- Meet with your family and discuss the types of disasters that could occur.
- Explain how to prepare and how to respond.
- Learn First Aid
Your emergency plan should include the following:
Communication Plan: Pick two meeting places - a location a safe distance from your home in case of fire and a place outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home. Make sure each family member has a list of family phone numbers and your out-of-state contact number with them so the contact information is readily accessible.
Evacuation Plan: Prepare an evacuation plan for your home - practice it with your family and establish meeting sites. Include your pets in the evacuation planning. Re-think your routine. What if your vehicle is is not available or public transportation is not working as streets are not accessible. Plan ahead so you have mapped out alternate routes and means of transportation.
You should also make special provisions for children, seniors, people with disabilities, pets and you should schedule disaster drills and practice your plans.
It is very important that all members of the community have an emergency kit, with essential items in the event of an emergency.
The following is a suggested list of items for your Emergency Preparedness Kit:
- Water - store one gallon of water per person per day - keep at least a three to ten-day supply of water for each person in your household. Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.
- Food - store a three to ten-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Rotate your stored foods every six months.
- Select foods that require no refrigeration or preparation.
- Ready to eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables.
- Select food items that are familiar to your children.
- Comfort/stress foods - cookies, hard candy, etc.
- High energy foods - peanut butter, crackers, granola bars.
- Manual can opener and eating utensils
- Large/Small seal-able plastic bags - aluminum foil
- Have a First aid kit
- Prescription medications
- Matches and a lighter
- Light sources - flashlights and extra batteries, chemical light sticks. etc.
- Small radio and extra batteries
- Fire extinguisher
- Clothing and bedding
- Jacket, clothes and gloves extra pairs of shoes for each family member
- Blankets and sleeping bags
- Utility or pocket knife
- Keep items in air tight plastic bags and containers.
- Small mirror and whistle - for signaling help
- Toiletries and personal hygiene items
- Sanitation supplies
- Small tool kit
- Special items —remember family members with special needs, such as infants, elderly or disabled persons.
- Entertainment pack - family photos, notebooks, games and books
- Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members.
Create an Emergency Financial Kit:
Stash some cash to make sure you have a sufficient amount of money to get through the emergency period. Be sure to include plenty of change to make calls from pay phones.
Make copies of vital personal documents and information for each family member. It’s also important to store important documents in a fireproof storage box, or safety deposit box, or freezer (make sure documents are tightly sealed), and to keep copies with an out-of-state contact. Store important documents such as:
- Social Security cards
- Birth certificates
- Marriage and death records
- Drivers' licenses
- Credit cards
- Insurance policies
- Recent income tax returns
- Mortgage or rental receipts
- Paycheck stubs
- Stocks and bonds
- Bank account books
- Documentation of valuables
- Health history, allergies, blood types
- Recent photos for I.D purposes
Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year.
Office & Auto Kits:
Just as you prepare a home emergency preparedness kit, you should have essential supplies at your office and in your automobile:
- Bottled water
- Nonperishable food
- First aid kit and manual
- Prescription medication
- Eyeglasses and spare contacts
- Seal-able plastic bags
- Flashlights, spare batteries
- Battery powered radio and spare batteries
- Fire extinguisher
- Change of clothes and footwear
- Coins and cash
- Blanket or sleeping bag
Be sure to plan for your pets by making emergency kits for them and plans for evacuation.
Visit www.daretoprepare.org for more tips on emergency kits, planning for pets and for those with special needs.