When an emergency strikes you don’t want to be left scrambling. Preparation for emergencies may seem like a daunting task, but all it really takes is just a little bit of time and effort. Putting in that effort now will mean greater safety and security for you and your family should disaster strike. Follow our guide for the top three things you should do now to prepare.
Create an Emergency Plan
- Know what types of emergencies are most likely to happen in your home or area. Include events that are singular to your home or family like a home fire or medical emergency, and those may affect a whole area like an earthquake or flood. Have a discussion with everyone in your home about how you will prepare and respond to these emergencies.
- Make sure communication is part of your plan. How will you communicate if there is an emergency? What to do if we become separated? Will we have a meet up spot if evacuated?
- Identify then create a checklist with assignments and each member’s responsibilities for possible scenarios.
- Practice what pieces of your plan you can. Make sure household members know where key shut-off valves are located in situations where gas, electricity, or water need to be shut down.
Put Together an Emergency Kit
- Your kit should be easy to transport and include items you need to survive for at least 3 days.
- Ideally, your kit should include at least one gallon of water per person per day.
- Other items include: non-perishable food (for 3 days), can opener, flashlight, battery operated radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, 7 day supply of medications, multipurpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copies of personal documents, cell phone and chargers, family and emergency contacts, extra cash, emergency blanket, and a map of the area.
- Additional items may need to be added according to specific family members needs. This may include small games for children, baby supplies, etc.
- Think about where you live and add any other items that may be appropriate needs.
- Identify which services will notify you during an emergency and how you will get information. This may include local radio, TV, or NOAA Weather Radio stations and channels.
- Know the different weather alerts and watches and know what to do to take action for each situation.
- Be aware and informed when traveling or moving to a new area. Know what actions to take for disasters that may be common in those areas, especially those that may be new to you.
- Major disasters can change communities in an instant. You may not have quick access to supplies or medical attention. Having someone in the home that is trained in basic first aid, CPR, and the use of an AED can be very useful.
Disasters can strike when you least expect it. Being prepared for an emergency is the best way to keep you and your family protected and safe. Now is the time to get things in order. If you wait, it may be too late.
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