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In observance of Memorial Day we will be closed Monday, May 27. This closure includes each of our Veterans Clinics. 

Our Emergency Department remains open 24 hours.  

Mental Health Emergency: Call Veteran Crisis Line at 988, press 1, or text 83255.

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness resources to assist Veterans before, during and after a tornado or other emergencies.

Prepare for Tornados

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.

 

  • Know your area’s tornado risk. In the U.S., the Midwest and the Southeast have a greater risk for tornadoes.
  • Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar like a freight train.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and NOAA Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. If your community has sirens, then become familiar with the warning tone.
  • Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.
  • Identify and practice going to a safe shelter such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room or basement on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
  • Plan for your pet. They are an important member of your family, so they need to be included in your family’s emergency plan.
  • Prepare for long-term stay at home or sheltering in place by gathering emergency supplies, cleaning supplies, non-perishable foodswater, medical supplies and medication.

 

 

Prepare for Hurricanes

Hurricanes are dangerous and can cause major damage from storm surge, wind damage, rip currents and flooding. They can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. Storm surge historically is the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths in the United States.

Know Your Hurricane Risk

Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. Find out how rain, wind, water and even tornadoes could happen far inland from where a hurricane or tropical storm makes landfall. Start preparing now.

Make an Emergency Plan

Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands your hurricane plans. Include the office, kids’ day care, and anywhere else you frequent in your hurricane plans. Ensure your business has a continuity plan to continue operating when disaster strikes.

Know your Evacuation Zone

You may have to evacuate quickly due to a hurricane if you live in an evacuation zone. Learn your evacuation routes, practice with your household and pets, and identify where you will stay. 

  • Follow the instructions from local emergency managers, who work closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies and partners. They will provide the latest recommendations based on the threat to your community and appropriate safety measures.

Recognize Warnings and Alerts

Have several ways to receive alerts. Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Sign up for community alerts in your area and be aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), which require no sign up.

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If you are under a tornado or severe weather warning:

  • Go to NOAA Weather Radio and your local news or official social media accounts for updated emergency information. Follow the instructions of state, local and tribal officials. 
  • Go to a safe shelter immediately, such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar or a small interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • Do not go under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
  • Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • If you can’t stay at home, make plans to go to a public shelter.

Staying Safe During a Tornado

  • Immediately go to a safe location that you have identified.
  • Pay attention to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Protect yourself by covering your head or neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around or on top of you.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle if you are in a car. If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible.
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Staying Safe After a Tornado

  • Pay attention to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, and local authorities for updated information.
  • Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if you are sick and need medical attention. Wait for further care instructions and continue to shelter in place.
  • Wear appropriate gear during clean-up such as thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves, use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.

Floods

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.

Floods may:

  • Result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges and overflows of dams and other water systems.
  • Develop slowly or quickly. Flash floods can come with no warning.
  • Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings and create landslides.

 If you are under a flood warning:

  • Find safe shelter right away.
  • Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  • Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
  • Depending on the type of flooding:
    • Evacuate if told to do so.
    • Move to higher ground or a higher floor.
    • Stay where you are.

Staying Safe During a Flood

  • Evacuate immediately, if told to evacuate. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
  • Contact your healthcare provider If you are sick and need medical attention. Wait for further care instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions regarding flooding.
  • Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown!
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.
  • Stay inside your car if it is trapped in rapidly moving water. Get on the roof if water is rising inside the car.
  • Get to the highest level if trapped in a building. Only get on the roof if necessary and once there signal for help. Do not climb into a closed attic to avoid getting trapped by rising floodwater.

Staying Safe After a Flood

  • Pay attention to authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Avoid driving except in emergencies.
  • Wear heavy work gloves, protective clothing and boots during clean up and use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris. 
  • People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.
  • Be aware that snakes and other animals may be in your house.
  • Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. Turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock if it is safe to do so.
  • Avoid wading in floodwater, which can be contaminated and contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.

Home Fires

A fire can become life-threatening in just two minutes. A residence can be engulfed in flames in five minutes.

Learn About Fires

  • Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.
  • Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.
  • Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
  • Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy.

Smoke Alarms

A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

  • Replace batteries twice a year, unless you are using 10-year lithium batteries.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake.
  • Audible alarms are available for visually impaired people and smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for the hearing impaired.

 

During a Fire

  • Drop down to the floor and crawl low, under any smoke to your exit. Heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
  • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out. Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out. If you or someone else cannot stop, drop and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel. Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for three to five minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.

After a Fire

  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter.
  • DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself. The fire department should make sure that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. 
  • Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items. Do not throw away any damaged goods until after you make the inventory of your items.
  • Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on your income tax.
  • Notify your mortgage company of the fire.

Thunderstorms and Lightning

  • When thunder roars, go indoors! Move from outdoors into a building or car with a roof.
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
  • Avoid using electronic devices connected to an electrical outlet.
  • Avoid running water.
  • Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Do not drive through flooded roadways. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Pay attention to authorities and weather forecasts for information on whether it is safe to go outside and instructions regarding potential flash flooding.
  • Watch for fallen power lines and trees. Report them immediately.

Stay Safe During Winter Weather

  • Stay off roads if at all possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.
  • Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Reduce the risk of a heart attack by avoiding overexertion when shoveling snow and walking in the snow.

Learn the signs of, and basic treatments for, frostbite and hypothermia.

 

Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers and toes.

  • Signs: Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, firm or waxy skin.
  • Actions: Go to a warm room. Soak in warm water. Use body heat to warm. Do not massage or use a heating pad.

Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency.

  • Signs: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech or drowsiness.
  • Actions: Go to a warm room. Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head and groin. Keep dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck.

Generator Safety

Generators can be helpful when the power goes out. It is important to know how use them safely to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and other hazards.

  • Generators and fuel should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows, doors and attached garages.
  • Install working carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill you, your family and pets.
  • Keep the generator dry and protected from rain or flooding. Touching a wet generator or devices connected to one can cause electrical shock.
  • Always connect the generator to appliances with heavy-duty extension cords.
  • Let the generator cool before refueling. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts can ignite.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
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