The storm season is upon us. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and other natural disasters can strike quickly and without much warning. Your best defense is to be prepared. The website www.ready.gov recommends these three steps to help your family prepare for a disaster.
Emergency Supply Kit
Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:
Family Emergency Plan
Planning to Stay or Go
Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information, including what you are learning here, to determine if there is an immediate danger. In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the Internet often for information or official instruction as it becomes available.
Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area and how you will be notified. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door-to-door.
There are tools available on www.ready.gov to help you create and print a Comprehensive Family Emergency Plan. You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare, and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together in the event of an emergency. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as making an emergency supply kit and developing a family communications plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency.
However, there are important differences among potential emergencies that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. Learn more about the potential emergencies that could happen where you live and the appropriate way to respond to them. In addition, learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government.
Here are some helpful websites to help you create and maintain your disaster preparedness plan:
www.ready.gov In addition to the information provided above, the Ready America website offers several downloadable publications for your use. Click on the links below "Ready Publications" link on the home page to view, download and order publications
www.fema.gov Visit FEMA's Plan & Prepare webpage for access to information about preparing for specific natural disasters, and downloadable guides to planning and preparing for a disaster.
Emergency Preparedness in School This guide covers different ways everyone in the school community can prepare for various natural disasters and other emergencies to stay safe.
Click here to view a printable PDF version.