safe to say that a good majority of people in the US are not
prepared for a major emergency or disaster. This is
unfortunate as the risk of confusion, panic, serious injury, and
death can be greatly reduced by taking some simple steps to plan
and prepare ahead for such emergencies.
addition to reducing the previously mentioned risks, planning and
preparing ahead will also allow you to better focus and handle
emergency situations when they do occur. Remember, after a
disaster or other major emergency, police and fire services will
be strained beyond capacity leaving you dependent on NO ONE BUT
YOURSELF for hours, days, possibly even weeks!
This section of our site is
designed to help you prepare yourself and your family for those
inevitable events that will strike. Whether a minor event or a
major disaster, the following tips and ideas can help you to get
Preparing Your Disaster Plan
A disaster can strike
at anytime. Chances are good that when disaster does strike, you and
your family may not be together. It is important to create a plan
for you and your family on how you will contact and communicate with
each other in the event of a major emergency.
By making a plan, you
create a communication link between family members and help reduce
the anxiety created by worry. Your plan should
cover the following:
WHAT CAN HAPPEN IN YOUR AREA
- Meet with your family and
discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. Explain the
dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children.
Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.
- Discuss the types of disasters
that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.
Check out FEMA's Disaster
Maps to learn what disasters occur near you.
- Talk to your neighbors about
working together should an emergency disaster strike near you.
AN COMMUNICATION PLAN
In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.
AN EMERGENCY CONTACT
You should choose and
designate an emergency contact, preferably out-of-state family or a
friend who can be contacted by member of your family in the event of
a disaster. Make sure everyone knows the number and has a calling
card or that your contact accepts collect calls.
Keep in mind that
during a major emergency, telephone systems may not be working or
you may have trouble getting through, patience is key. Generally its
often easier to call long distance than it is to call locally in the
affected area. Family members should call the designated contact and
tell what the situation is and where they are at.
A DESIGNATED MEETING PLACE
You need to designate
place where family members should meet after an emergency or
disaster. It can be as simple as a certain light pole or a street
corner, etc. Be sure to pick a place that everyone knows how to get
to. Choose a secondary or back-up location outside your neighborhood
in case you can't return home.
DISCUSS WHAT TO
DO IN AN EVACUATION
In the event of an evacuation,
authorities will provided you with the location of the temporary
shelter set up by authorities and the American Red Cross for
residents affected by the evacuation. Follow instructions and
routes given to you by emergency personal CAREFULLY!, your life may
could depend on it!
Be sure to take your disaster
supply kit including a police
scanner or portable radio, flashlight, batteries, and first
aid kit with you.
HAVE A PLAN FOR
Plan to care for pets
ahead of time. During an evacuation, shelters do not allow pets
because of health regulations. For more information on how to care
for your pets, click
here. Also, be sure to have an emergency
kit for your pet.