Disaster Preparation

Overview of Disaster Preparedness

Emergencies can happen anywhere at anytime. It’s crucial to be prepared before disaster strikes – here’s a quick checklist to help you prepare to keep your family and home safe:

Keep a well-stocked first aid kit. Store medication in a locked cabinet so kids can’t access it. Keep cleaning agents and dangerous chemicals out of reach. Keep all substances in their original containers.
-Fire extinguishers are affordable. Keep one near the furnace, in the garage, and anywhere else a fire may start. Make sure everyone knows how to use them.
-Never leave a burning candle unattended or sleep while a candle is burning.
-Space heaters can be dangerous if not used correctly. Make sure yours will shut off if accidentally tipped over.
-Install smoke, gas and carbon monoxide detectors outside each sleeping area in your home, and change batteries regularly.
-Make sure family members know how to shut off utilities, and post the phone numbers for gas, water and electricity providers.
-Create and practice a home emergency/escape plan: Determine a meeting place where your family can go if forced to leave the home; post a note on your door telling others the date and time you left, and where you’re going.
-Keep a bag stocked with cash, nonperishable food and water (3 days’ worth for each family member), battery-powered radio, flashlight, first-aid kit, extra eyeglasses and prescription drugs, change of clothes and sturdy shoes, keys, pet supplies, and blanket or sleeping bag. Make sure all family members know where the bag is kept.
-Keep a radio, blanket, flashlight, first-aid kit, and fresh batteries in every vehicle.
-Keep a phone list of emergency contacts in your vehicle and wallet or purse.
-Children should know their street address and last name, and how to dial 911.


Create An Emergency Plan

Meet with household members. Discuss with children the dangers of fire, severe weather, earthquakes, and other emergencies.

-Discuss how to respond to each disaster that could occur.
-Discuss what to do about power outages and personal injuries.
-Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two escape routes from each room.
-Learn how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at main switches.
-Post emergency telephone numbers near telephones.
-Teach children how and when to call 911, police, and fire.
-Instruct household members to turn on the radio for emergency information.
-Pick one out-of-state and one local friend or relative for family members to call if separated by disaster (it is often easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area).
-Teach children how to make long distance telephone calls.
-Pick two meeting places.A place near your home in case of a fire.
A place outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home after a disaster.
-Take a Basic First Aid and CPR Class
-Keep family records in a water-and fire-proof container


Create a Disaster Preparedness Kit

Assemble supplies you might need in an evacuation. Store them in an easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack or duffle bag. Include:

-A supply of water (one gallon per person per day). Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers. Identify the storage date and replace every six months.
-A supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener.
-A change of clothing, rain gear, and sturdy shoes.
-Blankets or sleeping bags.
-A first aid kit and prescription medications.
-An extra pair of glasses.
-A battery-powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries.
-Credit cards and cash.
-An extra set of car keys.
-A list of family physicians.
-A list of important family information; the style and serial number of medical devices, such as pacemakers.
-Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.