Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. And when disaster strikes, you should be prepared. A hazardous materials incident could mean evacuation. A winter storm could confine your family at home. A tornado or any other disaster could cut water, electricity and telephones for days. Is your family ready?
First responders cannot always reach disaster survivors quickly, so it is important to be able to take care of injured or disabled family members until help arrives. Citizens can help by learning first aid or volunteering with other local organizations.Everyone should have an emergency kit with enough supplies to survive for 10 days, including water, non-perishable food, non-electric can openers, flashlights, batteries, cash and important family documents. Children also should be allowed to include favorite small toys or games.Children should be encouraged to participate in any family emergency planning. Teach kids how to communicate during an emergency, including how to dial 9-1-1 or send text messages. Practicing a plan also helps children know what to do during a disaster.Budget concerns can keep families from buying all the items necessary for an emergency kit. However, it is not essential to make all the purchases at once. Families are encouraged to spread out the purchase of supplies and make use of coupons and discounts. Buying used radios and flashlights also can be more affordable.An emergency plan should also include ensuring those with disabilities or special needs have a proper evacuation plan. Plan transportation needs ahead of time and make sure those with medical needs have backup power for equipment. Federal Coordinating Office Michael Byrne said "citizens are our best first responders. “This is when neighbor helping neighbor is not just a phrase or an idea, but reality,” he said. “They all contribute to the response from local, federal and private sector partners.”For more information on how to better prepare for disasters and tips on developing a family emergency kit, visit www.ready.gov. Visit this link to learn more about how to be the help until help arrives.
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.