Emergency Preparedness Plan

When you hear about areas of the country ravaged by disaster, do you stop to wonder if your family would be prepared in such an emergency? If a flood, earthquake, tornado, or other disaster strikes your home and family, would you know what to do? Any number of natural disasters can strike, but your risk for certain disasters will depend on where you live. An emergency preparedness plan can protect your family and prevent panic and potential tragedy.

Can Your Family Handle a Disaster?

Answering these four questions will quickly tell you if your family is prepared to handle an emergency situation:

  • Do you have a family emergency plan for bad weather, fire, and other emergency situations?
  • Do you have emergency supplies on hand, including flashlights, batteries, a radio, water, and non-perishable foods?
  • Do you have a designated safe area in your home to go to during an emergency?
  • Does each member of your family know what to do in case of an emergency?

If you can’t answer yes to all of these questions, it’s time to sit down with the whole family and map out a preparedness plan.

Emergency Supplies You Need

Emergency preparedness isn’t only about supplies, but they are a big part of being ready when disaster strikes. Here is a list of essentials that you should have packed and stored in a safe place in your home in case you need them:

  • Plenty of bottled water
  • Non-perishable, low- or no-salt food items
  • Can opener
  • Clothing and shelter items like blankets, sleeping bags, and a tent
  • Toilet paper and baby wipes for clean up
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlights, a portable radio, and lots of batteries
  • Infant and pet supplies, if necessary
  • All medications, and glasses or contact lenses
  • Implements for preparing and cooking food, as well as plates, and utensils
  • Matches stored in a water-tight box
  • Copies of your bank and credit cards, driver’s license, and other ID cards
  • Cash

Make sure you have enough supplies, particularly food and water, for at least three days. Allow at least one gallon of water per day for each family member.

Prepare your car, too, with an emergency supply of food and water, a first aid kit, jumper cables, flares, and blankets to keep warm.