Okay… you’re committed to be prepared. First, you need to create a disaster plan. I know – that sounds really hard. But whether you live alone or you have a family or roommates, it’s a good idea to try.
Think about the types of disasters that might happen… for example, earthquake, fire, helicopter crash. (Sorry, Paris, I couldn’t resist.) Decide on at least two places to meet. Ask an out-of-state friend or relative to be a central contact.
Find the safest spots in your home for each type of disaster. Check for potential hazards. Determine the best escape routes from your home. Discuss what to do in case of an evacuation. And please, don’t forget to plan for your pets too!
Complete an emergency preparedness checklist. What should you have in your home?
Post emergency phone numbers.
Instructions on how to turn off the water, gas and electricity.
A fire extinguisher and smoke detectors for each level of your home.
Stock emergency supplies and assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit.
Practice and maintain your plan, especially with those in your home who might be more likely to panic – your children, elderly parents, etc.
And if possible, take some preparedness classes: a Red Cross first aid and CPR class, and/or CERT. These classes are well worth the time.
Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least three days (although 10 days would be ideal). Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as backpacks, duffle bags or covered trash containers. You should also have a kit at work and in your vehicle as well.
Your Disaster Supplies Kit should include:
A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won’t spoil.
One change of clothing and footwear per person, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person.
A first aid kit that includes your family’s prescription medications.
Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler’s checks.
Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members and pets.
An extra pair of glasses.
Keep important family documents in a waterproof container.
I can’t stress this enough… no matter how prepared your City, Sheriffs and Fire-fighters are, if a disaster strikes, they will be dealing with immediate emergencies and you will likely be on your own for at least the first three days, if not longer.
Now is the time to prepare.
Here are some online resources you might find helpful…
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