Being prepared at the time of an emergency involves knowing where you are supposed to go and how to get there, this also goes for all your family members.
How Can I be Prepared?
You should know which direction you will be heading once you leave your home or work location. For your family, it is good to have a family plan with contact information on how you can link up with family members or to tell family members where you are located. It is very important to have and test a family emergency plan regularly. The Office of Emergency Management has developed a 72-Hour Family Emergency Plan [207k] that gives suggested information on what you can do to better prepare for tomorrow's disasters.
Preparing for an Evacuation
During an emergency and evacuation of the city or part of the city, regular routes of travel may not be available. Don't always plan on one way to evacuate your neighborhood or place of work. Normal traffic patterns and routes may be altered depending on the type of emergency. In preparing for evacuations, use the following as guidelines to better help you and your family prepare:
- Prepare an evacuation pack to take with you as part of your family disaster supply kit.
- Learn the hazards in your neighborhood. Consider the proximity of any floodplains, areas at risk of wildfire, highways, industrial facilities, pipelines, railroad tracks, and utilities.
- Plan several evacuation routes out of your neighborhood that are upstream, upwind, and uphill from any potential risks. Remember, officials may require you to use certain routes depending on the weather and other factors during an incident. Plan routes from school and work as well.
What to Do in an Emergency Evacuation
- Above all – Remain calm. Remember that you have made prearranged plans for you and your family. Obey all instructions from the emergency plan, the Police and/or Fire emergency personnel. Your first priority is to remove yourself from any danger.
- Take your evacuation kit with you
- Don't take shortcuts on the way to an assigned gathering point, as there may be risks you are unaware of
- Avoid using the telephone or cell phone unless there is a life-threatening emergency
- If instructed to leave by car, take only one vehicle. If you need a ride, ask a neighbor, if no neighbor is available to help you, listen to local radio or television stations for further instructions
- If the evacuation order allows time:
- Turn off lights and non-vital appliances
- Close and lock your windows and doors
- Check on neighbors to make sure they have been notified
- Offer help to elderly neighbors and/or those with special needs. If they need special assistance to evacuate, call 311 and tell the operator where they are, what the nature of the assistance is, and they will relay that to the appropriate agency to get them assistance in a timely manner.
- For an oil or gas emergency, anything electrical could cause a spark and ignite leaking gas
- Do not use your telephone or cellular phone
- Do not use switch on/off light switches
- Do not start an engine
- Do not activate your electric garage door opener to leave your house
- Do not try to re-light a pilot light or strike a match. Leave gas furnaces, water heaters and other gas appliances alone.
Everyone is concerned about young people in the schools.
The Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) has an extensive Safe Schools Plan, and they practice lockdown, shelter in place, and evacuations regularly.
An Incident Commander is always aware of schools in the hazard zone and gives them the highest priority.
If a school has to be evacuated, we will decide very early where those students will be taken.
We do not recommend you go to the school being evacuated, as this will only increase the congestion there.
We will broadcast where the kids are going, and make sure the 311 center knows where they are being taken.
Parents/guardians can then go there to re-unite with the youth. While at school or being bussed to relocation site, APS will generally not release students to people without making sure it is an authorized person. Regretfully in today's world there are people out there we don't want our youth turned over to.