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Disaster Preparedness Complete Guide And Family Emergency Plan
Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit
Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. And when disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond.
A highway spill of hazardous material could mean instant evacuation. A winter storm could confine your family at home. An earthquake, flood, tornado or any other disaster could cut off basic services- gas, water, electricity, and telephones- for days, as we found out recently during the November 2015 wind storm here in Spokane, WA. Electricity was out for nearly all residents multiple days, and for some, it was out for nearly a week and a half.
After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. This means phone lines will be tied up and help will be hours, or it may days away. Would your family be prepared to cope with an emergency until help arrives?
Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes. One way to prepare is by assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit. Once disaster hits, you won’t have time to shop or search for supplies, even if you do that store may not have power or the ability to provide you with such supplies.
However, if you’ve been proactive and gathered supplies in advance, your friends and family can endure an evacuation or home confinement situation.
To prepare your kit
Review the checklist in this blog or download it on the link above.
Gather the supplies that are listed. You will need them if your family is confined at home or forced to leave your home.
Place the supplies you’d most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. These supplies are listed with an asterisk (*).
There are six basics you should stock in your home: Water, Food, First Aid Supplies, Clothing and Bedding, Tools and Emergency Supplies/Special Items. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container suggested items are marked with an asterisk (*). Possible containers include
A camping ice chest works great to waterproof and carry items
Large Tupperware boxes
A large, covered trash container,
A camping backpack,
or a duffle bag.
Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount.
Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
Consider a water filter/purifier that can be used to pump and filter water from a stream or large puddle, this is a great camping tool but also a great survival tool if storing water at that time is not an option. Bring a container that you can pump this into.
Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking two quarts for food preparation/sanitation)*
Keep at least a three-day supply of water for each person in your household.
Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little to no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of Sterno or propane fuel (backpacking stove). Select food items that are compact and lightweight.
*Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:
Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
Canned juices, milk, soup
(if powdered, store extra water)
Staples-peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets
Comfort/stress foods-cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags
First Aid Kit
Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit should include:
Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes, Steri strips/butterfly bandages.
Nonstick medical tape (latex free)
Nonstick medical pads (Large)
2-inches sterile gauze pads (4-6)
4-inches sterile gauze pads (4-6)
Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
Triangular bandages (3)
2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
Scissors, Tweezers, and a Needle
Antiseptic and Antiseptic Wipes
Tongue blades (2)
Tube of petroleum jelly or another lubricant
Assorted sizes of safety pins
Latex gloves (2 pair)
Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
Antacid (for stomach upset)
Laxative, Migraine, Allergy (Ibuprophen)
Syrup of Ipecac (use to introduce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
Tools and Supplies
Rechargeable power bank (for phones Etc…)
Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils*
Emergency preparedness manual*
Battery operated radio and extra batteries*
LED Flashlight and extra batteries*
Cash or traveler’s checks, change*
Non-electric can opener, utility knife*
Small ABC type Fire extinguisher
Tape & Zip Ties (Duct & Electrical)
Matches in a waterproof container
Plastic storage containers
Paper, pen, pencil & permanent markers
Rope (light and heavy-duty)
Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
Map of the area (for locating shelters)
Emergency heat blanket
Toilet paper, Towelettes*
Soap, liquid detergent*
Personal hygiene items*
Plastic garbage bags, ties
(for personal sanitation)
Plastic bucket with a tight lid
Household chlorine bleach
Clothing and Bedding
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.
Sturdy shoes or work boots*
Blankets and sleeping bags*
Hat and gloves
Remember family members with special needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.
Heart and high blood pressure medication
Contact lenses and supplies
Entertainment – games books
Important Family Documents
Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container.
Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks, and bonds
Passports, social security cards, immunization records
Bank account numbers
Credit card account numbers and companies
Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
SUGGESTION AND REMINDERS
Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk of your car.
Keep items in airtight plastic bags.
Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.
Rotate your stored food every six months.
Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.
CREATE A FAMILY DISASTER PLAN
To get started…
Contact your local emergency management or civil defense office and your local American Red Cross chapter.
Find out which disaster are most likely to happen in your community.
Ask how you would be warned
Find out how to prepare for each.
Meet with your family.
Discuss the types of disasters that could occur.
Explain how to prepare and respond
Discuss what to do if advised to evacuate.
Practice what you have discussed.
Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by disaster.
Pick two meeting places:
a location a safe distance from your home in case of fire.
a place outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home.
Choose an out-of-state friend as a “check-in-contact” for everyone to call.
Complete these steps.
Post emergency telephone numbers by every phone and on the refrigerator or easily seen surface.
Show responsible family members how and when to shut off water, gas, and electricity at main switches/turn-offs.
Install smoke detectors on each level of your home and in each bedroom. Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors on each level of your home. Test them monthly and change the batteries two times each year.
Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards.
Learn first aid and CPR. Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for information and training
Meet with your neighbors. Get their phone numbers! Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster. Know your neighbor’s skills (medical, technical). Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly or disabled persons. Make plans for child care in case parents can’t get home. Remember to practice and maintain your plan.
Your Family Disaster Supplies Calendar
This Family Disaster Supplies Calendar is intended to help you prepare for disasters before they happen. Using the calendar, your family can assemble an emergency kit in small steps over a six month period. Check off each week as you gather the contents. Supplies maybe stored all together in a large plastic garbage can or food may be kept on kitchen shelves.
Remember to rotate your perishable supplies and change the water every six months.
First Aid Supplies
First Aid Supplies
Also: extra hearing aid batteries, if needed
Soup (not concentrate)
Also: extra plastic baby bottles, formula, and diapers, if needed.
Also: extra eyeglasses, if needed.
First Aid Supplies
Also: saline solution and a contact lens case, if needed
Also: blankets or sleeping bag for each family member
Also: sunscreen, if needed
Also: items for denture care, if needed
Also: purchase an emergency escape ladder for second story bedrooms, if needed.
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