While living your day-to-day life, in the event of an emergency or disaster, you should be prepared to stop… and adapt…
1. Identify Your Risk
What are the hazards where you live and work? Find out what natural or human caused disasters pose a risk for you. Do you live or work in a flood plain, near a major earthquake fault or in a high fire danger area? Are you prepared for an unexpected human-made disaster that can strike at any time? Does your neighborhood or community have a disaster plan?
2. Create A Family Disaster Plan
Know where to meet if you have to evacuate. Designate a meeting place outside your home where family members can go. Know who you’ve identified as the out-of-state friend to be your “family contact” for everyone to check-in with. Keep a touch-tone phone (and phone cord) that does not require plugging into an electric outlet (after a disaster, cell phones and wireless phones may not be working). Take care of your family pets too. Store food and water for them in your disaster supply kit.
3. Practice Your Disaster Plan
Start by having family members meet at a designated spot outside your home – like you would after a fire or after the shaking stops. Know how to respond in the event of any disaster — whether to stay put indoors, or whether to evacuate your neighborhood by car. If your family needs to evacuate, know the proper evacuation procedures and routes.
4. Build A Disaster Survival Kit For Home And Car
If you are stranded in your car or have to be self sufficient at home until help arrives, you need to have a disaster kit with you. Your home disaster supply kit should have at least the following items and be kept in containers that can be easily carried or moved such as backpacks, plastic totes or wheeled trash cans.
Carry a smaller kit in your car:
• Have at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable and canned food, and water for all family members. Replace water every six months. Don’t forget to restock food items.
• First Aid Kit.
• Battery-powered flashlight and portable radio with extra batteries. Replace batteries on a regular basis.
• Change of clothing and footwear, and one blanket or sleeping bag for each family member.
• Extra set of car keys, and a credit card and cash.
• Extra medications.
• Sanitation supplies (such as soap, cleaning supplies, shampoo, toilet tissue, etc.)
• An extra set of prescription glasses.
• Keep important family documents in a waterproof container.
5. Prepare Your Children
Talk to your kids about what the risks are and what your family will do if disaster strikes. Practice your family disaster plan every six months. Empower your children to help write the family plan, build the disaster supply, and lead the drills. The more informed and involved children are in disaster planning, the more prepared they will be.
6. Don’t Forget Those With Special Needs
Infants, seniors and those with special needs must not be forgotten. Make sure that supplies for your infant are in your kit and that you have items such as medications, or other medical supplies that seniors or persons with disabilities may need.
7. Learn CPR And First Aid
Contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross today and get trained on basic first aid and CPR.
8. Eliminate Hazards In Your Home And Workplace
You must secure the contents of your home or office to reduce hazards, especially during shaking from an earth-quake. Strap down large objects, secure cabinet doors, anchor tall furniture, and secure overhead objects such as ceiling fans and pictures. If you live in a high fire danger area, also take the necessary steps to protect your home against wildfires. Find out how you can make your home fire safe.
9. Stay Aware, And Understand The Risks
Stay abreast of the dangers and risks as they pertain to current events and the goings on in your local (and wider) area. Don’t be caught off-guard.
10. Get Involved, Volunteer, Bear Responsibility
Donate blood, join a local Community Emergency Response Team. Educate your neighbor(s). Volunteer. Perhaps join your local American Red Cross. Get involved and bear responsibility.
(Some information sourced from the California Emergency Management Agency)
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