Ask The DA: In case of emergency

June 30, 2011 Charles J. Hynes
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In the aftermath of what seems like a large number of naturaldisasters in our country and abroad, not to mention the tornadothat caused so much damage right here in Brooklyn several monthsago, can you suggest how residents could prepare for thesesituations?

One of the primary goals of our criminal justice system is tomaintain social order. When a natural disaster occurs, it is commonfor fear and disorganization to rule the day, and order can appearelusive. Careful preparation and planning are the best ways tomaintain safety for you and your loved ones in case of anemergency. Here are some important tips to keep in mind.

In the case of an evacuation due to natural disaster, fire, flood,transportation or industrial accident which releases harmfulsubstances, always keep a full tank of gas as gas stations may beclosed during emergencies, or unable to pump gas during poweroutages. Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides someprotection, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a cap.Also, listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuationinstructions.

Secure your home and unplug electrical equipment such as radios,televisions and small appliances. Unless there is a risk offlooding, it has been recommended to leave freezers andrefrigerators plugged in. Let others know where you are going tostay, leaving early enough to avoid being trapped by severeweather.

Prepare a survival kit and adjust it accordingly for your home, carand/or office with items such as:

• First aid kit;

• Batteries and flashlight;

• Water (at least one gallon per person);

• Radio;;

• Canned food;

• Blankets;

• Backup cell phone;

• Medical supplies including prescription medications;

• Clothing and bedding;

• Car keys and keys to the place you plan to be going; and,

• Map of area.

In addition, safeguard important documents by placing them inthe bank and/or in a fireproof and waterproof case in your home,and keep important papers such as driver’s license or personalidentification with you.

In case of an emergency, always remember to seek direction from lawenforcement officials. For more detailed information seewww.redcross.org.


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