You can prepare your family for an emergency in several ways.
- Have a plan--augmented for a variety of potential disasters/emergencies
- Discuss the plan with all family members
- Practice the plan once a month or once a quarter
- Compile important documents in a portable file that will be easy to transport during an evacuation.
- Create a disaster kit to sustain EACH person for a minimum of 72 hrs. Items to include: water, nonperishable food items(power bars, canned items) flashlight, batteries, crank or battery operated radio, can opener, extra set of house and car keys, cash money in varied denominations
- Customize your plan and kit to fit those specific needs for your family. This might include cans of baby food, diapers, wipes, or senior medical equipment/medications
- Check expiration dates and batteries on a monthly basis and mark date on tape outside of the waterproof container.
- Keep the container where it is easily accessible in case of an actual disaster or evacuation
- Revisit the plan annually for any needed changes
Of course these are just suggestions for disaster preparedness kits. Geographic location and space availability will also affect the items kept in your home and vehicle emergency kits. Additional disaster kit information can be found at www.ready.gov and www.redcross.org/disaster
The best prepared machine is a well-oiled one, and also the reason it is so important to conduct drills pertaining to your family's plan. For instance, many families practice evacuation drills in case of fire to assure all family members are aware of exit routes and meeting areas. Other families may practice their tornado or earthquake disaster plans. Drills conducted on a routine basis increase the chances of remaining calm and surviving should an actual event occur someday.