

Preparedness is the best prevention. Here are 11 things you can do in order to be "Ready to Respond" to any emergency…

  1. Practice Your Emergency Plan at home and at work. What is your plan for tornadoes? For floods? For chemical spills? 

  2. Look at your utilities. Have the proper tools nearby in case you need to shut them off, and reacquaint yourself with the guides on how to turn them off.

  3. Check your fire extinguishers. You may need more than one...are they stored in the right places? Also, test your smoke detectors monthly.

  4. Take care of that Disaster Kit! Refresh the food and water every 3 months, stock a first aid kit, and be sure that your clothing matches the weather and season.

  5. Is your "contact information" still current? Make sure it stays up-to-date, and keep copies in your Disaster Kit, car, purse/wallet and with a neighbor or relative.

  6. Do a "Home Hazard Hunt." Check around your house for dangerous situations...things like bad wiring, improperly stored chemicals and more.

  7. Put together a Disaster Kit for your car — you don’t want to be caught off-guard during winter storms!

  8. Check on emergency plans for your kids’ schools, daycare centers, your own employer, your parents’ nursing homes and other group facilities. Where will your loved ones be taken in case of emergency?

  9. Can you "Shelter in Place"? Follow these easy steps:

    1. Move inside immediately;

    2. Close all windows and doors; 

    3. Turn off A/C, furnaces and fans;

    4. Go into a room and seal the cracks with duct tape; 

    5. Turn on a radio or television for further information.

  10. Where are your important papers? Birth certificates, marriage certificates, legal documents, financial information, passports and other irreplaceable documents should be kept in a waterproof, fireproof container.

  11. And, check with your neighbors, friends and family members to ensure they are also taking steps to prepare for any emergency!

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