Stay Safe Temple
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May through September are traditionally the hottest months in Temple, with temperatures reaching the triple digits. Coupled with the high humidity our region is known for, extreme heat like this can be dangerous, especially for older adults, children and overweight individuals. Here are some tips from Ready.gov to help you prepare for extreme heat.
Stay Safe and Prepare for Extreme Heat
- Learn to recognize the signs of heat illness.
- Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature or prevent heat-related illnesses.
- Identify places in your community where you can go to get cool such as libraries and shopping malls or contact your local health department to find a cooling center in your area.
- Cover windows with drapes or shades.
- Weather-strip doors and windows.
- Use window reflectors specifically designed to reflect heat back outside.
- Add insulation to keep the heat out.
- Use a powered attic ventilator, or attic fan, to regulate the heat level of a building’s attic by clearing out hot air.
- Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.
- If you are unable to afford your cooling costs, weatherization or energy-related home repairs, contact the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for help.
Stay Safe During Extreme Heat
- Never leave people or pets in a closed car on a warm day.
- If air conditioning is not available in your home go to a cooling center.
- Take cool showers or baths.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Use your oven less to help reduce the temperature in your home.
- If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Avoid high-energy activities or work outdoors, during midday heat, if possible.
- Check on family members, seniors and neighbors.
- Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Consider pet safety. If they are outside, make sure they have plenty of cool water and access to comfortable shade. Asphalt and dark pavement can be very hot to your pet’s feet.
- If using a mask, use one that is made of breathable fabric, such as cotton, instead of polyester. Don’t wear a mask if you feel yourself overheating or have trouble breathing.
Brush, Grass and Wildland Fires
Preventing a Fire
- Do not burn, or perform hot work or any other activity that may spark a fire.
- Clear leaves, debris and flammable material from around your home.
- Mow the grass regularly.
- Stack firewood at least 15-feet away from your home.
- Do not park vehicles on dry grass. The heat from the exhaust can start a fire.
- Keep fire suppression tools accessible, like a water hose or fire extinguisher.
Preparing for a Fire
- Have multiple alert methods in place in case of emergency. Check local weather alerts, and sign-up for Alert Temple.
- Develop a safety plan.
- Identify an evacuation route and temporary shelter.
- Pack a go-bag and emergency kit (do not forget about your pets!).
- Discuss your plan with the whole family.
- Ensure your important documents (like insurance policies and identification) are up-to-date, and store them in a safe and easily-accessible location.
Staying Safe During a Fire
- Pay attention to alerts, like local weather alerts and Alert Temple.
- In case of evacuation, leave immediately and follow public safety officials' directions.
- Stay out of areas where wildland fires are burning. This will help firefighters with their fire suppression efforts and keeps you safe from rapidly changing fire conditions.
- If trapped, call 9-1-1 and give your location. Turn on lights to help rescuers find you.
- Use an N95 mask to limit smoke inhalation, or limit your exposure by closing off a room from outside air and setting up a portable air cleaner or filter to keep the air in the room clean.
Staying Safe After a Fire
- Do not return home until public officials confirm it is safe to do so.
- Beware of hot ash and debris, and live embers on your property.
- Wear protective clothing, like long-sleeved shirts, pants, close-toed and thick-soled shoes, and work gloves while cleaning up your property.
Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Failing to evacuate flooded areas or entering flood waters can lead to injury or death.
- Result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges and overflows of dams and other water systems.
- Develop slowly or quickly. Flash floods can come with no warning.
- Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings and create landslides.
If you are under a flood warning:
- Find safe shelter right away.
- Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
- Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
Depending on the type of flooding:
- Evacuate if told to do so.
- Move to higher ground or a higher floor.
- Stay where you are.
Preparing for a Flood
- Know Your Risk for Floods Visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center to know types of flood risk in your area. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- Purchase Flood Insurance Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect so the time to buy is well before a disaster. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Make a plan for your household, including your pets, so that you and your family know what to do, where to go, and what you will need to protect yourselves from flooding. Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response. Gather supplies, including non-perishable foods, cleaning supplies, and water for several days, in case you must leave immediately or if services are cut off in your area.
- In Case of Emergency: Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies. Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.
Staying Safe During a Flood
- Evacuate immediately, if told to evacuate. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
- Contact your healthcare provider If you are sick and need medical attention. Wait for further care instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
- Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions regarding flooding.
- Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown!
- Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.
- Stay inside your car if it is trapped in rapidly moving water. Get on the roof if water is rising inside the car.
- Get to the highest level if trapped in a building. Only get on the roof if necessary and once there signal for help. Do not climb into a closed attic to avoid getting trapped by rising floodwater.
Staying Safe After A Flood
- Pay attention to authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
- Avoid driving except in emergencies.
- Wear heavy work gloves, protective clothing and boots during clean up and use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.
- People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.
- Be aware that snakes and other animals may be in your house.
- Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. Turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock if it is safe to do so.
- Avoid wading in floodwater, which can be contaminated and contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
- Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows. From: www.ready.gov
Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that extend from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes can destroy buildings, flip cars, and create deadly flying debris. A tornado can:
- Happen anytime and anywhere.
- Bring intense winds, over 200 miles per hour.
- Look like funnels.
- Go to NOAA Weather Radio and your local news or official social media accounts for updated emergency information. Follow the instructions of state, local and tribal officials.
- Go to a safe shelter immediately, such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar or a small interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
- Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
- Do not go under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
- Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.
- Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
- If you can’t stay at home, make plans to go to a public shelter. Review the CDC's guidelines for going to a public disaster shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Preparing for a Tornado
- Know your area’s tornado risk. In the U.S., the Midwest and the Southeast have a greater risk for tornadoes.
- Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar like a freight train.
- Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and NOAA Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. If your community has sirens, then become familiar with the warning tone.
- Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.
- Identify and practice going to a safe shelter such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room or basement on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
- Consider Overlapping Hazards such as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Review the CDC's guidelines for going to a public disaster shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Plan for your pet. They are an important member of your family, so they need to be included in your family’s emergency plan.
- Prepare for long-term stay at home or sheltering in place by gathering emergency supplies, cleaning supplies, non-perishable foods, water, medical supplies and medication.
Staying Safe During a Tornado
- Immediately go to a safe location that you have identified.
- Pay attention to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
- Protect yourself by covering your head or neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around or on top of you.
- Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle if you are in a car. If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible.
Staying Safe After a Tornado
Save your phone calls for emergencies and use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and friends.
- Pay attention to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, and local authorities for updated information.
- Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
- Contact your healthcare provider if you are sick and need medical attention. Wait for further care instructions and continue to shelter in place.
- Wear appropriate gear during clean-up such as thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves, use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.
Attacks in Public Places
Ready.gov lays out how to prepare to protect ourselves and help others in the event of a mass attack. We have included some highlights and encourage your to visit their page for additional resources.
Types of Mass Attacks
- Active shooter: Individuals using firearms to cause mass casualties.
- Individuals using a vehicle to cause mass casualties.
- Individuals using homemade bombs to cause mass casualties.
- Other methods of mass attacks may include knives, fires, drones or other weapons.
- Stay Alert. Always be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.
- If you see something, say something to local authorities. That includes suspicious packages, people behaving strangely, or someone using strange communications.
- Observe warning signs. Signs might include unusual or violent communications, expressed anger or intent to cause harm and substance abuse. These warning signs may increase over time.
- Have an exit plan. Identify exits and areas to hide wherever you go, including work, school and special events.
- Learn lifesaving skills. Take trainings such as You Are the Help Until Help Arrives and first aid to assist the wounded before help arrives.
- Practice wearing a mask when in public to slow the spread of COVID-19. You will not have time to put on a mask in an active shooter situation. Wearing one regularly will allow you to be prepared to hide safely with those who are not a part of your household. Masks should not be worn by children under two, those who have trouble breathing, and those who are unable to remove them on their own.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, focus on Run. Hide. Fight. Do not worry about social distancing, wearing a mask, or reducing the spread of COVID-19 during an active shooter situation.
Run to Safety
- Seek safety. Getting away from the attacker is the top priority.
- Leave your belongings behind and get away. If you are not wearing a mask, do not stop to put one on. It is more important to run to safety.
- Call 9-1-1 when you are safe and describe the attacker, location and weapons.
Cover and Hide
- If you can’t evacuate, cover and hide. Find a place to hide out of view of the attacker and if possible, put a solid barrier between yourself and the threat. If you are hiding with people who are not part of your household, wear a mask and maintain a distance of six feet between yourself and others, if possible.
- Children under 2 years old, people who have trouble breathing, and people who cannot remove masks on their own should not wear them.
- Do not leave your hiding place to retrieve your mask.
- Lock and block doors, close blinds and turn off lights.
- Keep silent.
Defend, Disrupt, Fight
- Fight only as a last resort. When you can’t run or cover, attempt to disrupt the attack or disable the attacker.
- Be aggressive and commit to your actions.
- Recruit others to ambush the attacker with makeshift weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books, etc.
- Be prepared to cause severe or lethal injury to the attacker.
Help the Wounded
- Take care of yourself first and then, if you are able, help the wounded get to safety and provide immediate care.
- If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and let the operator know if you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a mask before help arrives.
When Law Enforcement Arrives
- Remain calm and follow instructions.
- Keep hands visible and empty.
- Report to designated areas to provide information and get help.
- Follow law enforcement’s instructions and evacuate in the direction they tell you to. When possible, maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and people who are not a part of your household and wear a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19. masks should not be worn by children under two years old, those who have trouble breathing, and those who are unable to remove them on their own.
- Once you are out of danger, continue taking steps to protect yourself from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, by washing your hands, maintaining six feet between yourself and persons who are not part of your family, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
STAYING WARM DURING A POWER OUTAGE:
- Close blinds or curtains to keep in some heat.
- Close off rooms to avoid wasting heat.
- Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.
- Eat and drink. Food provides energy to warm the body. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Stuff towels or rags in cracks under the doors.
PREPARING FOR WINTER WEATHER: PROTECT THE 4 P’S
It is important to remember to protect the 4 Ps (People, Pets, Pipes, and Plants) during cold temperatures.
- People should dress warmly, in layers, to avoid hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature).
- Pets should be brought indoors or provided with a warm place to sleep.
- Pipes that run outside or under a house should be wrapped in pipe insulation to avoid cracks due to water freezing in them. Learn how to protect your pipes.
- Plants may need to be covered or brought inside to avoid frost damage.
PREPARING YOUR HOME
- Do not over prepare! Be considerate of others and only gather a few days worth of supplies needed.
- Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Remember the needs of your pets.
- Create an Emergency Preparedness Kit.
DURING WINTER WEATHER: DRIVING CONDITIONS
As with any type of precipitation, such as rain, sleet, or snow, residents who are driving vehicles should take steps to protect themselves, including:
- Stay off the roads as much as possible and avoid unnecessary travel.
- Give themselves extra stopping distance. Wet conditions mean it takes longer for vehicles to come to a complete stop.
- Ensure windshield wipers are in good working condition before heading out on the road. When conditions are wet or dark, be sure to use headlights.
- Highway overpasses and bridges pose the highest risk of icing, take extra precautions when driving over them.
- Slow down. Rain, sleet, and snow can limit visibility, giving drivers less time to recognize danger.
- Slowing down gives extra time to adjust to changing conditions.
SAFELY USE SPACE HEATERS
As temperatures drop, residents may use portable space heaters to keep warm. The La Porte Fire Department reminds residents of the following safety tips:
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm. Never leave children unattended in a room with a space heater.
- Children knock over space heaters especially if they are placed on top of wobbly tables or stools and near where the children play.
- Children may also stick paper or toys in the grates of the space heaters, especially gas space heaters.
- Keep all combustible materials, including yourself at least 3 feet from the heater. Space heaters should have a screen. Ensure you have ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
HEATING YOUR HOME
- Never overload outlets or breakers. Don’t use extension cords for a heater. If the cord is hot to the touch, turn off the heater and unplug it!
- Electric heaters permanently installed in the wall or ceiling should have lint and dust removed regularly.
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop/oven or propane grill.
IRRIGATION & BACKFLOW SYSTEMS
- How to Winterize Sprinkler System
- Shut off the water supply to the irrigation system. The main shut-off valve for your irrigation system needs to be protected against freezing. Make sure it is wrapped with insulation (foam insulation tape and a plastic bag) to protect it from harsh winter temperatures and prevent it from freezing.
- Stay In Control
- If you have an automatic system then you will need to "shut down" the controller (timer). Most controllers have a "rain-mode" that simply shuts off the signals to the valves.
- Drain the Pipes
- Remove the water from the pipes and sprinklers so that it won't freeze/expand and break the pipe.
- Protect Valves and Backflow Preventers
- Insulate backflow preventers and valves if they are above ground. You can also use insulation tape for this. Be sure not to block the air vents and drain outlets on backflow preventers. Call a professional if you need assistance.
Winter Storm Information Sheet
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Buying or Selling a Car After a Disaster
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Get the Most from Your Homeowners Insurance
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Picking up the Pieces After Disaster
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Rebuilding After Disaster: Do You Stay or Leave?
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Salvaging Possession and Valuables After Disaster
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