How do I Prepare My Family for an Emergency?
1. Get a kit of emergency supplies.
During an emergency your family may need to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days (possibly up to two weeks). While there are many things that might make you more comfortable, think first about fresh water, food and clean air.
Here is a list of recommended supplies to include in a basic preparedness kit:
- Water one gallon per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
- Non-perishable food - at least a three-day supply
- Radio (battery-powered or hand crank), NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Filter mask or cotton t-shirt to help filter the air
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener if kit contains canned food
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Important family documents
- Items for unique family needs, such as daily prescription medications, infant formula and diapers, or pet supplies
2. Make a plan for what you will do in an emergency.
Plan in advance what you will do in an emergency. Be prepared to assess the situation. Use common sense and whatever you have on hand to take care of yourself and your loved ones.
3. Be informed about what might happen.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit and developing a family emergency plan, are the same for both a natural or manmade emergency. However there are significant differences among potential terrorist threats, such as biological, chemical, explosive, nuclear and radiological, which will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. By beginning a process of learning about these specific threats, you are preparing yourself to react in an emergency. Go to ready.gov to learn more about potential terrorist threats and other emergencies. Be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances and make every effort to follow instructions received from authorities on the scene. Also learn about your community's local emergency plan. With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected.
4. Get involved in preparing your community.
After preparing yourself and your family for possible emergencies, take the next step and get involved in preparing your community. Learn more about Citizen Corps, which actively involves citizens in making our nation safer, stronger and better prepared. We all have a role to play in keeping our hometowns secure from emergencies of all kinds. Also consider joining the Bureau-Putnam or Marshall County Reserve Corps which utilizes both medical and non-medical volunteers to help with disasters in our counties.