Is Your Family Ready for a Natural Disaster?
Posted on May 2, 2011 | 1 comment
To best prepare for the unexpected, according to the American Red Cross, follow three key steps:
- Assemble a disaster kit
- Have a plan
- Be informed
Having a disaster plan includes posting emergency phone numbers and numbers of relatives near your phone and practicing escape routes from your home. It’s also a good idea to choose two emergency meeting places: One right outside your home and one outside your neighborhood. In addition, keep contact information for an out-of-town friend who can help reunite separated family members.
In the event of a disaster that forces families to “shelter in place,” a plentiful water supply is critical. You should stock one gallon of water per person per day.
A good disaster kit should be more than a first-aid kit. In addition to first-aid supplies, also include:
- Non-perishable food to last at least three days
- A manual can opener
- An extra pair of eye glasses
- Medical insurance cards
- Prescription medicines
- A battery-powered radio
- Flashlights with extra batteries
Identify how local authorities will notify you during a disaster and familiarize yourself with the latest disaster-preparedness advice, especially for the events most likely to strike where you live.
In the Bay Area, earthquakes may first come to mind when we think of disasters but we should also prepare for fires, floods, and other events In the event of a fire. It is critical to have a fire extinguisher easily accessible and know the quickest escape route from your home.
To prepare for an earthquake, secure any large pieces of furniture such as cabinets, TVs, and shelves. During an earthquake, remember to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” Drop to the floor, take shelter under a sturdy piece of furniture such as a desk or table, and hold on to it firmly.
A To-Go Box of Essential Information
If you need to evacuate — and have time to gather valuables — take copies of important family papers such as birth, marriage, and death certificates; prescriptions; health and insurance information; bank account and credit card numbers. Also bring keys, driver’s licenses, passports, and work ID badges.
If you’re interested in getting involved locally in emergency preparedness, check with your local Red Cross chapter. Many cities have formed preparedness networks to get organized in case of a disaster.
Learn more about safety readiness at the American Red Cross website.