PREPLANNING DURING PERIODS OF HEIGHTENED ALERT
AT WORK AND SCHOOL
Like individuals and families, schools, daycare providers, workplaces, neighborhoods and apartment buildings should all have site-specific emergency plans.
Ask about plans at the places where your family spends the most time: work, school and other places you frequent. If none exist, consider volunteering to help develop one. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead, and communicate with others in advance.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS
A community working together during an emergency makes sense.
Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together during an emergency.
- Find out if anyone has specialized equipment like a power generator, or expertise such as medical knowledge, that might help in a crisis.
- Decide who will check on elderly or disabled neighbors.
- Make back-up plans for children in case you can't get home in an emergency.
- Sharing plans and communicating in advance is a good strategy.
SCHOOLS AND DAYCARE
If you are a parent, or guardian of an elderly or disabled adult, make sure schools and daycare providers have emergency response plans.
- Ask how they will communicate with families during a crisis.
- Ask if they store adequate food, water and other basic supplies.
- Find out if they are prepared to "shelter-in-place" if need be, and where they plan to go if they must get away.
If you are an employer, make sure your workplace has a building evacuation plan that is regularly practiced.
- Take a critical look at your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to determine if it is secure or if it could feasibly be upgraded to better filter potential contaminants, and be sure you know how to turn it off if you need to.
- Think about what to do if your employees can't go home.
- Make sure you have appropriate supplies on hand.
- Cooperate with federal or local law enforcement officials concerning security checks or safety checks.
- Restrict the availability of information related to your facility and employees, and the materials you handle.
- Restrict access to a single entry or gate. Control who enters and leaves your facility, if possible. Require visitors to show photo identification and have someone accompany visitors at all times.
- Add security guards and increase off-hours patrols by security or law enforcement officials.
- Reduce your internal tolerance for "security anomalies," such as overdue or missing vehicles, perimeter of physical plant intrusions, unverified visitors, evidence of tampering and the like.
- Install additional security systems on areas containing hazardous materials, if needed.
- Require employees to display identification cards or badges while at the facility.
- Conduct spot checks of personnel and vehicles.
- Test your emergency response communications systems.
- Upgrade security procedures for pickups and deliveries. Verify all paperwork and require pickup and delivery appointments from known vendors. Require pickup drivers to provide driver's name and vehicle number - confirm with vendor. Accept deliveries in designated areas only.
- Confirm legitimacy of new vendors though listings in phone book or industry publications, web sites or references.
- Secure hazardous materials in locked buildings or fenced areas. Have a sign-out system for keys.
- Secure valves, manways, and other fixtures on transportation equipment when not in use. Secure all rail, truck, and barge containers when stored at your location.
- Use tamper-resistant or tamper-evident seals and locks on cargo compartment openings.
- Maintain current inventories of on-site hazardous materials and check account for shortages or discrepancies.