EVERY FAMILY NEEDS AN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN AND AN EMERGENCY SURVIVAL KIT
Natural disasters and weather-related emergencies can happen at any time. Regardless of your location, we are all at risk. Advanced preparation is important to protect you, your family, your friends and your community. Starting at home by creating an emergency preparedness plan and pulling together an emergency survival kit can make all the difference. It may even save your or your loved one’s life. This article provides a framework for planning and some ideas of what you should include in a disaster survival kit.
Different types of emergencies require different responses. Disasters may strike at any time and come in two (2) forms–natural and man-made.
Natural disasters generally include the following:
Man-made disasters include:
- Toxic spills
- Chemical and biological attacks
According to a 2004 Harris Poll, 96 percent of Americans feel it is important to prepare for emergencies, but less than 20 percent describe themselves as totally ready. Learn what you can do before, during, and after a disaster to ensure that your household is safe and prepared. These plans are important for both natural and man-made disasters. First, be sure to store all important documents – birth certificates, insurance policies, etc. – in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box. Also, learn where your utility shut-offs are and how to use them.Then, prepare for survival.
ASSEMBLE AN EMERGENCY SURVIVAL KIT
It is essential to create an emergency supply kit and have it stocked with at lease three (3) days of basic supplies.
Start with the basics:
- One (1) gallon of water per person per day for at least three (3) days, for drinking and sanitation
- At least a three (3) day supply of nonperishable food
- Food, water and other supplies for your pets and domestic animals
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Multipurpose tool with a knife and can opener
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- Long-lasting LED flashlight
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Medications, extra eyeglasses or other important needs
- Extra clothing
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
- Important documents on a USB thumb drive
- Cash and credit cards
Store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire emergency kit in one (1) or two (2) easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag. After assembling your kit, remember to maintain it so it’s always ready when needed.
MAKE A FAMILY EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN
Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to make a safety plan today. Preparations need to be maintained, particularly for the elderly and people with disabilities.
- Know how you’ll contact each other and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.
- Discuss what to do in an evacuation.
- Know evacuation routes. Preestablish several different routes in case certain roads are blocked or closed.
- Find out about your local shelters beforehand. Go there or to the home of a friend or relative who lives away from the area.
- Quiz children every six months so they remember what to do, where to go, and whom to call in an emergency.
- Pets are not allowed in many places, so have a well thought-out plan in advance for your animals.
- Post emergency phone numbers (fire, police, ambulance, etc.) by the phone.
- Know how you will address specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment.
Know your international whistle codes. Three (3) blasts of the whistle is an international distress call, which is loosely translated to “Help me!” Two (2) blasts of the whistle is a call-back signal which means “Come here.” One (1) blast can mean “Where are you?” or it can be a call-back signal if you hear anything that sounds like a code. Each whistle blast should last three (3) seconds.
As you prepare your emergency preparedness plan, pay close attention to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities.
There are significant differences among potential man-made threats, such as biological, chemical, explosive, nuclear and radiological, which will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. When you face a natural or man-made emergency, try to stay informed through radio, TV or the Internet. Your emergency preparedness plan should anticipate the most likely disasters and your emergency survival kit should include the necessities for all types of emergencies.
WHEN DISASTER STRIKES
Disaster is as likely to strike at night as in the daytime. Power is one of the first things to go, especially during a natural emergency. There is a high chance you will be left in the dark sometime. This is where it is a good idea to have power outage light bulbs that will provide emergency lighting while you execute your plan.
Safelumin is a high quality, great value, easy-to-use product for the unpredictable blackout event. Power outage light bulbs can be easily installed in lamps and fixtures and used normally as an efficient, every day LED light source. When the power goes out, the bulb automatically switches to power provided by an internal, rechargeable backup battery. Safelumin will automatically handle short term power outages of up to three (3) hours with the flip of your regular switch. When power is restored, the self-contained battery automatically recharges so it’s ready for the next outage. Safelumin will give you enough light to get in gear quickly. Careful advanced planning can go a long way toward protecting and caring for your family.