BOSTON IS PREPARING...ARE
Emergencies don't wait for you to prepare
before they strike. They can happen at any time, anywhere. From hurricanes and
blizzards to house fires and flooding, you need to be prepared and ready to
protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community. Learn how you can prepare
for an emergency by following these 4 simple steps:
Get Ready: Access the
information, plans, practice, and supplies you should have to prepare for all
types of emergencies.
Be Safe: Increase your
knowledge about potential emergencies and develop the skills to keep each other
safe before and after emergencies to prevent injury and illness.
Learn how to improve your health before, during, and after an emergency to
create better health outcomes for yourself and your loved ones.
Pledge to Prepare:
Take "The Pledge" to prepare yourself, your family, and your community for
emergencies of all types.
Remember, the City of Boston isn't
prepared unless you are.
It is important to know the types of emergencies that have, and
can, occur in Boston. These emergencies include, but are not limited to:
In addition to knowing what types of emergencies can occur, it is
important to understand the effects of these emergencies. Some ways that
emergencies have affected Boston residents include:
Property damage or loss
Fear or stress
To make sure that you and your household remain safe during an
emergency, make a plan. Click
here to use the City of Boston's free, online Family Preparedness Planner to
help you develop your plan. As part of your emergency plan, be sure to:
Develop an evacuation plan for your household
Identify where to meet your loved ones in an emergency
Develop a communications plan so that you can contact your
family during an emergency
Learn about emergency plans for places your family members spend
a lot of time such as school or work
Once you develop your plan, be sure to practice them at
least twice a year. By practicing your emergency plans ahead of time, you are
more likely to feel calmer and in control before, during, and after a disaster.
Preparedness is a year-round activity that everyone in the family can
participate in, including kids. Involving children and teens in planning may
help them feel less anxious during an emergency and provide reassurance.
You and your household should have all the supplies you might need
in case of an emergency. Build two types of kits:
A Shelter-in-Place Kit should include items that you
need if you cannot leave your house for up to 1 week, including food, water,
batteries, flashlights, and more.
A Go Kit should be created for events that require you
to quickly evacuate your home for as long as 12-72 hours, such as a home fire or
flooding. A Go Kit should include clothing, personal documents (ex:
copies of passports, birth certificates), and more.
For more information on what to include in your Shelter-in-Place
or Go Kits, click here.
Here are some ways you can get involved in helping your
Join the Boston Medical Reserve Corps
(MRC), a group of volunteers who
are ready to respond should there be a public health emergency in Boston. The
Boston MRC recruits both medical and
non-medical volunteers. Click here
Have your organization join the Boston Health Resilience
, a partnership between the Office of Public Health Preparedness
(OPHP) and Boston leaders and organizations committed to inclusive emergency
communication, response, and recovery to protect, promote, and preserve the
health and well-being of the City of Boston. Click here
and learn more.
Before, during, and after an emergency it is important to
understand your surroundings, whether you're at home or in an unfamiliar
Home and Car Safety
Mold can cause allergic reactions,
asthma, and more illnesses. To remove mold, get rid of excess water or moisture
around your home. Learn more here: English
When driving anywhere, make sure you
know how to safely operate and lock a car seat to ensure the safety of
children. Click here
to learn more through Buckle Up Boston.
Window Screen Safety:
Falls are the leading
cause of injury to children ages five and under. It only takes seconds for a
fall to occur, and they can cause serious injuries. Click here
to learn more window fall prevention tips through Kids
Animals and Insects:
Know how to create a safe,
healthy environment for you and your loved ones by getting rid of
disease-carrying insects and animals. Click here
to learn more.
A flood can be caused by rainwater
or sometimes sewage backups, which can damage gas and electric appliances, and
cause fire or electrocutions. Click
to learn more about flood prevention and cleanup.
Keep Food & Water Safe
When the power goes out, your refrigerator and freezer will likely
stop working, leaving your food unsafe to eat. Learn how to figure out if your
food has expired or gone bad - click here for more information from the U.S. Food & Drug
In 2010, a water pipe broke in Weston, MA, leaving the water in
Boston unsafe to drink. Due to the unsafe drinking water, Boston residents were
required to boil their water prior to using it. To make sure you and your family
understand how to determine if your water is safe to use, click
Learn Basic Health
Knowing basic health skills are important when you, or those
around you, may be in need of immediate help. Learning the following skills will
help prepare you to assist others in the event of a medical emergency until
emergency medical services can arrive:
This new version of CPR provides 3
easy steps for anyone to use if someone around you collapses and may be in need
of CPR. Click here
to learn more.
General First Aid:
Knowing how to provide
immediate care in case of a cardiac, breathing, and first aid emergency can help
you save a life. Click here
to learn more and find upcoming classes in the
Boston area. If you are a student at a high school, university, or college,
check if your school provides general first aid courses.
If you have an ongoing medical condition, it's important to know
some other basic health skills that can help you during an emergency. These
Home Medical Devices
Know how and where to access official information prior to, and
during emergencies. Official information will come from Boston City Hall or any
of the three public safety agencies (EMS, Fire, Police). Here's a list of
trusted sources to get you started:
For a more complete list of resources you can use to access
official information, please click here.
Take Control of Your Everyday
Develop routines that support your everyday health. Even during
stressful moments, it's important to try to maintain your normal routines,
especially during emergencies that may require you to stay indoors for an
extended period of time. Maintaining normal routines (to the best extent
possible) can also help ease children's anxiety and minimize stress reactions.
Some of the ways you can take control of your health include:
Finding an exercise routine that you enjoy and engaging in it
regularly - click here
to learn more about Boston Moves for Health.
Maintaining healthy eating habits
Getting your recommended vaccinations, including your annual flu
Managing your chronic illness by regularly visiting your
physician and taking your prescribed medications
Participating in or leading activities with close family and
Maintaining your emotional health through yoga, meditation or
your faith and spiritual connections
Be a Preparedness Role Model
Be a positive role model. During emergencies,
children look up to parents and caregivers for guidance. Encourage your children
and loved ones to ask questions about preparedness and emergency planning.
Answering their questions can help minimize confusion and decrease anxiety and
Help others prepare. Readiness extends beyond the
household and is very much a community activity. A great way to help neighbors,
family and friends better cope after a disaster is to help them create an
emergency plan ahead of time. Show an older adult or family member how to text
their emergency contact or use social media to check in with loved ones. A
simple "I'm OK" message can go a long way in easing additional anxiety and
stress. When landlines are down or overwhelmed, this might be the only way to
communicate with others.
Take our online course. Interested in taking a
short class about community preparedness? The DelValle Institute for Emergency
Preparedness has a free, online course that can guide you and your family
members through preparing for an emergency. Click here to
Get and Stay
Get to know your neighbors. Introducing yourself
to your neighbors and discussing your needs and emergency plans with each other
will help you when an event happens, large or small. Check in on them before,
during, and/or after emergencies to make sure they are okay.
Join community organizations. Joining
organizations or programs that keep you plugged in to what is happening in your
community can help you stay connected. Encourage organizations in your
professional and community life to join the Boston Health Resilience
Network (BHRN), and encourage them to discuss their own preparedness, their
staff's preparedness, and their understanding of how the City of Boston supports
its residents during an emergency.
Know When to Seek
The unpredictable nature of disasters has the potential to
cause varying levels of emotional distress in those who live in and outside of
the affected area. After experiencing a disaster, it may take time to bounce
back--and that's normal. If things don't seem to be getting better, reach out
for support and help through the Disaster Distress
Helpline, 24/7/365, by calling 1-800-985-5990.
Make preparedness part of your daily life - take the Pledge to
Prepare. The Pledge is a way for you to take the next step in preparing