How to Prepare for a Disaster
In order to be fully prepared, you should have all pertinent and proper information in a written plan for easy retrieval. Some key questions to consider when creating a personal emergency preparedness plan includes:
- Do you have an escape or evacuation route in place?
- Do you have a designated meeting place in case of separation?
- Does everyone have a list of contact information including family members out of state who can serve as a point of contact?
- Do you have a disaster supply kit with necessary supplies?
- Do you have a first aid kit that includes necessary prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines and basic medical supplies?
- Do you have enough non-perishable food and bottled water?
- Do you have access to important family documents, including insurance policies, bank, credit card and loan information and family records such as birth certificates and social security cards?
- Do you have an inventory of valuable household goods?
A well-equipped disaster supply kit should include, but is not limited to, the following:
Water -- a large enough supply to provide each person with one gallon daily for drinking and sanitation
Food -- enough to last 3-7 days. Food needs to be non-perishable or canned food. You will also want to include a non-electric can opener, paper plates and plastic utensils.
Bedding including sheets, blankets and pillows
Clothing -- remember it may be warm, however, you may be working and cleaning and may prefer pants or long sleeves to protect your skin. You will also need sturdy, closed-toe, non-slip shoes if available
First aid kit -- including antiseptics or sanitizers and bandages, over-the-counter and prescription medications
Light Sources -- extra flashlights and plenty of batteries. Oil lanterns also provide a good source of light, if available
Toiletries -- including toilet paper and hygiene items. Hand sanitizers are also good to have on hand
Battery-operated radio -- and be sure to keep extra batteries so you can listen to weather service announcements
Cash -- you will want some cash and small bills on hand as banks may not be open
Emergency phone numbers -- and contact information including insurance agent and family contacts
Minor Repair Equipment -- tools, tarps, plastic sheets, trash bags, duct tape, etc. to help make minor repairs
Important documents -- these should be kept in a waterproof bag or plastic sealed container and should include insurance, medical and family records, birth certificates, social security cards, bank account information and a complete home inventory analysis.
Gas -- fill your car’s tank ahead of time if time permits. You may also want to fill plastic gasoline-approved containers with gas to store
Pet care items -- including food, leash and a carrier or cage
Don’t wait until it is too late; prepare now to help protect your family in an emergency or disaster situation.