Where will you and your family be when disaster strikes? What would you do if basic services like water, gas, electricity, telephones or even emergency services were cul off for a long period of lime? What would you do if there was a shortage of supplies such as food, water or fuel? Your emergency plan is what you will do, how you will do it and who you will do it for and with when something disastrous happens.
Whether faced with a personal or family emergency, or a regional or global disaster, the effort you put into family preparedness and disaster planning will play a large role in how well you do in the event. The following information can help you enhance your family's preparedness:
Identify the Hazards
Below are hazards that may occur in our area. Visit the library, contact County Emergency Management, visit FEMA's website or visit our Know Your Hazards page to learn more about each hazard.
- Hazardous Material Spills
- Infectious Disease
- Heat & Winter Storms
- Utility Failure
TIP: More than one event can occur simultaneously, so plan accordingly!
Things to Consider
- What if family members are at work or school?
- Would you be impacted differently if the weather is very warm or very cold?
- How would you get by if utilities are interrupted?
- How would you handle damage to your house or property?
- How would you deal with a blocked driveway or roads?
Identify Steps You Can Take to Minimize or Prevent Impact
- Create plans for family communication, home escape and neighborhood evacuation.
- Learn procedures for Drop! Cover! Hold On!, shelter-in-place and water/utility shutoff.
- Obtain training in CPR, basic first aid, fire extinguisher use and Stop the Bleed.
- Use hazard-resistant construction materials and fire-resistant plants, when possible.
- Learn non-structural earthquake hazard mitigation techniques (secure shelves, breakables, etc.).
- Acquire earlywaming systems (e.g. smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, Citizen Alert, NOAA weather radio, etc.).
- Consider comprehensive hazard insurance for your home/personal property (e.g. fire, flood, earthquake).
- Develop a neighborhood disaster resource inventory.
- Find out about the disaster plan at your workplace, your children's school or childcare center and other places your family frequents.
TIP: Create a preparedness calendar to keep your skills, equipment and food storage up to date.
What Kit Are You Building?
Preparing for each hazard individually is important, but many of the skills and supplies you will need during one event are also useful during another. If you do not yet have a kit, Chapter 4 will help guide you. You may start at with the Grab-n-Go Binder and progress through to 2 Weeks Ready or build them in the way that best suits your family. Remember, 2-Weeks-Ready is the state standard but it is only the foundation for long-term preparedness. Ask yourself these questions to help you on your way:
- What scenario are you planning for?
- How many people are you planning for, including those who may not live with you?
- What skills, equipment and supplies will you need?
- What skills, equipment and supplies do you already have?
- What shortfalls can you eliminate?
- How do you train/maintain your plans?