Disasters happen when we least expect them. Planning and preparing for disasters helps individuals and communities to have the best outcomes possible.
Here are a few tips to help you are your family get started when it comes to planning and preparing:
- Make a family emergency plan. This may be the single most important action you can take, and it won’t cost you a cent. Discuss with your family what you will do in an emergency and how you will get in touch with each other. Write down your plan, and share it with family and friends.
- Choose an out-of-town emergency contact. Identify an out-of-town relative or friend for your family to call when there is an emergency. Why? often it’s easier to make a long distance call than a local call when phone networks are jammed, and families may not be together when an emergency happens Here’s what to do: make sure each person in your family has the phone number of your out-of-town relative or friend. When an emergency happens, no matter where your family members are, they each should call the out-of-town contact and say they are OK. Then the out-of-town contact can in turn call the other family members to relay messages.
- Set aside emergency supplies. Have enough on hand to last at least three days for each family member. You need food that won’t spoil, such as canned goods and packaged foods and one gallon of water per person per day. A battery-powered or hand-crank radio is important for hearing information when the power is out. When you are gathering supplies, remember your family members with special needs and your pets, too.