The Detroit Emergency Reference Guide is part of a larger project designed to help residents prepare for and respond to health emergencies as well as natural and man-made disasters.

Here are some samples of the content you can find in the guide. It’s full of helpful tips and potentially life-saving techniques. Keep in mind that it’s not intended to be a replacement for first-aid and CPR training. For more complete Emergency Preparedness info visit

Click Here to learn more about the distribution of the guides locally and where Detroit residents can get free first-aid and CPR training.


Chest Pain / Heart Attack

What To Look For

Pain or feeling of heavy pressure or tightness in the chest lasting more than 3 minutes. The pain might spread to arms, neck, jaw and/or back. There may be nausea, dizziness, difficulty breathing, or the symptoms may feel like indigestion or heartburn. The person may also be sweaty and may deny there is anything wrong.

What To Do

  • Call 911 immediately
  • Ask what medications have been taken and when
  • Loosen clothing and keep person as quiet as possible
  • Reassure the person
  • If person is, or becomes, unconscious go to IF BREATHING STOPS / CPR section and begin CPR

Home Safety

Placement Of Smoke Detectors

  • Sleeping Areas – Place one detector inside each bedroom or in a nearby hallway
  • Living Room – Keep detector away from a fireplace or wood stove to avoid false alarms
  • Hall & Stairwell – Place unit at the top of each stairwell and at the end of a long hall
  • Kitchen – Keep detector away from cooking fumes or smoking areas
  • Basement – Mount on ceiling at top of stairway, not near exhaust from heating unit
  • Contact local fire department if location and installation is questionable or if you need more information

Emergency Response

Fill out vital information on the Emergency Reference Guide including your insurance policy an emergency plan and basic family health information.

Make sure your family has a plan in case of an emergency. Before an emergency happens, sit down together and decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go and what you will do in an emergency.

Write down where your family spends the most time: work, school and other places you frequent. Schools, day care providers, workplaces and apartment buildings should all have site-specific emergency plans that you and your family need to know about.

Disaster Supply Kit For Your Home

  1. A 3-day supply of water; one gallon per person per day. Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers
  2. Identify the storage date and replace every 6 months
  3. A 3-day supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and non-electric can opener
  4. A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes, blankets or sleeping bags
  5. Tools: adjustable wrench, screwdriver, hammer, pliers, knife, duct tape, and garbage bags
  6. A First Aid kit and prescription medications
  7. An extra pair of eyeglasses
  8. A battery powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries
  9. Credit cards, cash, map and an extra set of car keys
  10. A list of family physicians
  11. A list of important family information; the serial numbers of medical devices such as pacemakers
  12. Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members
  13. Electronic media backups that may contain vital records or documents

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