Disasters come in many shapes and sizes. They tend to be sudden, urgent, and usually unforeseen occurrences or occasions requiring immediate action.
The goal of disaster plans is to save lives and reduce panic confusion, and injury. We will focus on fire safety, disaster preparedness such as hurricanes. The first thing we must remember is to remain calm!
- If a fire is detected move your client that is in immediate danger to a safer place Call 911 and confirm the exact location of the fire, along with the address of the home and your name.
- If it is a small fire, ask the client if they have a Fire extinguisher, extinguish the fire ONLY if it is safe to do so.
- If the fire cannot be safely extinguished, close the door to the room containing the fire and place wet towels, sheets, or blankets at the base of the door if it is safe to do so.
- If safe, Check all rooms, close windows and doors, and turn off overhead lights, electrical appliances, oxygen, Wait for the arrival of the fire department for further instructions.
- If smoke is present, remain close to the floor and cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth.
- Smoke and poisonous gases collect first near the ceiling. If the fire is in an adjourning room, keep the door closed.
- Test the temperature of the door by pressing your forearm or palm against it.
In the event of a power outage, notify the local utility company that the home has lost power. The company should also be informed if respirators and other emergency medical equipment are in operation. All clients that are on this type of medical equipment should notify their power company and obtain a note from their doctor indicating this.
Because you are an in-home aide, and the power goes out during a home visit, you should:
- Check the fuse box to see whether a fuse is blown or a circuit breaker has been tripped.
- Notify the local utility company of the outage.
- Turn off and unplug most lights and appliances.
- Keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible. If the freezer is only partially full, group packages together so they form an “igloo” to keep each other cold.
- If the outside temperature is cold, open faucets so the pipes will not freeze.
- If the weather is cold and heat is lost, help keep patients warm by providing extra clothing and blankets.
TORNADOS / HURRICANES
Most important is keep informed of upcoming weather. In the event of a tornado, you should open the windows on the side of the home away from the direction of the arriving storm. This reduces the buildup of air pressure inside the home. If you are unable to be move your client quickly to prevent them from being cut by flying glass or objects cover them with a blanket/sheet. Put loose objects in drawers so they will not blow around and cause injury. Find flashlights to use in the event of electrical failure.
- It is important to KNOW YOUR ZONE, and evacuate if you are in an area deemed for evacuation.
- In some parts of our county flooding can are occur frequently.
- Flooding may come on slowly or quickly.
- If the water rises slowly, there is usually time to evacuate. Have an emergency kit with food, water, and medicines for at least 3-7days. If flooding occurs it could be a while before the home is accessible.
Always remember in any type of emergency…KEEP CALM