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STEP THREE: BE INFORMED

KNOW YOUR REGION

Learn what disasters or emergencies may occur in your area, and what to expect from them. If unsure, call your local American Red Cross chapter for more information.

  • Earthquakes - Earthquakes strike suddenly, without warning, and recur in the same places. Earthquake-related injuries are often the result of collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects - not the earthquake itself. Expect aftershocks, which may occur within minutes, days, weeks, or even months following the initial earthquake.
  • Residential Fires - All homes are at risk for fire. Unlike most disasters, most fires can be prevented. The most effective way to protect yourself, your family, and your home from fire is to prevent a fire from starting by taking the proper precautions.
  • Flooding - If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily for several days, be alert for the possibility of a flood.

You and your family should recognize the potential scenarios associated with heavy rain, especially:

  • A flood watch means a flood is possible in your area.
  • A flood warning means flooding is already occurring.
  • Tornadoes - Tornadoes can strike quickly - always watch for danger signs. Be prepared by becoming familiar with your community's warning system and pick a safe place to go ahead of time.

You and your family should recognize the potential scenarios associated with tornadoes, especially:

  • A tornado watch means tornadoes are possible in or near the watch area.
  • A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.
  • Hurricanes - During a hurricane, strong winds, storm surges, flooding, tornadoes, and marine hazards may threaten the safety of you and your family.

Protect yourself - recognize the potential scenarios associated with hurricanes, especially:

  • A hurricane watch means threat of hurricane storm conditions within 36 hours.
  • A hurricane warning means hurricane storm conditions are expected in 24 hours or less.
  • Thunderstorms - ALL thunderstorms are dangerous! During a thunderstorm, ensure you have taken the proper precautions to protect yourself and your family from lightning, hail, down-bursts, straight-line winds, power outages, tornadoes, and floods.

Click here for more information on these and other potential emergencies.