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TIP OF THE WEEK: Evacuating Yourself and Your Family
Evacuations are more common than many people realize. Fires and floods prompt evacuations most frequently across the U.S. and almost every year, people along coastlines evacuate as hurricanes approach. In addition, transportation and industrial accidents release harmful substances, hundreds of times a year, forcing many people to leave their homes.
In some circumstances, local officials decide that the hazards are serious and require mandatory evacuations. In others, evacuations are advised or households decide to evacuate to avoid situations they believe are potentially dangerous. When community evacuations become necessary local officials provide information to the public through the media. In some circumstances other warning methods such as sirens, text alerts, emails or telephone calls are used.
The amount of time you have to leave will depend on the hazard. If the event is a weather condition, such as a hurricane, you might have a day or two to get ready. However, many disasters allow no time for people to gather even the most basic necessities, which is why planning ahead is essential.
Plan on how you will assemble your family and supplies and anticipate where you will go for different situations. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency and know the evacuation routes to get to those destinations.
- Plan out places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood. Use a Family Emergency Plan to decide these locations before a disaster.
- If you have a car, keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
- Become familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency.
- Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
- Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.
- If you do not have a car, plan how you will evacuate. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.
- Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
- Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency.
If time allows:
- Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.
- Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
- Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
- Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
- Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat.
- Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
NEWS OF THE DAY:
February 21, 2017 (Illinois)
Hyde Park Jewish Center Evacuated After Bomb Threat
CHICAGO, IL — A Hyde Park Jewish community center was evacuated Monday after the facility received a phoned-in bomb threat, ABC 7 Chicago reports. The Hyde Park JCC, 5200 S. Hyde Park Blvd., received the bomb threat Monday morning, and the center was immediately evacuated, the report stated. Chicago police allowed people to return to the center just before noon after officers investigated the threat at the scene, the report added. The Hyde Park facility was one of 11 Jewish community centers targeted with bomb threats Presidents Day, according to David Posner, director of strategic performance at the JCC Association of North America. The threats, however, were all determined to be hoaxes, Posner said in a statement.
February 21, 2017 (Illinois)
Chicago Police Investigating NW Side Car Dealership Break-in
CHICAGO -- Chicago police were called to Marino Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram on Irving Park Road around 2 a.m. Tuesday. They found a broken window in one of the service bay doors. No vehicles were taken and investigators say this same dealership has been targeted previously. This is the latest of a series of dealership break-ins in the Chicago area over the last several months. Police have not said if the break-ins are connected.
February 20, 2017 (Illinois)
Civil Rights Seminar at New Trier Becomes Political Flashpoint
NORTHFIELD -- The polarizing national political climate hit home on the North Shore Monday night, as parents packed a school board meeting over an upcoming seminar at New Trier High School titled, "Understanding today’s struggle for racial civil rights." The program has set parents, activists, and teachers at odds.
February 21, 2017 (International)
Google Discloses Another Unpatched Microsoft Bug
Google and Microsoft are at odds again after the former’s Project Zero researchers disclosed a Windows bug last week despite no patch being made available by Redmond. The vulnerability in question affects Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) and is part of a group of flaws “related to the handling of DIBs (Device Independent Bitmaps) embedded in EMF records,” according to Google engineer, Mateusz Jurczyk. They were supposed to be fixed with the release of MS16-074 back in March last year, but Jurczyk discovered some issues persisted, and informed Microsoft on 16 November. It’s unclear if the bug was due to be fixed in Microsoft’s cancelled February Patch Tuesday update round last week, but this coincided with the date Google publicly revealed the flaw, putting users at risk.
07 Days: Mardi Gras
OBSERVANCES FOR THE MONTH:
American Heart Month
Black History Month
National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month