Pago Pago, American Samoa -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advocates that persons living in American Samoa develop a household disaster plan to prepare for a potential emergency.
The first step is to check with the Territory Emergency Management Coordinating Office (699-6481) or the American Red Cross chapter
(699-6011) to learn which natural disasters might occur in your community.
Find out whether hazardous materials are produced, stored or transported near you. Learn about possible consequences of deliberate acts of terror and ask how to prepare for each potential emergency and how to respond.
Looking outside, talk with employers and school officials about their emergency response plans. Discuss with your family potential emergencies and how to respond to each. Consider what you would need to do in the event of an evacuation.
In a natural disaster or man-made emergencies it is important to keep in touch. You should determine how your household would stay in contact with your family if separated. Identify two meeting places:
- The first should be near your home -- in case of fire, perhaps a tree or a telephone pole.
- The second should be away from your neighborhood in case you cannot return home. Pick a friend or relative who lives out of the area that your family can call to say you are okay.
Pre-planning in the face of emergencies pays off. Take the time to draw a floor plan of your home and mark two escape routes from each room. Then post emergency telephone numbers by your telephones. Teach the children how and when to call 911.
Many family members have special needs in times during a disaster and it is important to include these needs in your family disaster planning. Medication, a list of medications and prescriptions, including dosage, and list of any allergies should be in a family emergency kit. The kit should contain extra eyeglasses, extra hearing aid batteries and for medical devices, such as pacemakers, a list of styles and serial numbers.
Utilities are something we take for granted and don't think much about. It is important to evaluate the hazard they present in an emergency situation. Make sure everyone in your household knows how and when to shut off water, gas, and electricity at the main valves and switches. Consult with your local utilities if you have questions.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.