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Natural Disasters

September is Preparedness Month

Use this opportunity to find ways or remind others about preparing for disasters that reduce risks to health and the environment from contamination, leaks, spills, and hazardous materials. This page doesn't include all possible ways of preparing but will provide many ideas and links to more information.

 

How to report emergencies

 

Individuals and homeowners

Know ahead of time where you would run a generator. Generator exhaust is toxic and can sicken or kill you. Always put generators outside well away from doors, windows, and vents. Never use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas. Carbon monoxide (CO) is deadly, can build up quickly, and linger for hours. More information.

If your drinking water is from a private well, know your state or local contacts for inspecting the safety your drinking water after a flood. Keep at least a 3-day drinking water supply per person -and don't forget pets. More about protecting your household well.

If your home is on a septic system, know whom to call to have it inspected after a flood, before you use it. Read more.

Contractors need to use lead-safe work practices on emergency renovations on homes or buildings built before 1978. Activities such as sanding, cutting, and demolition can create lead-based paint hazards. Lead-contaminated dust is harmful to adults, particularly pregnant women, and children. About post-disaster renovations and lead-based paint.

Anyone working on around building debris needs be aware of any asbestos and to handle asbestos materials properly. People exposed to asbestos dust can develop serious lung health problems including asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. More about the dangers of exposure to asbestos

Make a plan to help your family and home stay safe, from Ready.gov

Communities

Communities should plan ahead to handle exceptionally large amounts of disaster debris from damaged or destroyed buildings, supplies, trees or other green waste, carcasses, or other materials. Disposal problems can result from large amounts of debris but also from hazardous or toxic substances in the debris that can contaminate air, water, land, and food if not handled properly. Burning large amounts of debris to reduce volume may not be an option. More information on disaster debris.

EPA offers tools communities and facilties tools to help plan for for disaster or security threats to water systems. More about community water-based resilency tools.

 

Schools, businesses, or other facilities

Suggested activities to help facilities prepare for severe weather conditions. Please note, the linked information is written for hurricane preparedness but much of it will still apply to many types of preparedness.

EPA offers tools communities and facilties tools to help plan for for disaster or security threats to water systems. More about community water-based resilency tools.

Mold cleanup in schools and commercial buildings. Information for building managers, custodians, and others who are responsible for commercial building and school maintenance.

Industries and businesses that encounter spills or discharges in the aftermath should contact the National Response Center immediately. You or your organization may have legal requirements for reporting or for taking other actions, depending on the spill.

Contractors need to use lead-safe work practices on emergency renovations on homes or buildings built before 1978. Activities such as sanding, cutting, and demolition can create lead-based paint hazards. Lead-contaminated dust is harmful to adults, particularly pregnant women, and children. Important information about post-disaster renovations and lead-based paint.

Anyone working on around building debris needs be aware of any asbestos and to handle asbestos materials properly. People exposed to asbestos dust can develop serious lung health problems including asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. More about the dangers of exposure to asbestos

Share information

Listen to or re-broadcast these Public Service Announcements (Escuche en español).

Use or adapt pre-written messages to send reminders on your own via Facebook or Twitter account.

 

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