Tips for People Who Live in Rural Areas

  • Write down the exact directions to your house from the nearest widely recognized street intersection. Keep this by the phone to read to the emergency operator - this will prevent confusion and may be needed when an emergency occurs.
  • Try to avoid descriptions such as "rural route," "star route," or "P.O. Box." Rural addresses can be confusing for EMS call takers, dispatchers and responders. Instead, give exact directions to your house.
  • Know two routes to your home (if possible), in case EMS must take an alternate route due to flooding or other emergency conditions.
  • Check your property for hazards. If you have a bridge on your property, check with the local EMS or fire department to make sure their vehicles can cross it safely. Make sure your driveway is wide enough for emergency equipment.
  • Install large reflective letters and numbers on mailboxes if they are located near your driveway - otherwise consider installing a sign that includes your name and street number.
  • Turn on a porch light after calling EMS to help the ambulance locate you at night.
  • Send someone in a car out to the main road to guide the ambulance to your house.
  • Keep a first aid kit stocked in a handy location. Make sure that everyone has taken first aid and/or a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) class so that they can use the equipment if the need arises.
  • If your phone has an automatic dialing feature, include 911 or the local emergency number in the list. In any case, keep the emergency number clearly posted by the phone.
  • Keep a flashlight with fresh batteries available.
  • Keep young children away from farm machinery, silos, wells, troughs, ponds and pools.
  • Get to know your nearest neighbors and check on one another regularly. Keep your neighbors’ phone numbers handy and check in with each other during severe weather.
  • Be careful when working with machinery and other equipment. Make sure electrical equipment is de-energized and machines are shut down before working on them. If the job is too big for you, get help. Work alone only when absolutely necessary, and then only when all precautions to prevent accidents have been taken.
  • Always use the right tools for the job. Avoid shortcuts and quick fixes.
  • Keep the pantry well stocked and have enough fuel for your car and home.

Source: FEMA