Sometimes the world can be a scary place, but by preparing ahead of a disaster you can be prepared, not scared. The following information is to help you learn about and prepare for disasters.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazards Information
An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the ground caused by the shifting of rocks deep underneath the earth's surface. Earthquakes can cause fires, tsunamis, landslides, or avalanches. While they can happen anywhere without warning, areas at higher risk for earthquakes include Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Washington and the entire Mississippi River Valley.
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
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.
Severe weather can happen anytime, in any part of the country. Severe weather can include hazardous conditions produced by thunderstorms, including damaging winds, tornadoes, large hail, flooding and flash flooding, and winter storms associated with freezing rain, sleet, snow and strong winds.
There is hot, and there is Hot! Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 Degrees for at least two to three days. In extreme heat your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which can lead to death. Extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards.
Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms including blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds.
Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly.
Hazardous materials can include explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons and radioactive materials. Chemical agents are poisonous vapors, aerosols, liquids and solids that have toxic effects on people, animals or plants. Emergencies can happen during the production, storage, transportation, use or disposal of hazardous materials. You are at risk when chemicals are used unsafely or released in harmful amounts where you live, work or play.
Signs of a chemical release include difficulty breathing, eye irritation, loss of coordination, nausea or burning in the nose, throat and lungs. The presence of many dead insects or birds may indicate a chemical agent release.
A fire can become life-threatening in just two minutes. A residence can be engulfed in flames in five minutes.
Wildfires are unplanned fires that burn in natural areas like forests, grasslands or prairies. These dangerous fires spread quickly and can devastate not only wildlife and natural areas, but also communities.
Cyberattacks are malicious attempts to access or damage a computer or network system. Cyberattacks can lead to the loss of money or the theft of personal, financial and medical information. These attacks can damage your reputation and safety.
Cybersecurity involves preventing, detecting and responding to those cyberattacks that can have wide-ranging effects on individuals, organizations, the community and the nation.
Explosive devices can be carried in a vehicle or by a person, delivered in a package or concealed on the roadside. There are steps you can take to prepare.
Take steps to prepare and protect yourself and help others in the event of a mass attack.
Types of Mass Attacks
- Individuals using firearms to cause mass casualties (active shooter).
- Individuals using a vehicle to cause mass casualties.
- Individuals using homemade bombs to cause mass casualties.
- Other methods used in mass attacks may include knives, fires, drones or other weapons.
Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can kill or disable people, livestock and crops. Biological events can either be accidental or intentional. Both types of events can make you sick.
There are three basic groups of biological agents that could either accidentally or intentionally hurt someone: bacteria, viruses and toxins. Biological agents can be spread when they get sprayed into the air, with person-to-person contact, when animals are infected and then interact with people, or when food and water are contaminated.
There are different types of radiation emergencies that vary in how much damage they cause and harm they pose to the public. Some examples of radiation emergencies include: a nuclear detonation (explosion), an accident at a nuclear power plant, a transportation accident involving a shipment of radioactive materials, or an occupational exposure like in a healthcare or research setting. While the extent of the damage will vary, the steps to protect yourself from radiation are the same. You can keep your family safe by knowing what to do and being prepared if an incident occurs. Follow these simple steps:
The best way to stay safe in any radiation emergency is to get inside, stay inside and stay tuned. Putting material between you and the radiation provides protection while you tune in for instructions from responders.
A pandemic is a disease outbreak that spans several countries and affects a large number of people. Pandemics are most often caused by viruses, like Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which can easily spread from person to person.
A new virus, like COVID-19, can emerge from anywhere and quickly spread around the world. It is hard to predict when or where the next new pandemic will emerge.