Preparedness actions increase the chances that you and your
family survive an emergency!
Five steps will increase your own readiness:
- Prepare a Family Disaster and Communications Plan
- Prepare for Special Needs: Children, Elderly, Disabilities and Animals
- Review, Practice and Train
- Obtain and Store Emergency Supplies
- Take Action to Protect Your Home
Prepare a Family Plan
With family members take the time to collect important information and document the data. The stress of an emergency reduces an ability to think clearly or remember the simplest things. Take the time to write down your ideas in the Family Disaster Plan form. Make multiple copies and take a copy to work, keep in the family emergency kit and in the glove box of your car.
Identify Emergency Contacts and Medical Needs: Identify important emergency contact information related to doctors, family members and neighbors. Fill out a “wallet card” to keep these numbers handy in your wallet or purse.
Identify an “Out of State Contact”. Long distance lines will be more accessible after an emergency. Avoid calling local phone numbers. This person becomes a “bulletin board” for family members to leave messages. Be sure to tell the person their role as your “bulletin board”.
Know your school plan. Ask about and learn the school’s plan during emergencies. Be sure to identify an “authorized” person to pick up your children if you are not available. Let these people know you picked them as an authorized person.
Identify Escape Routes and Reunification Sites. Draw out a floor plan of your home. Identify at least two means to escape each room in the house. Identify where utility shutoffs are located, and where supplies are located. Specify a spot to gather outside the home.
Identify how to Evacuate and what to take with you. Identify at least two routes to leave your home toward a major road. Be certain about what you would take if you had 5 minutes versus 60 minutes and what you would take if you had a truck.
Prepare for Special Needs
Children, the elderly and those with disabilities have to be given special considerations, particularly as it applies to emergency supplies, evacuation needs, and responding to the emergency.
Medications for illness or bodily functions are critically important to medically infirm, the elderly and children. Have additional supplies on hand if you can.
Register for Smart-911 www.smart911.com/subscriber/web/cmd/index.html to let the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District know that you or your family members have special needs when it comes to response to an emergency in your home.
Review, Practice and Train
Review your Family Disaster Plan
Regularly review your Family Disaster Plan to be sure the information is up-to-date. Common errors in plans include not having current phone numbers, remodeling the house and relocating then forgetting where the emergency supplies are, etc.
Practice, Practice, Practice
There are reasons that schools practice fire drills. Families need to practice their Emergency Plans. Practice evacuating the house and turning off power and water.
Investigate and attend training on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Personal Emergency Preparedness and First Aid. Help organize your neighborhood and register to be part of the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).
Obtain and Store Emergency Supplies
Following an emergency, water, food and supplies will be in high demand, but unavailable. Take the time to identify the supplies you will need. Take the time to get the right items. The Disaster Supplies Calendar provides a list of things to purchase or actions to take to prepare your home over the next six months.
It takes thought, it takes time, and it takes action to be prepared.
- Review the Disaster Supplies Calendar and identify the supplies you need.
- Place supplies in a storage container.
- Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members.
- Keep items in airtight plastic bags.
- Change your stored water supply every six months so the packaging doesn’t break and it stays fresh.
- Keep a smaller version of the Disaster Supplies in the trunk of your car.
- Rotate your stored food every six months. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc
- Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year.
- Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.
Take Action to Protect Your Home
- Reduce Household Hazards
Take the time to review the ideas on how to reduce falling furniture during earthquakes, reduce vegetation that can burn during fires. Ideas are listed in the Family Disaster Plan.
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