Disasters can happen without warning or may be much worse than predicted. When the worst happens, there is a good chance emergency responders will not be available to help. Experts recommend that you get prepared in three ways: make a plan, build a kit, and stay informed.
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes. A family communications plan lets you and your loved ones decide on a strategy to contact one another and review what you will do in different situations.
Damage to roads, bridges and power lines, or even because of continuing bad weather could mean that emergency services and personnel may not be available for up to three days after a major disaster. You could be on your own, and you need to be prepared. As a general guideline, for each person in your household, store one gallon of water per day for drinking, washing and cooking (including pets). That means storing three gallons for each person to cover 72 hours.
Buy a three-day supply of canned food for everyone in the home (including pets). Try to buy nutritious favorites. In an emergency, you don’t need the added stress of introducing new foods to young children. No one is ever sorry they went to the trouble to plan ahead when an emergency strikes. And, often — it is not a matter of if a disaster will strike — but when.
Use this checklist to assemble your disaster kit -
Survival checklist and recommended supplies
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. You’ll also want to learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. For Americans, preparedness must now account for manmade disasters as well as natural ones. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
There is safety in numbers. Join (or start) a neighborhood organization so that you know each other and can share emergency resources (items such as generators or chainsaws).
You can find out more about what you can do at www.ready.gov.
Data courtesy: USGS, NOAA, University of Hawaii, Our Congress, Red Cross, FEMA and UC Berkeley