A Citizen’s Guide to Emergencies

We at the Dover Emergency Management Agency have published this guide with the assistance of FEMA to help the citizens of Dover prepare for a variety of emergencies.

Being prepared and understanding what to do can reduce fear, anxiety and losses that accompany disasters. Families and individuals should know what to do in a fire and where to seek shelter in a storm. They should be ready to evacuate their homes, take refuge in public shelters and know how to care for their basic medical needs. You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area- hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme cold or flooding. You should also be ready to be self sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water and sanita­tion. Share this reference with your household. Include everyone in the planning process. Teach children how to respond to emergencies. Give them a sense of what to expect. Being prepared, understanding your risks and taking steps to reduce those risks can reduce the damages caused by hazards

Shelter

In times of major storms or disasters, we will open the emergency shelter at the Town Hall. If you feel you need emergency shelter at any other time, please call our office and arrangements will be made.

Disaster Supply Kits

You may need to survive on your own for three days or more. This means having your own water, food and emergency supplies. Try using backpacks or duffel bags to keep the supplies together.

You should prepare emergency supplies for the following situations:

  • A disaster supply kit with essential food, wa­ter, and supplies for at least three days-this kit should be kept in a designated place and be ready to “grab and go” in case you have to leave your home quickly because of a disaster, such as a flash flood or major chemical emer­gency. Make sure all household members know where the kit is kept.
  • Consider having additional supplies for shel­tering or home confinement for up to two weeks.

Health and Safety

Your first concern after a disaster is your house­hold’s health and safety. Be aware of new hazards created by the disaster. Watch for washed out roads, gas leaks, contaminated water, broken glass and damaged wires. Do not try to do too much at one time. It is important that you conserve your resources. Also, inform local authorities about health and safety hazards, including chemical re­leases, downed power lines, washed out roads, smoldering insulation or dead animals.

Prepare a Family Plan

Talk with your household about potential emer­gencies and how to respond to each. Talk about what you would need to do in an evacuation. Plan how your household would stay in contact if you were separated. Identify two meeting places: the first should be near your home- 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 for household members to call to say they are okay.

School Information

The Dover-Sherborn public schools, K-12, have prepared extensively for the safety of its students and personnel in the event of a national or local disaster. Each school has established an Emer­gency Response Team and prepared guidelines for dealing with individual tragedies as well as broader local or national emergency situations. It is recommended that every family have in its pos­session the following:

  • All emergency phone numbers and contact people in the school your child attends.
  • An individual family communication plan to include what happens should a catastrophic event occur when the family is not together.
  • A clear understanding of the evacuation procedures and plan for each individual child and his/her school.