If a disaster strikes, access to the basics like food and water may be limited.
You may need to be self-sufficient for a time after the emergency occurs. Preparing
your family with emergency supplies of water, food and other supplies is essential.
There are general guidelines available that will help you plan. Examples of what
to think about include: how much water to store, pets and service animals, and any
special needs your household may have such as medications or other medical items.
Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a key part of being
prepared and protected. Be aware of the types of emergency situations that may impact
the area you live in. Do you live in an earthquake prone area? Frequent flooding?
All of these things affect how you prepare your family for disasters. It is also
critical to know how the local advance alerts and warnings and how emergency management
plans to get information out to the community during disasters.
Make a Plan
Talk with your family how to respond to a disaster if it were to happen. Things
to take into consideration include:
- What you would do if there is no electricity or water
- Know how to turn off your home’s water, gas and electricity at the main
- Create a family communications plan that includes emergency contact numbers
- Pick one out of state and one local friend or relative for family members
to call if you are separated by disaster – many times it is easier to call out
of the area impacted than within
- Set up pre-determined meeting places for your family to gather
A disaster kit is a collection of items that could be needed during an emergency.
These kits can be created to use at home, work or in a vehicle. When creating these
kits think not only of a situation where you shelter at home, but also if an evacuation
is necessary. Being prepared to take essential items such as medications with you
is very important.
Things that you should consider for a disaster kit include:
- Water – 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days
- Food – non-perishable, easy to make items at least a three-day supply of
- Copies of personal documents (medication list, medical information, insurance
policies, birth certificates)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Emergency blanket
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Multi-purpose tool with can opener for food
- Map(s) of the local area
- Extra cash
- Cell phone with chargers
- Prescription medications (7 day supply)
- Extra set of car and house keys
Also remember the needs of all family members and add those supplies to your
kit. These specific needs may include items such as:
- Hearing aids with extra batteries
- Glasses, contacts
- Walking aids such as canes
- Baby supplies such as diapers, formula
- Pet supplies such as leash and collar, proof of vaccinations, food