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Shelter Disaster Checklist
R. Jerry Adams, Ph.D.

City administrators need to know how buildings need to be designed to be hardened to withstand a Category 5 hurricane or a flood/storm surge/tsunami. Administrators also need to know how to equip sites designated as shelters for evacuees of floods. Schools, government buildings, medical facilities, and other structures may be designated as disaster sites and "hardened" for the purpose. The following checklist will help determine what is essential to last up to a week without outside assistance. The checklist assumes no outside sources of electricity, water, or food will be available.

Shelter Construction, Equipment, and Supplies

A. Building Structures (check):
__protected solar roof tiles for backup electricity through fuel cells
__biodiesel generator in hardened position on upper floor
__round shape (or facade) of building to redirect and withstand Category 5 hurricanes
__upper level windowless, ventilated rooms in the center with reinforced walls and secure doors for safety during hurricanes or an attack by intruders
__water tanks (with pumps) in the reinforced attic of the building (for water and water pressure when city water is lost)
__single valve to turn off all city water and convert to water tank supplies
__single valve to turn off gas
__single switch to turn off electricity grid for building and replace with generator-based electricity
__heavily insulated room and door with refrigeration unit in an upper floor

B. Water (check):
__turn off water supply for hot water heater (to prevent contaminated water from entering)
__gallon water containers
__foam ice chests with covers, filled with ice
__sturdy cups or glasses for drinking
__pots with lids (for heating water)
__camping stoves (for boiling "clean" water to ensure that it is sanitary or distilling polluted water)
__large (pot-size) freezer bags (for catching distilled water: get condensed water to drip from pot the lid) Water must be distilled if it is polluted; boiling will not be sufficient to make it safe

C. Food (check):
__canned food with high energy value, such as tuna
__other high energy food not needing refrigeration, such as peanut butter
__plates, bowls, spoons, forks, knifes, manual can openers
__small, heavily insulated room and door that can be refrigerated

D. Security (check):
__armed national guard or other security stationed at each shelter
__pictures of each family member with each family member
__agreement of out of state "safe" number for each family member
__install check valves in all basins, tubs, and showers to prevent sewer from backing up into the building

E. Sanitation (check):
__toilet paper
__large garbage can with lid and large garbage bags with ties

F. Rescue (check):
__ a hand-crank-powered radio/light/sirene for news and to help notify rescuers of your presence, especially at night. A TV tuner would also be helpful since local radio stations with reporters are almost a thing of the past.
__ax or hachet for cutting though roof or blocked exits

G. First Aid (check):
__first aid kits

H. Comfort/Rest (check):
__folding cots
__spare socks and underwear
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