Emergencies Happen

Get Ready-In-3

Create a plan. Prepare a kit. Listen for information about where to go and what to do during an emergency.

What We Do

Public Health

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infant boy in car seat sleeping


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Public Health is Preparation

We Are Here to Help When Disaster Strikes

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has developed an emergency program called Ready In 3.

Detailed Emergency Preparing Information

What is Emergency Preparedness?

1. What is health?

Health is the state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infection.

2. What is public health?

Public health is the science and art of preventing disease and injuries, prolong life, and promote physical and mental health and efficiency through organized community efforts.

3. What is a public health emergency?

A public health emergency is a situation whose health consequences have the potential to overwhelm routine community capabilities to address them.

4. What are some emergency preparedness initiatives in Lafayette County?

Lafayette County Health Department is partners with nursing homes, school districts, churches, emergency managers, EMS, and law enforcement to name a few, that work collaboratively to educate and respond in an emergency. We are prepared to respond to a major medical issue or bioterrorist event.

5. What are some of the specific risks to the citizens of Lafayette County?

The residents of Lafayette County are vulnerable to pandemics, bioterrorist attacks, chemical incidents, and natural disasters such as tornados, flooding, severe weather, and earthquakes.

6. What is an open Point of Dispensing (POD)?

An open POD is a site that is setup and operated by the Lafayette County Health Department to provide life-saving medications to the general population in the event of a public health emergency.

7. What is a closed POD site?

A closed POD is a private location where medications are dispensed to the organization’s employees and/or family members and others.  A closed POD is not intended to serve medical countermeasures to the general public.

8. Does Lafayette County Public Health recruit volunteers for emergency preparedness?

Yes. The Health Department maintains a database of licensed medical volunteers and non-medical volunteers who wish to offer assistance in the event of a public
health emergency.  Learn more.

For additional information, contact the Lafayette County
Health Department 660-259-4371.

Create a Plan

Create a Plan

Develop an emergency plan for you and your family. Your family might not be together when an emergency happens. That is why it is important to have a plan in place. The entire family should know and understand the plan. Talk about how you will reach each other in different situations. 

Plan For Two Situations – Staying Home or Leaving

You should be prepared to stay in one place or to evacuate. Deciding whether it is best to stay or go depends on the type of emergency. Officials may tell you what you need to do. In some cases, limited communications and information may require you to decide what is best for you and your family.

  • Watch TV or listen to the radio to get as much information as possible.
  • Try to stay calm and keep your family calm.

Prepare A Shelter At Home

Before an emergency, decide which room in your house will be the safest if you have to shelter in place. The room should be in the interior of the house. Pick a room with few windows and doors. Here are a few things to consider:

  • There should be enough space in the room for all family members and pets.
  • Exterior doors to the house should be locked.

In an emergency where poisons are in the air, you may have to seal the room as best you can. This involves:

  • Closing windows, air vents, and fireplace dampers.
  • Turning off air conditioners, forced air heating systems, exhaust fans, and clothes dryers.
  • If instructed, seal doors and air vents with heavy-duty plastic sheeting and heavy-duty tape.
  • Keep emergency supplies in this room.
  • Listen to the television or a battery-powered radio for information.

Know Where To Go If You Have To Leave

Sometimes it may not be safe to stay in your home. Plan where family members can meet. Know where you will go and how you will get there.

  • Plan several different routes in different directions.
  • If you are driving, keep windows and vents closed, and air conditioning and heat off.
  • Bring an emergency kit with you.
  • If you can, bring your pets. However, many public shelters won’t allow pets. Have a plan for your pet’s care in case you can’t bring your pet with you.
Listen for Information

It is important to stay calm in an emergency. Get as much information about the situation as possible. Many of us rely on TV, the radio, or the internet for news. However, some emergencies result in power outages. Make sure to have a battery-powered radio with extra batteries.

City, county, and state officials have developed emergency plans. During an emergency, it is important to follow their instructions and advice. They will provide you with the latest information.

Emergency Planning if You Have a Child in School

Many schools have their own emergency plans. Officials at your child’s school should have current contact information for you and another family member. Make sure they have up-to-date work, home, and cell phone numbers. Provide an email address if possible.

It is important to ask your child’s teacher or principal how they will contact parents in case of an emergency. You should also know what steps will be taken to protect the students. Some questions you might ask include:

  • How will you reach me if there is an emergency?
  • Do you regularly practice fire, earthquake, tornado, and terrorism drills?
  • Is there enough water and food stored at the school for all the children?
  • What first-aid supplies are at the school?
  • Are the teachers and administrators prepared to “shelter in place”?
  • Do you have a plan to separate those students who may have been exposed to chemicals, bacteria, or viruses from others?
  • Where will the students be taken if they must evacuate the school?
Emergency Planning at Work

Your employer may have a building evacuation plan. Some companies practice regular emergency evacuation drills. There should be a meeting place outside your building where everyone can gather.

But don’t rely on your employer for everything. Keep your own supply of fresh water and canned food at your desk or in your locker. A flashlight and battery-powered radio may also be helpful. Everyone should consider keeping a change of clothes at work. A pair of strong, practical shoes or boots should be included.

Emergency Planning for Individuals with Special Needs and Older Adults

Older adults and disabled persons living in special-care facilities should review the building’s emergency plans. Know where your medicines and special medical equipment are located in case you need to have someone get it during an evacuation. Equipment such as wheelchairs, canes, or walkers should be labeled with your name.

People living at home who are disabled or have special medical needs should identify people who can help during an emergency. Make sure these people know where you keep your emergency supplies. Give someone a key to your house or apartment.

Medical alert tags or bracelets will help identify your disability if you need medical attention. If you need dialysis or another life-sustaining treatment, know the location of more than one facility. A supply kit for people with special needs should include the following additional items:

  • A list of prescription and nonprescription medicines, including dosages
  • A list of allergies
  • Extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries, if necessary
  • Extra wheelchair batteries or other special equipment, if necessary
  • A list of the brand/style and serial numbers of medical devices
  • Copies of medical insurance and Medicare cards
  • A list of doctors
  • A list of emergency contacts and family
  • Phone numbers of close neighbors who can help
Emergency Planning for Pets

Make sure your pets have identification tags and up-to-date vaccinations (shots). If you must leave home, bring your pet with you, if possible. You can plan ahead by creating a supply kit for your pet that includes extra food, water, and medicine. A carrier and leash will also be important. For cats, remember to include extra litter.

Natural Disaster Recovery Tips for College Students

Get details about how to recover from a natural disaster while living on campus.


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