Emergencies can range from inconvenient to devastating. But taking some simple preparedness steps in advance can minimize their impact and make a big difference in ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals, families, businesses, and communities.
Emergency preparedness is a personal responsibility. Individuals should take three preparedness steps: Get an Emergency Supply Kit, Make a Family Emergency Plan, and Be Informed about the types of emergencies that can happen in your area and their appropriate responses.
First and foremost, you can take some simple steps to prepare yourselves and your families for emergencies. The first step is to get an emergency supply kit. We urge all Americans to have some supplies on hand so that you and your family can survive for three days if an emergency occurs. As we saw in Hurricane Katrina, sometimes it takes first responders a little time to dispatch help, especially to areas that have been flooded. By having some supplies on hand you will be more prepared to handle a situation like that. You should also prepare at least two kits: one for home and a smaller portable kit to take with you if you have to evacuate. Today I will briefly review the supplies we recommend for the larger at-home emergency supply kit. However, a complete list of items we suggest for both kits can be found at www.ready.gov.
Nursing mothers, children and sick people and those who live in warm climates may need more water.
The second step is to make a Family Emergency Plan.
The plan on www.Ready.gov has two parts: a full page sheet you should leave at home in a safe place, like your emergency supply kit, and smaller cutout cards to keep in your wallet, purse or backpack.
These three issues are some of those addressed the www.ready.gov Family Communication Plan template.
Older Americans and Individuals with Disabilities and Other Special Needs should develop an emergency plan that includes a personal support network to call on in the event of an emergency. Those with pets should make plans with neighbors, friends, or relatives to make sure someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.
In any emergency one of the first most important decisions you will have to make is deciding whether to stay or go.
We have reviewed making an emergency supply kit and making a family emergency plan. The third step is to be informed. While many of the steps that you will take to prepare for emergencies are the same, there are important differences that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. www.ready.gov has detailed information to help you be fully informed.
Preparing for Emergencies Enlightenment Inc. Circle of Life http://www.enlightenmentesp.com
Out-of-Town Contact – In an emergency it might be easier to make a phone call out of town; designate a contact out-of-town to take roll and relay information for your family
School and Work Plans – Learn about the emergency plans at your workplace and at your children’s schools
Meeting Places – Choose two places to meet: one in the neighborhood; one outside of the neighborhood
Special Considerations for Your Family Emergency Plan
Older Americans and Individuals with Disabilities and Other Special Needs – Develop an emergency plan that considers each person’s unique needs, including a personal support network to call on in the event of an emergency
Pets – Plan with neighbors, friends or relatives to make sure someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so