Emergency Information

"Nobody plans to fail,
but many have
failed to plan."




First Aid


Grab N' Go Bag

Home Safety

Household / Family


Power Outage

Seniors & Disabled


Terror Attack

Thunder storms




This is by no means a comprehensive list of precautions, supplies, web sites or possible disasters. It is our attempt to try and put together a "one stop shop" where you can get good basic information on planning for, reacting to and surviving some of the most common disasters that can occur in the Midwest. If you find a web page, pamphlet or book that you think would be a good addition to this page please let me know.

Children (Also see Family | Grab N' Go Bag)



Other Sites:

EarthquakeEarthquake (Also see Fire | Grab-N-Go bag | Utilities )

FEMA web info on Earthquakes


Immediate risk:
If you smell gas, smoke or see fire or otherwise fear for your safety, evacuate household occupants immediately.  From a safe location, call 9-1-1 and report the incident.

General evacuation orders:
If local officials issue evacuation orders, use the evacuation routes and methods specified; carpool whenever possible. If time allows:

Disaster Shelters
Immediately following a large disaster, suitable shelter sites will be selected from a predesignated list based on areas of need and estimated numbers of displaced persons. Each site must be inspected for safety prior to being opened to the public. Therefore, it is not possible to say with advance certainty which sites will actually operate as disaster shelters. As soon as disaster sites have been formally designated, this list will be announced through local media to the public. If it is unsafe to shelter-in-place, and you do not have an alternative, evacuate to a designated emergency shelter.


Family (Also see: Children | Grab N' Go bag)

Talk with your family about potential disasters and why it's necessary to prepare for them. Involve each member of your family in the planning process. By showing them simple steps that can increase their safety, you can help reduce their fear of emergencies.


| FEMA web info | Fire Safety | Fire Safety publications | Fire Prevention | Fire Safety for Kids* |

If your smoke detector goes off or you see a fire:

Information on wildfires can be found here.

*Thanks to Camp Price in Prentice, Wisconsin for finding this link and sending to us.

First Aid

| First Aid | First Aid Kits |

In any emergency, you or a family member may be cut, burned or suffer other injuries. Keep the following basic first aid supplies so you are prepared to help when someone is hurt.

| Back to the top... |

Food (Also see Power Outage)

When a disaster occurs, you might not have access to food, water and electricity for days, or even weeks. Store enough emergency food to provide for your family for at least 3 days.

Grab N' Go Bag (Also see First Aid)

A component of your disaster kit is your Go-bag. Put the following items together in a backpack or another easy to carry container in case you must evacuate quickly.  Prepare one Go-bag for each family member and make sure each has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work, considering what you would need for your immediate safety.

heatExtreme Heat

sunCool Tips for Beating the Heat

Hot weather can be dangerous to your health. Learn about the potential health risks of extreme heat and discover ways to protect yourself and your neighbors, especially the elderly, who are more prone to heat stress.

It's 9:00 am. You check the weather report because your company picnic will be at the park later in the afternoon. The temperature is already 80°, and the high is supposed to be near 100°. You're probably wondering how on earth you will survive the heat.

For some people, summertime tends to be packed with outdoor activities. On the other hand, there are other individuals, such as at-risk elderly people (aged 65 or older) who may spend most of the time indoors, but have no air conditioning. Before you head outside for the summer, or if you are an at-risk elderly person who will be mostly indoors without air conditioning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge you to understand what extreme heat is, become familiar with its potential health risks, and discover ways to protect yourself.

What is Extreme Heat?

Extreme heat is weather characterized by temperatures that hover 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for the region and lasts for several weeks. Associated with extreme heat are humid or muggy conditions, which add to the discomfort of high temperatures.

What Are the Potential Health Risks Associated with Extreme Heat?

Your body has an internal thermostat that is designed to help you maintain proper body temperatures. However, sometimes extreme heat can cause your thermostat to malfunction, which can result in one or more of the following conditions:

How Can I Protect Myself From Heat-Related Illness?

Photo: Tourist with bottle of waterBecause hot weather can be dangerous to your health, being indoors and taking advantage of air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. However, if you must be outside during extremely hot weather, learn how to protect yourself from heat-related illness.

For example, be sure to do the following:

Elderly people, however, are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons. For example:

Photo: Elderly man sittingIf you are elderly and are without air conditioning, here are some helpful tips for avoiding heat-related stress:

Would you like to help your at-risk elderly relatives or neighbors?

Elderly people (that is, people aged 65 years and older) are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons:

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body's temperature rises rapidly, the body loses its ability to sweat, and it is unable to cool down. Body temperatures rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Warning signs vary but may include the following:

  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Heat Exhaustion

    Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.

    Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

    Warning signs vary but may include the following:

    What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

    You can follow these prevention tips to protect yourself from heat-related stress:

    What You Can Do to Help Protect Elderly Relatives and Neighbors

    If you have elderly relatives or neighbors, you can help them protect themselves from heat-related stress:

    What You Can Do for Someone with Heat Stress

    If you see any signs of severe heat stress, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the affected person. Do the following:

    Home Safety

    | Home Safety Council | Home Safety Checklist |

    During a disaster, ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage. However, there are simple steps you can take to make your home safer. Start by viewing each room with a "disaster eye" and identify potential hazards – bookshelves that could tip over in an earthquake and block exits or heavy objects that could fall and cause injury.

    PhonePhones (See also Emergency Contacts)

    Plan for how you will communicate with loved ones after a disaster.

    Power Outage


    With power lines exposed at the top of tall skinny poles, many things can cause the wire to be cut or knocked down. High winds, ice or even a car hitting the pole are some of the most common things that cause power outages over relatively small areas. Some extreme conditions such as earthquakes or tornadoes can cause power loss over very widespread areas.

    If there is no power in your neighborhood:

    Sirens (Also see Tornado)

    Testing vs Real Emergency:

    TESTING: The sirens are tested once a month.  It will be on the 1st Wednesday of each month at 10:00 am (unless there is bad weather, then we skip the test so as not to confuse anyone about being real or a test). 

    EMERGENCY: We only set the sirens off when there is a confirmed sighting of a tornado in our area (or within an adjoining county heading our direction) or the National Weather Service sends us a teletype stating that there is tornadic activity, showing up on their radar, in our area. 

    The sirens will NOT be set off because we are under a watch or warning. What that means is that when we set them off it is time to take shelter immediately. That would not be the time to turn on the weather channel and see what’s going on.

    Tornado Watch vs Warning

    WATCH: means weather conditions are favorable for severe weather storms or tornadoes.

    WARNING: means severe weather, storms/tornadoes have been sighted and are in the area : take shelter immediately.

    The easiest way to remember the difference is a Watch means to watch the sky (conditions are favorable).  A warning means, head the warning and take shelter now.

    Taking Shelter:

    When the sirens are going off take shelter immediately.

    First of all, if you live in a mobile home "get out", there are no safe places to seek shelter in a mobile home.  If you live in a mobile home, when you hear that we are under a tornado watch, you should leave the mobile home and go to a friends house or a safe structure and wait out the storm.  If you live in a mobile home and the sirens sound, get out and got to the lowest lying area, a ditch or a ravine.

    If a tornado warning is issued and time does not permit residents to travel to a shelter, the best protection during a tornado is to quickly go to the lowest level in the building.

    The safest place to be is in the basement under something sturdy

    If there is no basement, seek shelter in a small interior room in the middle of the building, such as a closet or bathroom.

    Stay away from outside doors and windows.

    Remain in shelter until the storm has passed or the all clear is given from authorities.

    Thunderstorms and Lightning (Also see Sirens)

    |FEMA Web info | Lightning safety for Kids | Thunderstorm Safety Guide |

    Some thunderstorms can be seen approaching, while others hit without warning. It is important to learn and recognize the danger signs and to plan ahead.


    LightningLearn the thunderstorm danger signs

    Have disaster supplies on hand

    Check for hazards in the yard

    Dead or rotting trees and branches can fall during a severe thunderstorm and cause injury and damage

    Severe Thunderstorm Watches and Warnings

    A severe thunderstorm watch is issued by the National Weather Service when the weather conditions are such that a severe thunderstorm (damaging winds 58 miles per hour or more, or hail three-fourths of an inch in diameter or greater) is likely to develop. This is the time to locate a safe place in the home and tell family members to watch the sky and listen to the radio or television for more information.

    A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. At this point, the danger is very serious and everyone should go to a safe place, turn on a battery-operated radio or television, and wait for the "all clear" by the authorities.

    Learn how to respond to a tornado and flash flood.

    Tornadoes are spawned by thunderstorms and flash flooding can occur with thunderstorms. When a "severe thunderstorm warning" is issued, review what actions to take under a "tornado warning" or a "flash flood warning."

    Develop an emergency communication plan

    In case family members are separated from one another during a thunderstorm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.

    Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact". After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

    Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for more information on thunderstorms and lightning.


    If indoors

    If outdoors

    If in a car

    Estimating the Distance from a Thunderstorm

    Because light travels much faster than sound, lightning flashes can be seen long before the resulting thunder is heard. Estimate the number of miles you are from a thunderstorm by counting the number of seconds between a flash of lightning and the next clap of thunder. Divide this number by five.

    Important: You are in danger from lightning if you can hear thunder. Knowing how far away a storm is does not mean that you're in danger only when the storm is overhead.


    Hail is produced by many strong thunderstorms. Hail can be smaller than a pea or as large as a softball and can be very destructive to plants and crops. In a hailstorm, take cover immediately. Pets and livestock are particularly vulnerable to hail, so bring animals into a shelter.


    Check for injuries.

    A person who has been struck by lightning does not carry an electrical charge that can shock other people. If the victim is burned, provide first aid and call emergency medical assistance immediately. Look for burns where lightning entered and exited the body. If the strike cause the victim's heart and breathing to stop, give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until medical professionals arrive and take over.

    Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.

    Report downed utility wires.

    Drive only if necessary. Debris and washed-out roads may make driving dangerous.

    Flash Floods

    During a thunderstorm be aware that low lying areas are prone to flash flooding. Never drive into water on the road. Many people do not realize the power of flowing water. It takes less than two feet of water to make a car float. Once floating, the car will be swept downstream and will often overturn, trapping occupants inside. If your car stalls in high water, abandon it immediately - MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND.

    During the 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996 floods, 35 Missourians died when they drove their cars into flash flooding or rivers. Many of these deaths could have been avoided if people had realized the dangers of wading, bicycling or driving vehicles across flooded roads where there were rising or swift moving waters.

    Tornado Information (Also see Sirens)

    | FEMA Web info | Tornado Safety | Tornado Facts | Safety Tips

    Most tornadoes occur between March and September, but they can strike at any time, day or night. Stay alert during severe thunderstorms. Watch for a spinning, funnel-shaped cloud, or listen for a sound like the roar of a speeding train. Wherever you go, be aware of where you might take shelter. Stay tuned to your local radio station for tornado information. It could save your life.

    Tornado Myths | What to do | Facts & Figures

    Tornado Myths & Facts

    Myth: Areas near rivers, lakes and mountains are safe from tornadoes.
    Fact: No place is safe from tornadoes. They can cross rivers, travel up mountains, and roar through valleys.

    Myth: Low pressure with a tornado causes building to "explode" as the tornado passes overhead.
    Fact: Violent winds and debris slamming into buildings cause most structural damage.

    Myth: Windows should be opened before a tornado to equalize pressure and minimize damage.
    Fact: Opening windows ALLOWS damaging winds to enter the structure. Leave the windows alone; instead, go to a safe place immediately.

    TornadoWhat to do in a tornado situation

    Tornado Watch:

    A WATCH means "Watch" the sky. Weather conditions are right for tornadoes.

    Tornado Warning:

    A WARNING means a tornado has been sighted or picked up on radar.

    Take Cover Immediately!

    On The Road:

    If you are caught on the road in a tornado, leave your car immediately. Never try to outrun a tornado. Do get inside a building, if you have time. If not, lie flat in a ditch or ravine, and cover your head with your arms. Don't take cover under the car.

    At Home:

    If you are home when a tornado strikes, go to your basement, and take cover. If you don't have a basement, go to an interior room on the lowest floor, like a closet or a bathroom with no windows. It's vital to stay away from windows. Don't take the time to open them before taking cover.

    Mobile Home:

    Even the most securely anchored mobile home is not safe in a tornado. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, leave your mobile home immediately. DON'T get under your mobile home or try to outrun the tornado in your car. DO move to a nearby permanent shelter, or take cover in a ditch or ravine.


    If you're caught outside in a tornado, take cover in a ditch or ravine immediately. Lie flat with your arms over your head. If you can, wrap something around your body like a blanket or sleeping bag. Do not get under your car or camper or go into a grove of trees.

    Safety Drills:

    Do you know what to do if a tornado threatens your school, factory or office? In a tornado, take cover against a wall in the center of the building, below ground level, if possible. Stay away from windows, and avoid large open spaces like auditoriums and cafeterias. If there are no tornado drills at your school or office, suggest them. Safety drills can save lives.

    Twister Facts & Figures

    The following twister phenomenon came from "The Tornado Project" homepage at

    The region of the world where most tornadoes occur is in the central plains region of the United States.

    Generally, tornadoes move from a southwesterly direction to the northeast, parallel to the cold front line.

    Tornadoes can occur at all hours, but they are most likely to develop between 3-7 p.m., when the weather is hottest.

    A tornado's path length ranges from 10-40 miles, with an average length of 16 miles. However, the Tri-State tornado of March 18, 1925 rampaged 219 miles in an almost straight line across three states.

    A tornado's vortex produces the strongest wind speeds of any surface wind. Recent research indicates most tornadoes have wind speeds of about 112 mph.

    The average forward speed of a tornado is 25-40 mph. Speeds can range from as slow as 5 mph up to 125 mph.

    Utilities (Natural Gas | Electricity | Water)

    Natural Gas


    Electrocution can result from direct contact with live wires or anything that has been energized by these wires.

    Locate your home’s main electric switch, which is normally in the garage or outdoors, where the power lines enter the home. The panel box may have a flip switch or pull handle on a large circuit breaker.

    Shut off electricity when:


    Water leaks can cause property damage and create an electrocution hazard.

    City of Rolla, MO
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    Phone: (573) 426-6948
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