In this chapter, you will learn what to do if you or someone you know is in a crisis situation and needs to contact an emergency line or call some of the integrated rescue system forces – the police, firefighters or the emergency medical service. We will provide you with all the important telephone numbers.
You will also find here useful tips on how to proceed if there is a threat to public safety – particularly if there is power outage, discharge of dangerous substances, if evacuation is necessary or if there is a risk of floods.
- Reporting an Incident to the Emergency Line
- What To Do When There Is Power Outage
- What To Do When There Is Discharge of Dangerous Substances
- What To Do When There Are Floods
Reporting an Incident to the Emergency Line
Are you a witness to an accident, is someone’s life in danger? Have you found a suspicious object? Do your neighbours disturb you with loud music after 10 p.m.? Here you will learn how to proceed if you, or some of the people around you, need to call the emergency medical service, the police or firefighters.
Before the call:
- Mind your own safety (keep a safe distance from the place of accident).
- Make sure you are able to describe the situation and the place.
During the call:
Tell the operator of the emergency line:
- What has happened.
- Where it happened.
- Who is calling.
- How many people need help.
- Do not hang up – the operator may want to ask further questions.
After the call:
- Do not switch your telephone off – the operator may call you back to verify or clarify some information.
All the numbers listed below can be called 24 hours a day. The telephone lines are free and they can be called even from mobile telephones with no prepaid credit and without a SIM card.
112 – Single European Emergency Number
- For situations requiring help of more than one of the integrated rescue system forces.
- This line connects all integrated rescue system forces.
- The operators speak Czech as well as foreign languages.
150 – Fire and Rescue Service
- Fires, accidents, any cases which require rescue and disposal works.
155 – Emergency Medical Service
- Failure of vital functions, serious injuries or illnesses.
158 – Police of the CR
- Threats to security (thefts, violence, finding a dead person, finding a suspicious object, a traffic accident…).
156 – Municipal Police
- Infringement of public order in the municipality.
What to Do When There Is Power Outage
Here you will learn what to be aware of when there is a prolonged power outage and how to get ready for such a situation in advance.
- Use only a torch for emergency lightning. Do not use candles for risk of fire.
- Turn off and disconnect all devices, home appliances (air conditioners) and electronics you use at home.
- Leave one lamp/light on to indicate that power supply has been restored.
- Listen to a local radio station for updates and pay attention to notifications you may receive to your mailbox.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers closed to keep your food as fresh as possible.
- If you rely on medicines which require refrigeration, it is recommended to put bottles of water into the refrigerator as water is able to maintain low temperature for a long time and medicines can then be stored in the refrigerator for several hours.
- Use your mobile phone for emergencies only. Call 112, 150, 155, 156 and 158 only to report a life-threatening emergency. If you have problems calling 112 it is good to take the SIM card out of your telephone.
- Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic signals stop working during the power outage and there is a risk of traffic jams.
- Do not switch on power generators in enclosed spaces – if you want to use them, connect the devices you need to charge directly into the sockets of the power generator; do not connect the power generator to the electrical system of the house.
- If it is cold outside, put on layers of warm clothing. Do not use equipment intended only for outdoor use for heating inside – there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If it is hot outside, do not underestimate the risk of dehydration – drink only water from a proven source (preferably bottled water).
- Hygiene – try to maintain hygiene as much as possible while respecting the needs of the others as well.
How to prepare for a blackout
Prepare an emergency kit including:
- Portable radio,
- Stockpile of water,
- Stockpile of non-perishable foods, canned food (e.g. meat and vegetables), preserves, dried meat, long-life milk, biscuits, chocolate, energy bars, dried fruit, nuts, sugar, honey, syrup etc.,
- Gas (spirit) stove,
- Sanitary products, disposable wet wipes, disinfection hand gel, Savo disinfectant.
- If you use a computer, you need to regularly back up the data and operation systems.
- Keep your car trunk at least half full.
- Prepare an evacuation bag.
Evacuation and pets:
- If you have cats or small dogs, take them with you in closable carriers. Big dogs have to be on a leash and wear muzzles.
- If you have exotic animals which can live a long time without feeding, secure them and leave them at home.
How to secure your home for evacuation:
- Turn off all power, gas and water mains (by the main circuit breakers).
- Close all windows and doors properly.
- Empty the refrigerator and the freezer and dispose of perishable food at a designated place.
- Secure your flat or house from thieves.
- Extinguish any naked flames in heating devices.
What to Do When There Is Discharge of Dangerous Substances
Accidental leakage of chemical substances is usually sudden and unexpected. In this case, it is unrealistic to rely on yourself and try to find your own shelter. It is therefore necessary to be well informed about the threat and how to proceed. This information is available in the following chapter. Make sure to read closely!
Ways of warning:
- A warning signal – general warning signal generated by acoustic sirens (a fluctuating tone for 140 seconds).
- Announcements transmitted through the municipal broadcast system or from transmitting cars, via the Internet or in the form of text messages from the local authority or the local cable television.
- Announcements on nationwide radio and television stations – for accidents on a large scale.
Any information about a possible accident should not be underestimated. Even if the information is not verified yet, it is necessary to consider it trustworthy at first!
Typical signs of an accident:
- Air waves above a crashed object,
- Unusual colour of flames when there is fire,
- Spontaneous fire on the surface of inflammable materials,
- Hiss of escaping gas, explosions, cracking of materials.
What to do:
- Do not get close to the place of the accident.
- If you are outside, look for shelter in the nearest building.
- If you are at home, do not go anywhere.
- Stay on the highest floor in the furthest room from the place of the accident.
- Do not seek shelter in cellars and underground spaces.
- Switch off air conditioning and ventilation.
- Close windows and doors and seal them with adhesive tape (this will decrease the amount of the substance penetrating into the room up to 10 times).
- If you are in a car, do not open the windows and switch off ventilation.
- Watch the media (television, local broadcast system, transmitting cars, the Internet).
- If there is no shelter nearby, leave the endangered place as quickly as possible perpendicular to the wind direction.
- If possible, use improvised protection tools.
Improvised protection tools:
- Cover your nose and mouth by a damp cloth (a folded handkerchief or a piece of fabric) and fix it with a scarf in your nape area to protect your air passages.
- Protect your head with a cap, hood or scarf, so that the headwear completely covers your forehead, ears and neck.
- Protect your eyes with tight goggles (e.g. goggles for skiing or diving) and block the air holes with a tape. If you have no such goggles, you can use a transparent plastic bag. Pull it on your head and fasten it with a lace or elastic band around your cheekbones (it must not cover your nose due to the risk of suffocation).
- Use overalls, long coats, jackets, trousers, raincoats, blankets and canvases to protect the top part of your body.
- Protect your hands by wearing rubber or leather gloves. Protect your feet by wearing Wellington boots or another type of high boots.
- Your entire body must be covered, no space may remain uncovered.
- All protection tools have to be tightened as much as possible (sleeves over gloves and trouser legs over boots have to be tightened by a lace etc.).
In this chapter you will learn what to do during an evacuation, i.e. in a situation when you have to move yourself, your pets or some objects away from high risk areas to safety. You can also read a detailed description of what to pack in an evacuation bag.
Information about evacuation is provided by mass media, emergency services, employers etc.
It is important to obey the instructions of the evacuation authorities and to arrive at the designated place with an evacuation bag. Before leaving your flat/house it is necessary to observe several practices:
- Extinguish open flames in heating devices.
- Switch off electrical appliances (except refrigerators and freezers).
- Turn off water and gas mains.
- Make sure that your neighbours also know that they have to leave their flat.
- If you have children, write cards with their names and address and put them in their pockets.
- If you have cats or dogs, take them with you in closable carriers.
- Exotic animals which can live a long time without feeding can be left at home. Provide them with enough food before leaving.
- Take your evacuation bag, lock your flat/house, put a notice on your door saying you have left and arrive at the designated place.
- If you decide to evacuate yourself individually, for example by car (to your cottage, your relatives etc.), report it together with your temporary address and your contact, so that you can be informed about a change in situation once it is possible to come back.
If some members of your family are in health or social care facilities or at schools, do not go to these institutions. The staff of the respective facilities will organise their evacuation according to the evacuation plan.
After gathering at the designated place you will be transported to centres providing emergency accommodation, food and other forms of care. At the same time, you will get updated information about the situation and further plans here.
It is possible to return to the evacuated area only after the approval of the integrated rescue system forces when it is clear that there is no danger.
After returning home check your property and report any damage or loss to your insurance company or to the authorities.
It is important to prepare an evacuation bag for yourself and for the other members of your household as well. The principle is that each person should carry only one bag (25 kg for adults and 10 kg for children is the maximum). The best way to pack your things is to put them into a rucksack or a frame backpack (that way both your hands are free). You can also use a suitcase, which can be handled with one hand. A tote bag is the least appropriate option. Remember that if you are moving away with luggage, it is not always possible to use your own car (for example when there are floods). Many people have pets which need to be taken away as well.
To make it easier to remember, we will list several logical groups for the contents of your emergency bag:
- Food and drink + dishes – especially non-perishable and well packaged food, drinking water (everything needs to last 2–3 days for each member of the household), a mug or a bowl, cutlery and a can opener. If you have an individual dietary regime (e.g. gluten-free diet, vegetarianism etc.), note that at places of emergency accommodation where meals are provided for a large number of people the possibilities to provide food adjusted to your specific needs will be limited. Make sure to bring the special food you need in a sufficient quantity.
- Valuables and documents – personal documents (birth certificate, ID, passport, health insurance card), other important documents (insurance contracts, building savings contract, investment contracts, securities) and cash money + payment cards, a list with the contacts of your family and relatives; put cards with a name, address and contact around the necks of your children.
- Medicine and sanitary products – do not forget about regular medications and medical aids. We recommend taking vitamins and common dietary supplements. You should also pack sanitary products in a reasonable amount.
- Clothes and sleeping equipment – clothes appropriate for the particular season of the year, spare underwear and shoes, a sleeping bag, a camping mat, a raincoat or an umbrella.
- Devices, tools and entertainment – the most important is a mobile phone with a charger, an FM radio (an MP3 player is enough) with a charger or batteries, a torch with spare batteries, matches, a folding knife, a sewing kit, writing utensils and things for passing free time – books, toys for children, board games.
- Pets – food, a muzzle, a dog-collar, a bowl, bedding material for cats and other necessary things, a health certificate of the animal, a carrier for transport.
What to Do When There Are Floods
Do you live or work in an area that may be at a risk of flooding? Here you will learn how to act when there is a risk of flooding. We will also explain how to identify the level of the threat according to the stages of flood control activities.
There are several things we should do when the water level begins to rise and we face a risk of flooding:
- Stock enough food and drinking water.
- Prepare a torch, a radio receiver and spare batteries.
- Remove or properly fix all things that could be swept away by water (ladders and garden tools).
- Move valuable things away from cellars and ground floor areas.
- Secure dangerous substances that can cause damage to the environment.
- Park your car at a higher located area.
- Prepare sandbags to prevent water from getting in through your windows and doors.
- Start preparing your evacuation bag.
It is good to monitor the local media throughout as they will inform you about the current situation and the prognosis. Information can also be spread through the local broadcast system and vehicles of the integrated rescue system forces.
If the situation gets really serious, you will be warned about the danger by sirens.
Stages of flood control activities:
There is not much we can do to influence the situation now. We have to stick to several important principles:
- Monitor the current situation and observe the instructions of crisis management authorities and rescuers.
- Do not underestimate the danger. Do not try to get close to the raging water.
- Respect closures in the high risk areas.
- Do not refuse evacuation. It is not a restriction of our rights but a measure taken for our safety.