The recent catastrophe in the Philippines has made us all thank our lucky stars that we live in a country where we are sheltered from typhoons and tsunamis and storms of this magnitude. But if a disaster or sudden illness struck your family just how prepared are you? Do you have a plan or emergency process in place for your family? There are 3 key areas you should cover such as ‘Get a kit’, “Make a plan’ and ‘Be informed’.
These items should be covered in your kit:
▪ Fire extinguisher.
▪ Flashlights (and extra batteries) strategically placed around the home.
▪ Water – at least one gallon per person per day to last at least 3 days.
▪ Food – non-perishable and manual can opener for food.
▪ One change of clothing, comfortable footwear and a blanket/
Sleeping bag per person
▪ First Aid Kit
▪ Whistle to signal for help.
▪ Local maps.
▪ Mobile phone with chargers.
▪ Battery-powered radio.
▪ An extra set of car and house keys.
▪ Sanitation supplies like toilet paper, toothbrush and soap.
▪ Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
▪ Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
▪ Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape.
▪ Extra pair of glasses and/or contact lenses and solution.
▪ Special items for infants, the elderly or disabled persons.
▪ Seniors should keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen and medication. Keep a list of the medicines taken, dosage, frequency of use and prescribing doctor and any emergency contact information.
Make a Plan:
Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance.
Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers to aid you in an emergency. Depending upon the nature of the emergency and your circumstances, one of the first important decisions is whether to stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities.
Find out from local government emergency management how you will be notified for each kind of disasters, both natural and man-made. You should also inquire about alert and warning systems for workplace, schools and other locations. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or in rare circumstances, volunteers and emergency workers may go door-to-door.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) send free informational text messages to WEA-enabled cell phones within range of an imminent and dangerous local situation, severe weather event, or AMBER emergency. You do not need to register to receive WEA notifications as you will automatically receive alerts if you have a WEA-capable phone and your wireless carrier participates in the program.
Leave it with me has completed a risk assessment and has documented their disaster recovery plan. We have a fire proof case where essential documents such as birth certificates, insurances and crucial information and originals are kept. This way we know all information is contained in one spot and we can grab in a hurry or if left it is fire proof.
Hopefully you will never have a need to use any of this information, but as they say forewarned is forearmed. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Prepare, plan and stay informed and it could just save you a lot of heartache, stress, frustration and time.