Emergency Preparedness

"Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services such as water, gas, electricity or telephones were cut off? You and your family need to be prepared to take care of yourselves for three days or more following a major disaster."

Communication and updated information is very important during times of emergency.  In order to receive updated alerts and notices, we strongly encourage you to "CONNECT WITH US" on our various social media platforms.  Click on the Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter logos below right to stay connected with the City of Monroe!

Escape Plan

In a fire or other emergency you may need to evacuate on a moment's notice. Be ready to get out fast. Develop an escape by drawing a floor plan of your residence. Show the location of doors, windows, stairways, large furniture, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, collapsible ladders, first aid kits and utility shut-off points.

Indicate at least two escape routes from each room, and mark a place outside of the home where household members. If you or someone in your household uses a wheelchair, make more than one exit from your home wheelchair accessible in case the primary exit is blocked in a disaster.

Include important points outside such as garages, patios, stairways, elevators, driveways and porches. If your home has more than two floors, use an additional sheet of paper. Practice emergency evacuation drills at lease once a year.

Effects of Relocations and Evacuations

An extensive evacuation can have considerable impact on the surrounding area, including:

  • Potential gridlock as roads clog with evacuees in addition to local traffic,
  • Overcrowding of hospitals and shelters, and
  • Inadequate local utility systems (water, sewer, electricity, etc.) as the use of these utilities may increase.

You should be aware that a mass evacuation could strain the ability of local resources; therefore, you should be as self-reliant as possible in your planning and emergency response preparations.

Shelters and Sheltering-in-Place

In an emergency, local officials often advise individuals to either: Seek an established shelter or "Shelter in Place."

Usually, people are advised to seek an established shelter when that area is at risk of a specific and immediate danger such as flood, landslide or a chemical spill. Shelters are organized and staffed by trained emergency response workers and the American Red Cross, usually a combination of professionals and volunteers, to support the physical needs of the people who must evacuate their homes. It is extremely important that you evacuate to a shelter when advised to do so by your local emergency authority.

In many circumstances, individuals in areas not directly at risk will be asked to Shelter-in-Place, usually at home, school or work. This option is also used when the outside environment is too dangerous for safe travel.

When is it Time to Relocate or Evacuate?

There are many reasons why Sheltering in Place should be the first option during emergencies. A community is safer if as few people as possible are traveling during an emergency.

You should be prepared to leave your home or office and seek public shelter if:

  • You are told by your local police, sheriff's office or fire department to evacuate. Listen to your radio or watch TV for evacuation announcements.
  • Your home or office shelter becomes unsafe due to changing conditions - like rising flood waters or fire. If possible, leave as soon as the problem becomes apparent and before a crisis.
  • Your medical condition - or that of a family member - changes such that medical assistance is required or you run out of necessary life saving medications.

Plan Ahead

As part of your emergency planning and preparation you should:

  • Choose several evacuation destinations, depending upon the type of need.
  • Call your local Red Cross, emergency management office, police, sheriff's office or fire department for the location of your nearest public shelter. If you have pets, ask authorities whether you should bring them.
  • Know the routes to several local hospitals.
  • Keep at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle at all times.

If you must evacuate, remember to take:

  • Flashlight
  • Battery powered radio
  • Waterproof outer wear and footwear
  • Extra clothing
  • Essential medicines and toiletries
  • Emergency supplies
  • Personal documents and family identification

Emergency Preparedness


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