Safety & emergency preparedness

Explosion

Explosions do not always involve weapons. Transformers and generators can explode due to age or wear. Knowing how to react can help you stay safe after an explosion occurs.

On the street

  • Figure out where you are. Check to see if you are hurt and try to determine where the blast occurred.
  • Move away in the opposite direction of the blast.
  • Do not walk close to buildings, as glass and debris may still be falling.

In a building

  • Figure out where you are. Check to see if you are hurt and look for structural damage.
  • Notice any secondary hazards: fire, smoke, toxic fumes, or the smell of gas.
  • Figure out if you should evacuate or shelter-in-place.

On a train

  • Figure out where you are. Check to see if you are hurt and look for structural damage.
  • Notice any secondary hazards: fire, smoke, or toxic fumes.
  • Move as slowly as is practical, the train will be dark.
  • Carefully avoid the charged rail when exiting the train.
  • Move as a group away from the train.

Once you’re out of the danger area (at least three blocks away), try to take notes on any information you can remember about the event. This information could be helpful to communicate to law enforcement, building management, or medical professionals.

If there is a fire

  • Remember that fires often happen after a building explosion.
  • Leave the building quickly and quietly.
  • Crawl low if there is smoke.
  • Use a wet cloth, if possible, to cover your nose and mouth.
  • Use your knuckles and the back of your hand to feel the upper, lower, and middle parts of closed doors.
  • Lean your arm against the door and slowly open, if it’s not hot.
  • Look for another way out if the door is hot.
  • Don’t use elevators.
  • If you are at home, go to your previously chosen meeting place.
  • Don’t run if your your clothes catch on fire. Stop where you are, drop to the ground, and roll over and over to smother the flames.
  • Locate your family members are and keep a careful eye on small children.
  • Don’t go back into a burning building.

If you are trapped by debris

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth or clothing.
  • Move around as little as possible to avoid kicking up dust, which is harmful to inhale.
  • Use a flashlight, if possible, to help you see your surroundings.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can hear where you are. Use a whistle if you have one.
  • Shout only as a last resort, as shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

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