Emergency Management

While we hope we will never experience a natural disaster, there is much we can do to prepare for surviving a fire, flood, severe storm, earthquake, etc. How does it help to prepare? When a disaster strikes, emergency services like police, fire and ambulance services, will be there to help you. But, some disasters overwhelm the local response system, extending the time it takes for help to arrive. Preparedness means taking steps now, that can help you survive until these agencies can get to you. How well you manage the aftermath of disaster depends a great deal on your level of preparedness when disaster strikes.

FOUR STEPS TO DISASTER PLANNING

  1. Find out what disasters could happen to you.
  2. Create a disaster plan.
  3. Communicate your plan to the entire family.
  4. Practice and maintain your plan.

There are some basics you should stock in your home:

Water: Store one gallon of water per person per day. Have purifying agents available.

Food: Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for each person. Select foods that require no refrigeration, cooking or preparation. Select food items that are compact and lightweight and rotate the food supply every six months. Possibilities: ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables, canned soup, powdered milk, crackers; high energy foods – peanut butter, jelly, crackers, trail mix; comfort/stress foods – cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags.

First Aid Kit: You should have two first aid kits – one for your home and the other for your car.

Tools and Supplies: Paper cups, plates and utensils, battery operated radio and extra batterie, flashlights, cash, travelers checks, change, non-electric can opener, fire extinguisher (ABC type), paper and pencils, a water shut-off wrench, whistle, map of your area and surrounding areas.

Sanitation: Toilet paper, soap, liquid detergent, plastic garbage bags, plastic bucket with tight lid chlorine bleach, personal hygiene items.

Clothing and Bedding: At least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person, sturdy shoes or work boots, rain gear, blankets or sleeping bags, coat, hat and gloves, thermal underwear, sunglasses.

Medications: Keep an extra supply of prescription and non-prescription medications such as aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever, antacids, laxatives, rubbing alcohol, antiseptic or hydrogen peroxide.

Important Family Documents: Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container: will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds, bank account numbers, inventory of valuable household goods, passports, social security cards, immunization records, credit card account numbers and companies, family records (birth, marriage, death certificates).

Entertainment: Games and books.

We cannot stop a disaster from happening, but we can limit their impact on ourselves and those we love. Proper planning and preparation can also help you to be more comfortable in the event that your home is damaged, or you can’t get back into it. The most important concept in developing an emergency preparedness plan is communication. Every member of the family needs to be involved, so that when a disaster strikes, everyone will know what to do.