Precaution and Guidelines

 

Disaster Planning

Natural Disasters

Earthquakes - What to Do During an Earthquake

Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements to a few steps that reach a nearby safe place and stay indoors until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

If indoors

  • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there is no a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Protect yourself by staying under the lintel of an inner door, in the corner of a room, under a table or even under a bed.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, (such as lighting fixtures or furniture).
  • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, load bearing doorway.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.

If outdoors

  • Do not move from where you are. However, move away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • If you are in open space, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings; at exits; and alongside exterior walls. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

If in a moving vehicle

  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

If trapped under debris

  • Do not light a match.
  • Do not move about or kick up dust.
  • Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

Floods

If a flood is likely to hit  your area, you should:

  • Listen to the radio or television for information.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.

If you must prepare to evacuate, you should:

  • Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.

In the Flood Situation

  1. Obey orders by government and shift to a safer place.
  2. Be at safe place and they try to collect correct information.
  3. Switch of electrical supply and don’t touch open wires.
  4. Don’t get carried away by rumors and don not spread rumors.

DO's

  1. Switch off electrical and gas appliances, and turn off services off at the mains.
  2. Carry your emergency kit and let your friends and family know where you are going.
  3. Avoid contact with flood water it may be contaminated with sewage,oil,chemicals or other substances.
  4. If you have to walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to ensure that you do not step into deep water, open manholes or ditches.
  5. Stay away from power lines electrical current can travel through water, Report power lines that are down to the power company.
  6. Look before you step-after a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris, which may include broken bottles, sharp objects, nails etc.Floors and stairs covered with mud and debris can be slippery.
  7. Listen to the radio or television for updates and information.
  8. If the ceiling is wet shut off electricity. Place a bucket underneath the spot and poke a small hole into the ceiling to relieve the pressure.
  9. Use buckets,clean towels and mops to remove as much of the water from the afflicted rooms as possible.
  10. Place sheets of aluminium foil between furniture wet carpet.

Don't's

  1. Don't walk through flowing water - currents can be deceptive, and shallow, fast moving water can knock you off your feet.
  2. Don't swim through fast flowing water - you may get swept away or struck by an object in the water.
  3. Don't drive through a flooded area - You may not be able to see abrupt drop - offs and only half a meter of flood water can carry a car away. Driving through flood water can also cause additional damage to nearby property.
  4. Don't eat any food that has come into contact with flood water.
  5. Don't reconnect your power supply until a qualified engineer has checked it. Be alert for gas leaks - do not smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames.
  6. Don't scrub or brush mud and other deposits from materials, This may cause further damage.
  7. Never turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Stay away from ceilings those are sagging.
  8. Never use TVs, VCRS, CRT terminals or other electrical equipment while standing on wet floors, especially concrete.
  9. Don't attempt to remove standing water using your vacuum cleaner.

Don't remove standing water in a basement too fast. If the pressure is relieved too quickly it may put undue stress on the walls.


Land Slides

Do's

  • Prepare tour to hilly region according to information given by weather department or news channel.
  • Move away from landslide path or downstream valleys quickly without wasting time.
  • Keep drains clean,
  • Inspect drains for - litter, leaves, plastic bags, rubble etc.
  • Keep the weep holes open.
  • Grow more trees that can hold the soil through roots,
  • Identify areas of rock fall and subsidence of buildings, cracks that indicate landslides and move to safer areas. Even muddy river waters indicate landslides upstream.
  • Notice such signals and contact the nearest Tehsil or District Head Quarters.
  • Ensure that toe of slope is not cut, remains protected, don't uproot trees unless re-vegetation is planned.
  • Listen for unusual sounds such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together.
  • Stay alert, awake and active (3A's) during the impact or probability of impact.
  • Locate and go to shelters,
  • Try to stay with your family and companions.
  • Check for injured and trapped persons.
  • Mark path of tracking so that you can't be lost in middle of the forest.
  • Know how to give signs or how to communicate during emergency time to flying helicopters and rescue team.

Don'ts

  • Try to avoid construction and staying in vulnerable areas.
  • Do not panic and loose energy by crying.
  • Do not touch or walk over loose material and electrical wiring or pole.
  • Do not built houses near steep slopes and near drainage path.
  • Do not drink contaminated water directly from rivers, springs, wells but rain water if collected directly without is fine.
  • Do not move an injured person without rendering first aid unless the casualty is in immediate danger.

Cyclones

When the Cyclone starts

  • Listen to the radio (All India Radio stations give weather warnings).
  • Keep monitoring the warnings. This will help you prepare for a cyclone emergency.
  • Pass the information to others.
  • Ignore rumours and do not spread them; this will help to avoid panic situations.
  • Believe in the official information
  • When a cyclone alert is on for your area continue normal working but stay alert to the radio warnings.
  • Stay alert for the next 24 hours as a cyclone alert means that the danger is within 24 hours.

When your area is under cyclone warning get away from low-lying beaches or other low-lying areas close to the coast

  • Leave early before your way to high ground or shelter gets flooded
  • Do not delay and run the risk of being marooned
  • If your house is securely built on high ground take shelter in the safe part of the house. However, if asked to evacuate do not hesitate to leave the place.
  • Board up glass windows or put storm shutters in place.
  • Provide strong suitable support for outside doors.
  • If you do not have wooden boards handy, paste paper strips on glasses to prevent splinters. However, this may not avoid breaking windows.
  • Get extra food, which can be eaten without cooking. Store extra drinking water in suitably covered vessels.
  • If you have to evacuate the house move your valuable articles to upper floors to minimize flood damage.
  • Ensure that your hurricane lantern, torches or other emergency lights are in working condition and keep them handy.
  • Small and loose things, which can fly in strong winds, should be stored safely in a room.
  • Be sure that a window and door can be opened only on the side opposite to the one facing the wind.
  • Make provision for children and adults requiring special diet.
  • If the centre of the cyclone is passing directly over your house there will be a lull in the wind and rain lasting for half an hour or so. During this time do not go out; because immediately after that, very strong winds will blow from the opposite direction.
  • Switch off the electrical mains in your house.
  • Remain calm.

When Evacuation is Instructed

  • Pack essentials for yourself and your family to last a few days. These should include medicines, special food for babies and children or elders.
  • Head for the proper shelter or evacuation points indicated for your area.
  • Do not worry about your property
  • At the shelter follow instructions of the person in charge.
  • Remain in the shelter until you are informed to leave

Post - Cyclone Measures

  • You should remain in the shelter until informed that you can return to your home.
  • You must get inoculated against diseases immediately.
  • Strictly avoid any loose and dangling wires from lamp posts.
  • If you have to drive, do drive carefully.
  • Clear debris from your premises immediately.
  • Report the correct losses to appropriate authorities.

Heat Wave

Heat Wave conditions can result in physiological strain, which could even result in death.

To minimize the impact during the heat wave and to prevent serious ailment or death because of heat stroke, you can take the following measures:

  • Avoid going out in the sun, especially between 12.00 noon and 3.00 p.m.
  • Drink sufficient water and as often as possible, even if not thirsty
  • Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose, and porous cotton clothes. Use protective goggles, umbrella/hat, shoes or chappals while going out in sun.
  • Avoid strenuous activities when the outside temperature is high. Avoid working outside between 12 noon and 3 p.m.
  • While travelling, carry water with you.
  • Avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks, which dehydrates the body.
  • Avoid high-protein food and do not eat stale food.
  • If you work outside, use a hat or an umbrella and also use a damp cloth on your head, neck, face and limbs
  • Do not leave children or pets in parked vehicles
  • If you feel faint or ill, see a doctor immediately.
  • Use ORS, homemade drinks like lassi, torani (rice water), lemon water, buttermilk, etc. which helps to re-hydrate the body.
  • Keep animals in shade and give them plenty of water to drink.
  • Keep your home cool, use curtains, shutters or sunshade and open windows at night.
  • Use fans, damp clothing and take bath in cold water frequently.

TIPS FOR TREATMENT OF A PERSON AFFECTED BY A SUNSTROKE:

  • Lay the person in a cool place, under a shade. Wipe her/him with a wet cloth/wash the body frequently. Pour normal temperature water on the head. The main thing is to bring down the body temperature.
  • Give the person ORS to drink or lemon sarbat/torani or whatever is useful to rehydrate the body.
  • Take the person immediately to the nearest health centre. The patient needs immediate hospitalisation, as heat strokes could be fatal.

Nuclear-Radiological Emergency

DO's

  1. Go indoors. Stay inside.
  2. Switch on the radio/television and look out for public announcements from your local authority.
  3. Close doors/windows.
  4. Cover all food, water and consume only such covered items.
  5. If in the open, cover your face and body with a wet handkerchief, towel, dhoti or sari. Return home, change/remove clothes. Have a complete wash and use fresh clothing.
  6. Extend full cooperation to local authorities and obey their instructions completely -- be it for taking medication, evacuation, etc.
  7. You must be aware of nuclear radiation hazard. Discuss on Nuclear radiation safety among children and family members, to reduce their fear of radiation.

Dont's

  1. Do not panic.
  2. Do not believe in rumours passed on by word of mouth from one person to another.
  3. Do not stay outside/or go outside.
  4. As far as possible, AVOID water from open wells/ponds; exposed crops and vegetables; food, water or milk from outside.
  5. Do not disobey any instruction of the district or civil defence authorities who would be doing their best to ensure the safety of you, your family and your property.

Chemical Disaster

Precautions to be taken during and after the Chemical (Industrial) Accidents

  1. Do not panic, evacuate calmly and quickly perpendicular to wind direction through the designated escape route
  2. Keep a wet handkerchief or piece of cloth/ sari on face during evacuation
  3. Keep the sick, elderly, weak, handicapped and other people who are unable to evacuate inside house and close all the doors and windows tightly.
  4. Do not consume the uncovered food/ water etc open to the air, drink only from bottle
  5. Change into fresh clothing after reaching safe place/ shelter, and wish hands properly
  6. Inform Fire & Emergency Services, Police and medical services from safe location by calling 101, 100 and 108 respectively.
  7. Listen to PA (Public Addressal) System of the plant/ factory, local radio/ TV channels for advice from district administration/fire/health/police and other concerned authorities
  8. Provide correct and accurate information to government official.
  9. Inform others on occurrence of event at public gathering places (like school, shopping centre, theatre etc.).
  10. Don’t pay attention to the rumours and don’t spread rumours.

General Precautions During Normal Time

  1. Do not smoke, lit fire or spark in the identified hazardous area
  2. Sensitize the community living near the industrial units and they should be more vigilant about the nature of industrial units and associated risks.
  3. Keep the contact numbers of nearest hazardous industry, fire station, police station, control room, health services and district control room, for emergency use.
  4. Avoid housing near the industries producing or processing the hazardous chemicals, if possible.
  5. Participate in all the capacity building programmes organized by the government/ voluntary organizations / industrial units.
  6. Take part in preparing disaster management plan for the community and identify safe shelter along with safe and easy access routes.
  7. Prepare a family disaster management plan and explain it to all the family members.
  8. Make the family/ neighbours aware of the basic characteristics of various poisonous/ hazardous chemicals and the first aid required to treat them.
  9. Adequate number of personal protective equipments needs to be made available, to deal with emergency situation.
  10. Prepare an emergency kit of items and essentials in the house, including medicines, documents and valuables.

Biological Disaster

BEFORE THE DISASTER

A. Plan for Family Biological Disaster Plan.

B. Preparation by ensuring Prevention measures:-

     (a). Personal cleanliness - daily bath, don’t grow long nails and wear clean clothes.

     (b). Hand Hygiene (Wash hands with soap and water before preparing food or eating, after passing stools, coughing or sneezing).

     (c). Eat nutritious and balanced food.

     (d). Immunisation state should be upto date.

     (e). Prevent overcrowding.

     (f). Good ventilation.

     (g). Protect from hot and cold weather.

     (h). Health Education.

     (i). Surveillance.

C. Take a First Aid and Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training.

D. Subscribe to a Medical Insurance Plan.

3. DO’s & DON’TS

A. DIARRHOEAL GROUP OF DISEASES INCLUDING CHOLERA

    Do’s

    1. Hand Hygiene.

    2. Encourage drinking of water from a safe source or water that has been disinfected (chlorinated). Add bleaching powder in all community wells at regular intervals. Use water pumped out from India Mark II hand pumps, if installed in the village / community.

     3. Drink boiled potable water in an emergency that has been boiled for at least 15 minutes and consumed it the same day.

     4. Promote storage of water in narrow mouthed container.

     5. Cook food thoroughly especially meat, poultry, eggs and seafood until it is steaming and eat it while it is still hot.  

     6. Ensure cooked meat and poultry is safe and no part of the meat discoloured or foul smelling, or in the case of egg, their shells are not cracked.                                                 

     7. If food is not eaten immediately, reheat cooked until it is steaming hot prior to serving.

     8. Keep food items covered.

     9. Increase fluid intake as soon as diarrhoea starts by drinking ORS solution or home-made preparation of Table Salt 5 grams (1 teaspoon) in and 20 grams (4 teaspoons) of Sugar dissolved in 1 litre of drinking water.

     10. Encourage banana eating, which provides potassium.

      11. Continue feeding children when they are sick and to continue breastfeeding if the child is being breast fed. 

      12. Refer the diarrhoea case to the nearest health facility in case of the following : Child is irritable, restless or lethargic or unconscious: eating or drinking poorly; child has marked thirst; child has fever or blood in stool.

       Don’ts :

       1. Do not drink water from unsafe sources.

       2. Do not eat uncooked food unless it is peeled or shelled. 

       3. Do not leave cooked food at room temperature longer than 2 hours.

       4. Do not consume cut fruits from vendors.

       5. Do not defecate in open area.

       6. Do not give access to rats and houseflies in your premises.

B. RESPIRATORY GROUP OF DISEASES LIKE TUBERCULOSIS, INFLUENZA, CHICKENPOX, MENINGITIS

       Do’s and Don’ts:

       1. Avoid close contact with people who are having respiratory illness.

       2. The sick person should stay at home, and avoid going into the community, school/office, public places for at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved.

       3. Sick persons at home should keep distance from others. 

       4. Respiratory Hygiene / Cough Etiquette:-

           (a). Cover the nose/mouth with a handkerchief/ tissue paper when coughing or sneezing which should be disposed off in dustbins;

           (b). Perform hand hygiene (e.g., frequent hand washing with soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic hand wash) and thoroughly dried preferably using disposable tissue/ paper/ towel after contact after having contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects / materials.

       5. Triple layer surgical Mask of standard and certified make should be worn by Suspected / probable / confirmed cases of influenza or by the care provider in home care settings and close family contacts of such cases undergoing home care. 

       6. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. 

       7. Avoid smoking.

       8. Persons who have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath should seek immediate medical attention and report to the nearby hospital.

       9. If sick persons must go into the community (e.g., to seek medical care), then they should wear a face mask or use a handkerchief or tissues to cover any coughing and sneezing so as to reduce the risk of spreading the infection in the community.

       10. Immunization status should be upto date as per National Universal Immunisation Programme.

C. MOSQUITO BORNE DISEASES LIKE MALARIA, DENGUE, FILARIA, CHIKUNGUNYA

        Do’s

        1. Follow “sun-down sleeves-down” approach. Wear clothes that cover arms and legs.

        2. Prevent water collections on ground and other places to prevent malaria breeding.

        3. Empty water containers at least once a week.

        4. Remove water from coolers from time to time.

        5. Cover and seal any septic tanks.

        6. Use Mosquito Nets preferably Insecticide Treated Bed Nets (ITBN).

        7. Apply insect repellants while sleeping to keep away mosquitoes.

        8. Seek medical advice in case of rashes, mental irritation or unconsciousness..

        Don’ts

        1. Do not encourage children to wear shorts and half sleeved clothing.

        2. Do not allow water to stagnate.

        3. Do not allow discarded items to accumulate such as tires, tubes, empty coconut shells, household items and objects wherein water may collect.

        4. Do not bathe in village ponds and allow cattle to take bath in the same pond.

 

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