When a Disaster or Emergency Happens

This page will give you some tips on how to know when there is an emergency, information about different types of disasters that could happen in the St. Charles area, and advice on how you can stay safe if and when they do.

How You Will Know When a Disaster Happens

There are different ways that you will find out that an emergency or disaster is happening. Weather warnings will usually be given on television and radio. A “severe weather watch” means a severe storm might develop. A “severe weather warning” means that severe weather has already developed, and that you should seek shelter right away. In other situations, a siren could sound, or you may be contacted by phone. Emergency workers may drive by and give instructions over a loudspeaker, or they might even come to your door. In the meantime, you should listen to radio or television for further emergency information.

What to Do Until Help Arrives
If someone with you is sick or hurt, follow these basic first aid steps – Check – Call – Care:

  • Check the scene. Make sure it is safe for you to get closer, then check the injured person to see if she/he has any life-threatening conditions (i.e., constant or sudden chest pain, trouble breathing, heavy bleeding, lack of consciousness, or severe injuries from falls, head wounds, or burns).
  • Call for help. If the injured person has any of the life-threatening conditions listed above, call 911 right away, or have someone else call while you stay with the person.
  • Care. Do your best to comfort the sick person and prevent further injury until emergency workers arrive. Here are some ways you can help:

    Control Bleeding

    • Cover wounds with a pad, bandage, or cloth and press firmly.
    • If there are no broken bones, lift and keep the injured area above the level of the heart.
    • If the bleeding does not stop, put on extra bandages, and squeeze the artery against the bone at a point between the injury and the heart (usually inner legs or inner arms).

    Care for Shock

    • Keep the injured person from getting either too cold or too hot.
    • Lift and keep the legs about 12 inches above the floor or ground (if no broken bones).
    • Do not let the injured person eat or drink anything.

    Tend Burns

    • Cool the burned area with lots of cool water.
    • Cover the burn with a dry, clean bandage or cloth.

    Care for Injuries to Muscles, Bones and Joints

    • Apply ice or a cold pack to control swelling and lessen pain.
    • Avoid movement or activity that causes the injured person any pain.
    • If you must move the victim because the area is unsafe, try to keep the injured part still.

    Reduce Any Care Risks
    The risk of getting a disease while giving first aid is rare. To further lower the risk:

    • Avoid direct contact with blood and other body fluids.
    • Use latex or rubber gloves if you have them.
    • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water right away after giving first aid.

Basic Survival Tips
If Your Power Goes Out, remain calm, call City Electric at 630-377-4407 (during business hours) or 630-443-3681 (after business hours) to report the power outage, and follow these steps:

  • Do not call 911.
  • Use a flashlight for emergency lighting instead of candles.
  • Turn off electrical appliances you were using when the power went out.
  • Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer so they will stay cold.
  • Listen to your battery-powered radio for updated information.
  • Assist family or neighbors who may become ill from extreme heat or cold.
  • If you need to cook, use a grill or camp stove outdoors, or use your fireplace. Canned food can be heated up and eaten right out of the can (be sure to open the can and remove the label before you heat it).
  • Never run a generator, grill or kerosene heater inside a home or garage as these can cause house fires or release poisonous fumes.

If Food Supplies Are Low, healthy people can survive for a long time on half of what they would usually eat, and without any food at all for many days. Food, unlike water, may be rationed safely, except for children and pregnant women. Follow these tips if your food supply is limited during an emergency:

  • Eat salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content rather than high fat, high protein or salty foods that make you thirsty.
  • If at home, use up foods from your refrigerator and freezer first, then use the canned foods, dry mixes, and other things you already have on your cupboard shelves.
  • Do continue to drink water and other liquids as normal, if you can.
updated Mar 23, 2018


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