School of Medicine

Internal Medicine

Emergency Preparedness

Prepare yourself and your family

Disasters can strike at any time, even while at work. It is of the utmost importance to be prepared in case a disaster were to strike our area. Over the next year, employees of the Department of Internal Medicine will follow steps to create a grab-and-go emergency kit and a personal emergency plan that they can utilize at work and at home. 

Each step will be posted on a bi-monthly basis, ensuring that all employees have two months to complete each step in the emergency preparedness plan. 

Emergency Preparedness Plan

Step 1

• Obtain a grab-and-go bag or backpack to store your disaster items in. It does not need to be expensive, but it should be strong and durable enough for your needs.
• Fill out or update your personal emergency plan
• Obtain an encrypted password protected thumb drive to upload all personal, critical documents and information. Personal, critical documents may include birth certificates, passports, IDs, social security cards, etc. Critical documents do not include work-related documents or documents that contain PHI (private health information). 

Step 2

• Pack enough food and water for at least 96 hours.
• Don't forget critical prescriptions medications and glasses
• Store $10-$20 in small bills and quarters (with more being added in the following steps)

Step 3

• Pack first aid kit items to include: medications (aspirin, benadryl, anti-diarrheal, etc.), compress dressing, adhesive and roller bandages, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic, emergency blanket, cold compress, nonlatex gloves, hydrocortisone oitnment, oral thermometer, triangular bandages, tweezers, scissors, cloth tape and a first aid guide
• Store $10-$20 in small bills and quarters (with more being added in the following steps)

Step 4

• Pack hygiene and personal care items such as: soaps, lotions, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, combs and/or brushes, razors, shaving cream, wet wipes or moist towelettes 
• Store $10-$20 in small bills and quarters (with more being added in the following steps)

Step 5

• Pack standard "tool kit" items such as: leather gloves, safety goggles, flash light/head lamp, extra batteries (try to stick with AA), whistle, can opener, knife, AM/FM battery radio, pen/pencil, notepad
• Also consider packing these optional tool kit items: para cord (100'), duct tape, sewing kit, fire starter, sleeping bag, binoculars, hand warmers, compass/GPS, glowsticks, trash or Ziploc bags, solar cell phone charger
• Store $10-$20 in small bills and quarters (with more being added in the following steps)

Step 6

• Pack clothing essentials: 2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of underwear, hat, rain poncho.
• Pack good shoes - crocs, high heels, etc. are not safe or comfortable for walking in debris or long distances in an emergency. Keep comfortable tennis shoes or boots handy.
• Think seasonally when packing clothes. Be sure to pack for winter months by including warm gloves, a scarf, beanie and a warm jacket. For summer months, consider sunglasses.
• Store $10-$20 in small bills and quarters (with more being added in the following steps)

Earthquake Tips & Tricks

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, a 5.7 earthquake shook Salt Lake City and surrounding regions. Earthquakes like this can occur suddenly and without warning, so a few tips and tricks have been assembled to help prepare employees for the next "big shake." Earthquakes can often be so violent that it is impossible to walk or crawl, but your best defense is to immediately protect yourself as best as possible where you are. 

Basic Recommendations:

  • DROP - Drop to your hands and knees and crawl (if possible) to the nearest shelter.
  • COVER - Seek cover under a sturdy table or desk, or if none available, sit with your back against an interior wall away from windows. Do NOT get in a doorway. 
  • HOLD - Hold onto your shelter, or if none available, hold your head and neck to protect from falling debris.

Most earthquake-related injuries within the United States do not occur from collapsing structures, but from flying debris. Be sure to avoid areas where things might fall off walls, and do NOT go outside during the quake if you are indoors (the area near exterior walls of a building is the most dangerous place to be), and protect your head and your neck. 

Situations Where DROP, COVER & HOLD May Not Work:

In some situations, you might not be able to use DROP, COVER & HOLD. Review these situations and alternative methods to stay safe during an earthquake.

  • If you are driving a vehicle, pull over, avoid structures and power lines, set your parking break and remain in the car until the earthquake stops.
  • If you are in bed, stay in bed but lie on your stomach (to protect your vital organs) and protect your head and neck with a pillow. 
  • If you are seated and cannot get to the ground, bend over and hold your neck with both hands. If you are seated in a wheelchair, lock the wheels. 

For more detailed and specific instructions on how to handle earthquakes in various circumstances, please visit the Great Utah ShakeOut website or earthquakecountry.org/step5

In the event of a significant earthquake, you may need to evacuate your home and building for some time. We encourage employees to review this website to put together 96-hour kits for both home and office.