Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness

The problem with disasters is how people deal with them. Being prepared even when you never think it could happen to you, is something people never take into account.

A commitment to planning today will help you prepare for any emergency situation.

  • Consider how a disaster might affect your individual needs.
  • Plan to make it on your own, at least for a period of time.
  • It’s possible that you will not have access to a medical facility or even a drugstore.
  • Identify what kind of resources you use on a daily basis and what you might do if they are limited or not available.
  • Build A Kit with your unique consideration in mind. What do you need to maintain your health, safety and independence?

Things to consider:

Households/individuals should consider and customize their plans for individual needs and responsibilities based on the methods of communication, types of shelter and methods of transportation available to them. Other factors to keep in mind include:

  • Different ages of members
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how you will communicate in different situations.

Complete a contact card for each adult family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or briefcase, etc. Additionally, complete contact cards for each child in your family. Put the cards in their backpacks or book bags.

Check with your children’s day care or school. Facilities designed for children should include identification planning as part of their emergency plans.

Identify a contact such as a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.

Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.

Teach family members how to use text messaging (also known as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.

Subscribe to alert services. Many communities now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc. Sign up by visiting your local Office of Emergency Management web site.

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