Monday, September 15, 2014

National Preparedness Month: Be Prepared to Shelter-in-Place

In the event of an emergency where it is safer to stay indoors, like a major storm or hazardous materials incident; be prepared to Shelter-in-Place.

Prepare to Shelter-in-Place by identifying a room in your home that is large enough for everyone in your household, including pets; that is above street level; with as few doors and windows as possible; with access to water, electricity, a phone jack and bathroom facilities. Officials may instruct you to seal the room, so be ready to seal any doors, windows, air vents and exhaust fans with plastic sheeting and duct tape. Also, it's important to know how to turn off exhaust fans, heating and cooling systems and close any fireplace dampers.

Then, create a Shelter-in-Place Kit with at least a three day supply of the following items for everyone in your home, including pets:

  • Three gallons of drinking water per person, per day.
  • Food that will not perish easily, such as granola bars, energy bars and canned foods.
  • Manual can opener and eating utensils.
  • Plastic sheeting (pre-cut to fit your doors, windows, air vents), scissors and duct tape.
  • First-aid Kit.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
  • A whistle to signal for help.
  • Iodine tablets or one quart of unscented bleach and an eyedropper. (Disinfect water ONLY if directed to do so by health officials. To disinfect water with bleach, add 8 drops of bleach per gallon of water.)
  • Personal care items: soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper and baby wipes.
  • Phone that does not need electricity (just plugs into a phone jack).
  • Child care supplies or other special needs items like medicine or supplies for your pets.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Philadelphia Housing Authority's Queen Lane Apartment Building Implosion

Queen Lane Apartment Building

Traffic Advisory and Precautions

Due to the implosion of the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s Queen Lane high-rise apartment building, located at 301 W. Queen Lane, the Philadelphia Police Department will enforce no parking restrictions from Saturday, September 13 from 5:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the following roads:

  • Morris Street from W. Hansberry Street to W. Coulter Street
  • Pricilla Street from W. Queen Lane to W. Coulter Street
  • Alfred Street from W. Penn Street to W. Coulter Street
  • Pulaski Avenue from W. Hansberry Street to W. Coulter Street
  • New Hall Street from Queen Lane to W. Coulter Street

Vehicles left within the evacuation and dust impact zone will be towed and relocated starting at 5:00 a.m. All towed vehicles will be relocated to a legal parking space outside of the dust impact zone. Vehicles will not be towed back. Residents must dial 911 to determine where their vehicle has been moved to.

The SEPTA K bus route will be detoured around the implosion site beginning 5:00 a.m. Saturday:

  • Eastbound via Queen Lane: Right/Wissahickon Avenue, Left/Manheim Street, Left/Wayne Avenue, back to its regular route
  • Westbound Via Wayne Avenue: Right/Manheim Street, Right/Wissahickon Avenue, Left/Queen Lane

It is anticipated that the implosion will generate dust within a limited, two-block radius around the implosion site. Officials anticipate that only a small portion of the Dust Impact Zone will be impacted by the dust, which will travel in only one direction based on the day’s prevailing winds. Dust cleanup efforts will begin immediately after the implosion site is deemed safe. See attached map of the Evacuation and Dust Impact Zones.

The Health Department advises residents to protect themselves from possible harm during the implosion and advises all residents to stay away from the area. Those who are outdoors should move away from the dust cloud should it come in their direction. Officials involved in the implosion will be equipped with dust masks for their protection. Anyone who must be in the area should wear a general-purpose mask of the kind available at most home improvement stores. 

Evacuation Zone – One Block Radius around the High-Rise Building
For safety reasons, residents who live in buildings located within a one-block radius of the high-rise building are required to leave their homes for several hours by 6:00 a.m. and until the post-implosion cleanup is completed for their own safety. Residents should bring their pets with them as pets can be sensitive to dust. This area will also be posted as a No Parking Zone.  

Dust Impact Zone – Additional One Block Radius around the High-Rise Building
Residents who live within the Dust Impact Zone have been advised to “shelter in place”, which means to stay inside with doors and windows closed tightly until the post-implosion cleaning is completed. Residents in the Dust Impact Zone should bring their pets inside during the implosion. The Dust Impact Zone includes: Hansberry Street to McKean Avenue to West Coulter Street to Wayne Avenue.

To prevent the effects of dust, residents should make sure all doors and windows are closed tightly and turn off all air-intakes and exhaust fans before the implosion. Place a piece of tape or a rolled up towel in any broken windows or doors to block air gaps.

Follow #QLImplosion, @PhilaOEM, @PhillyPolice, @PHLPublicHealth, @SEPTA, @SEPTA_Bus, @SEPTA_Social, @RedPawRelief for more information.

Evacuation and Dust Zone Map

Monday, September 8, 2014

National Preparedness Month: Prepare to Evacuate with a Go Bag

In the event that you need to evacuate your home due to fire, flooding or some other emergency, it's important to have essential supplies for each member of your household ready to go in a portable kit. 

Many of these materials can be found around your home or even at a dollar store: 

  • Copies of your important documents, such as insurance cards, photo IDs, birth certificates, deeds, and proof of address. Keep these in a waterproof and portable container. 
  • Extra set of car and house keys.   
  • Credit and ATM cards.   
  • Cash, especially in small bills (ones, fives and tens).   
  • Bottled water and ready-to-eat foods, such as energy or granola bars.   
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.   
  • Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries (You can also buy wind-up radios that do not require batteries.)  
  • Medication. Be sure to refill medications before they expire. Fill out a Health Information Card or keep a list of the medications each member of your household takes, why they take them, and their dosages. Also keep copies of all prescriptions, and your doctors’ and pharmacist’s contact information.   
  • First-aid kit.   
  • Sturdy, comfortable shoes, lightweight rain gear, and a Mylar blanket.   
  • A copy of your Household Emergency Plan with important contact and meeting place information.  
  • A small regional map (Emergency Evacuation Route Map).   
  • Personal care items: hand sanitizer, feminine products, toothbrush and toothpaste, toilet paper and wipes.  
  • Special care items, including child care supplies, items for special needs and pet supplies.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

National Preparedness Month: Prepare an Emergency Plan

September is National Preparedness Month. Make sure you are prepared by taking these steps to develop an emergency plan for your household:

  • Discuss the hazards that could impact your household.
  • Write down your emergency plan or fill out this Household Emergency Plan Template.
  • Be ready to Shelter-in-Place for at least 72 hours. Shelter-in-Place means to stay in your home.
  • Have a Go Bag and be ready to evacuate.
  • Know the Evacuation Routes for your neighborhood.
  • Decide on two meeting places where household members should meet after an emergency - one right outside or close to your home and another outside your neighborhood.
  • Practice evacuating from your home using different exits and practice getting to your meeting places.
  • Ask a friend or relative who lives outside of the area to be your family's emergency contact. If local phone circuits are busy, long distance calls may be easier to make.
  • Plan for everyone in your family especially seniors, those with special needs, and non-English speakers.
  • Fill out a Health Information Card for those in your home.
  • Give everyone in your house a copy of the emergency plan and emergency contact information to keep in their wallets or backpacks.
  • Twice a year - check your emergency plan and the expiration dates of your emergency supplies when you change your clocks and smoke alarm batteries during Daylight Saving Time.
  • Don't forget to include your pets in your emergency plans. Make sure they are prepared to evacuate or shelter-in-place.
  • Sign up for ReadyNotifyPA, the region's emergency text and email alert system.
For more information on emergency preparedness, visit the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management website.