The likelihood of you and your family, pets, elderly relatives and community surviving an emergency such as a fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, severe thunderstorm, technological hazard or even a terrorist attack depends largely on the emergency planning you do today.
Emergency Preparedness: A Basic Overview
Emergency preparedness describes the way in which individuals and families can prepare themselves in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. Emergency Preparedness includes:
- Making a Preparedness Kit (for your home, car, work place, pets)
- Selecting safety zones in your home to seek shelter from a severe storm
- Identify home exits, primary location and contingency locations to meet near the house and far from the house
- Know your community’s evacuation route
- Establish out-of-town contacts for family to call and report to
Your Go Kit: Basic Disaster Supplies Kit at home: what should it include?
- Water, one gallon per person per day for at least 3 days, for both drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food
- First Aid Kit
- Battery-powered or a hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and Batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Most Towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for foods
- Local maps-tangible, not electronic
- Cell phone chargers, inverter or solar chargers
- Prescription Medicines and glasses
- Cash or travelers checks
- Important family documents
- Emergency Contact lists
- Emergency First aid reference material
- Sleeping bags or any bedding if there cold weather.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper-for water.
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Paper products to eat off
- Paper and Pencil
- Games, books, and other activities for entertainment
- Sterile adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- Gauze Pads (2- and 3- inch)
- Triangular Bandages
- Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
- Sterile roller bandages (2- and 3-inch)
- Safety razor blade
- Safety pins (assorted sizes)
- Snake bite kit (?)
- Cold packs
- Bar of soap- hand sanitizer-moist towelettes
- Non-breakable thermometer
- Antiseptic spray
- Latex gloves
- Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- Tongue blades and wooden applicator sticks
- Aspirin and non-aspirin pain reliever
- Antacid and laxative
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Eye wash
- Rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide
- Emetic (to induce vomiting)
Food for your Go Kit: how should you pack?
- Store at least a 3 day supply of non perishable foods
- Choose foods your family will/can eat
- Remember any special dietary needs (allergies, health issues)
- Avoid foods that will dehydrate you (high in sodium, dry)
Keep in mind that during a storm electricity may be out, so foods that are ready to eat ideal. Remember to include a manual can opener with your food in your go kit!
SUGGESTED FOOD ITEMS:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut Butter
- Dried Fruit
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- High energy foods
- Comfort/stress foods
Include the kids! Have them pick out a favorite book bag and then let them create their own light weight survival kit. Allow them to include one favorite toy or stuffed animal, book, puzzle, small blanket or pillow and a picture of the family.
Your Go Kit: For the Car and at Work
- Make sure to always have a HALF tank of gas
- Jumper cables
- Tire gauge
- Jack and lug wrench
- Foam tire sealant or a portable compressor and plug kit
- Spare fuses
- Extra Motor Oil, Engine Coolant and Windshield wiper fluid
- Basic Tool Kit
- Set of socket and open-end wrenches
- Multi-tip screwdriver
- Wire cutters
- Bottle opener
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Necessary medications in care you are away from home for a prolonged time
- Food items containing protein and nutrition
- Nuts and energy bars
- Canned fruit
- Peanut butter
- Portable can opener
- Water for each person and pet in your car (remember 1 gallon per person per day)
- AM/FM radio to listen to traffic, weather and emergency alerts
- Cat litter or sand for better tire traction (if inclement weather is possible)
- Ice scraper
- Warm clothing
- Gloves, hats, sturdy boots, jacket and extra change of clothing in case you get wet
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Cell phone charger
- Flares and reflective triangles
- Cash, insurance information, and roadside assistance number
- Any other requirements or special needs for those who might be in your car
- Baby formula, diapers, toys
- Back up pet supplies
- Food (enough to sustain you for one full day
- Ready to eat canned meals, meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts
- Canned juices
- High-energy foods (granola bars, energy bars, etc)
- Portable non electric can opener
- Food (enough to sustain you for one full day
- Water ( remember at least 1 gallon per person per day)
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Any medications that you may need (Rx , pain relievers, antacids, stomach remedies, etc)
- First Aid Supplies
- Bandages of various sizes
- Sterile dressing
- Conforming roller gauze bandage
- Triangular bandages
- Sterile gauze pads of various sizes
- Roll of cohesive bandage
- Germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Antiseptic wipes
- Large medical grade non-latex gloves
- Adhesive tape
- Anti-bacterial ointment
- Cold pack
- CPR breathing barrier (face shield)
- Tools and supplies
- Emergency blanket
- Personal hygiene items, including toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, contact lens supplies, extra glasses, feminine supplies
- Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
- One complete change of clothing and footwear
- Important documents, files, and equipment necessary to accomplish the essential functions of your job for another location
- General Information
Food for your go-kit: how are you storing it?
Being conscience of the food you prep in your go-kit is very important. During times of an emergency or during a disaster, the likelihood of the power being out is very high and having foods that are non perishable is the most important factor to keeping away food borne illnesses and having to throw your supply out due to spoilage. Keep in mind the food safety zones (temperatures in which bacteria grow rapidly): between 40-140 degrees F
- Keep food in a covered container
- Keep cooking and eating utensils clean
- Keep garbage in closed containers and dispose outside, burying garbage if necessary
- Keep your hands clean by washing them frequently with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected. (See Day 8)
- Discard any food that has come into contact with contaminated floodwater
- Discard any food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more
- Discard any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture
- Use ready to feed formula, if possible, for formula fed infants. If using ready to eat formula is not possible, use bottled water to prepare powdered or concentrated formula.
- Eat foods from cans that are swollen, dented or corroded, even though the product may look safe to eat or the expiration date is valid
- Eat any food that looks or smells abnormal, even if it looks normal and the expiration date is valid
- Let garbage accumulate, both for fire and sanitation purposes
REMEMBER: WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!
Food: How will you prepare food?
There are a few ways to prepare foods in times of an emergency:
- Candle warmers
- Chafing dishes
- Fondue pots
- Charcoal grills (used outdoors only though)
- Camp stoves (used outdoors only though)
Heating foods from a can:
- Remove the label and thoroughly was and disinfect the can
- Open the can before heating
Food: How to utilize the refrigerator or freezer when the power is out.
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible
- The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened
- Refrigerators should be kept at 40 degrees F or below for proper food storage.
Food: Once the Power is restored
- Check the temperature inside the refrigerator and freezer
- If the freezer temperature is 40 degree F or lower, the food is safe and may be frozen. If no thermometer in the freezer, than check each package of food to determine if its safe. If the food also contains ice crystals it’s safe to refreeze or cook.
- If foods have been above 40 degrees F for 2 or more hours throw it away
REMEMBER: WHEN IN DOUBT THROW IT OUT!
Water: How much do you need?
- 1 gallon of water per person for drinking and sanitation
- Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more water
- Medical emergencies might require additional water
- In very hot climates, water needs can double.
- Keep at least a 3 day supply for each person (for a family of 4, you will need 12 gallons of water)
- Commercially bottled water is recommended
- Use an empty plastic Soda bottle or Ice Tea bottle
- Thoroughly clean the bottle with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely
- Sanitize the bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented household chlorine bleach to a quart of water.
- Mix, so that it touches all surfaces
- Thoroughly rinse the sanitizing solution with clean water out of the bottle
- Fill bottle with regular tap water.
- If commercially treated tap water: do not add any additional chlorine
- If not commercially treated tap water: Add 2 drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach and let stand for 30 minutes
- A slight chlorine smell should be noticeable in the water, if not add 1 more teaspoon of bleach and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Tightly close using original cap.
- Date stamp the water, as to when you treated it and store in a cool dark place.
- Water purification tablets may also be used to treat water
- Water not commercially treated should be replaced every 6 months.
Water: Essentials of Managing Water
- Allow people to drink according to their needs
- Someone may need more than what rationed for the day
- Someone may need less than what is rationed for the day
- This depends on age, physical activity, physical condition and/or season.
- Never ration drinking water unless ordered to do so by authorities
- Drink the amount you need throughout the day
- No one should drink less than 4 cups of water a day
- You can limit the amount of water your body needs by minimizing activity level and staying cool
- Drink water that you know is not contaminated first
- If water appears to be cloudy from faucets, ponds or streams treat first
- If treatment is not possible, hold off from drinking; but do not become dehydrated.
- Do not drink carbonated beverages instead of drinking water
- Carbonated beverages are not adequate at keeping you hydrated, they actually dehydrate you
- Turn off main water valves
- If there are reports of broken water lines or sewage pipes shut off water pipes
- Locate valve at the incoming water source
- If there are reports of broken water lines or sewage pipes shut off water pipes
Water: Safe Water Sources
- Melted Ice Cubes
- Liquids from canned goods: Fruits/vegetables
- Water drained from pipes
- Let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your home at the highest level
- A small amount of water will trickle out
- Obtain water from the lowest faucet in the home
- Water drained from water heater
- Make sure electricity or gas if off
- Open drain at the bottom of the tank
- Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve at the tank
- Turn off hot water faucet
Water: Unsafe water sources
- Radiators Hot water boilers (home heating systems)
- Water from the toilet bowl or flush tank
- Water beds (fungicides are added to the water or chemicals in the vinyl may make water unsafe to use)
- Swimming pools, hot tubs/Jacuzzi, spas. Chemicals used to kill germs are too concentrated for safe drinking but can be used for personal hygiene, cleaning and related uses.
Water: Treatment for Safe usage
- SAFEST METHOD OF TREATING WATER
- In large pot or kettle bring water to a rolling boil for one full minute.
- Use household bleach to kill microorganisms
- Should only contain 5.25-6.0 percent sodium hypochloride.
- Do not use scented bleaches, color safe bleaches or bleaches with added cleaners
- Potency of bleach diminishes with time, use newly opened bottles
- ADD 16 drops or 1/8 teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes
- Water should have a slight smell of bleach, if it does not repeat the 16 drops or 1/8 teaspoon into the water and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Iodine and water treatment products sold at camping stores that do not contain 5.25 or 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite as only active ingredient are not recommended.
- Distillation removes microbes (germs), heavy metals, salts and most other chemicals; that resist the methods of boiling or chlorinating
- This is the process of boiling water and then the collection of only the vapor that condenses from boiling
- FILL a pot halfway with water
- Tie a cup to the handle on the pots lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down
- Boil the water for 20 minutes, collecting the water the drips into the cup.
No one way of treating water is best, usually a combination works better. Before treating any water, let all sediment settle to the bottom and strain that out through a coffee filter or layers of clean cloth.
Vital Records: What to pack with you
Keep all these important documents in a sealed, air-tight, water-proof container, folder, or bag.
- Inventory Home Possessions:
- Make a record of your personal property for insurance purposes
- Take photos or a video of the interior and exterior of your home
- Include person belongings in your inventory
Conduct an annual inventory of all your possessions for insurance claims and tax deductions.
- Important Documents
- Property, health and life insurance
- Insurance policies, deeds, property records, bank statements, social security card, Last Will and Testament, tax records, any health records and vaccinations records you have.
This is a good place to keep your child’s school emergency plan and how to contact the school, or a family member’s nursing home emergency plan and contact information.
- Create an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis
- Store all charge and bank account information in your go kit
- Keep a small amount of cash or travelers checks at home in a safe place that can be easily accessible if you need to evacuate.
- Remember that if power is out, ATMs will not work!
Kit Storage Locations: Home, Work, Car
- Home: Store somewhere that is convenient to access if you need to evacuate your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where it is and have the ability to take it with them
- Work: should be in one container and ready to grab and go in case you are evacuated from your workplace.
- Car: This should be kept in an easily accessible location in your vehicle.
Maintaining your kit: Home, Work, Car
- Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
- Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend its shelf life
- Throw out any canned goods that become swollen, dented or corroded
- Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies
- Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front
- Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
Utility Shut-Off and Safety: Natural Gas
- Contact your local gas company for proper preparations for shut off at the meter; every company has different procedures
- If you smell gas or hear blowing or a hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out quickly.
- To turn back on: a qualified professional must turn it back on.
Utility Shut-Off and Safety: Water
- Locate the shut off valves for the water line that enters your house and label the valve with a tag for easy identification.
- Make sure the valve is completely shut off
- Cracked lines may pollute the water supply to your house; if you shut it off, wait for authorities to say it is safe to turn it back on.
Utility Shut-Off and Safety: Electricity
- Locate the electrical circuit box and shut off individual circuits before shutting off the main circuit.
Plan for your Risks: Know your Communities Hazards
Make sure that all your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in operating order and the batteries are working!
You can also conduct your own household fire drills; this will help to engage kids in preparing for emergencies.
- What are the hazards natural to your area?
- Extreme Heat
- What are the hazards that could affect your community that are manmade?
- Blackouts-anywhere is vulnerable to this
- Nuclear Spills-Do you live near or in the vicinity of a nuclear power plant
- Chemical Spills-Do you live near a chemical plant? A railroad track? A major state highway?
- Household Chemical Emergencies- anywhere is vulnerable to this: you can prevent these emergencies by being careful using products and knowing how to use them and where to use them.
(INSERT NOTIFY ME ADVERT HERE- saying this is how they will be able to be notified of a spill or emergency)
Plan for Locations: Consider what places you frequent and inquire into what these locations’ plans are in the event of an emergency; than customize your own set of plans to correlate to those of the locations. Locations to consider include:
- Places of worship
- Sports arenas and playing fields
- Entertainment locations such as theaters
- Shopping centers such as malls and retail centers and grocery stores
- Tourist and travel locations such as hotels
Information to look into at these locations would include:
- How you and other occupants will get local alerts or warnings while you are there
- Building location alarm or alert systems
- Building occupation evacuation plans including alternate exits
- Building or organization plans for sheltering occupants in an emergency
- Key supplies you/household members and others would need for temporary sheltering
Lastly: consider the location of the building and the environment that surrounds it. For example:
- Single story vs multi story or high rise buildings have different types of alarm systems, shelter and evacuation considerations
- Urban and rural locations may have different local assumptions and plans for evacuation and shelter depending on the specific building structure and likely safe methods for evacuation or safe locations for shelter for different types of emergencies
- Outdoor locations like sports fields or golf courses need specific plans for rapid short-term shelter
- Geography may be critical for some hazards
- Mobile homes, modular structures and other buildings not attached to permanent foundations require planning for evacuation and alternate shelter locations.
Escape Routes/Evacuation Routes
Here’s a task for you today!
- Draw a floor plan of your home.
- Use a blank sheet of paper for each floor
- Mark two escape routes from each room
- Post a copy of the drawing at eye level in each child’s room
Where to Meet
Where are you? Where to meet?
Near the home The next door neighbors telephone pole
Outside the immediate area The neighborhood grocery store parking lot
Family Communications: How will you contact one another?
- Complete a contact card for each member in your family.
- Identify a contact (such as a friend or relative) who lives out of state for each member of the household to check in with during an emergency
- It will typically be easier to make a long distance call than to call across town
- Make sure everyone knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card
- If you have a cell phone program this person into your phone as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) Typically if you are in an accident emergency responders will check your phone for this title.
- Text messaging is great in times of an emergency. Typically text messages will be able to work around network disruptions when a phone call may not go through.
- Subscribe to alert services- NOTIFYME
Get Tech Ready: ALERT SERVICES
- Sign up for County-wide, City-wide and Nation-wide text messaging and email alert services.
- NOTIFY ME PRINCE GEORGES : https://notifyme.princegeorgescountymd.gov/index.php?CCheck=1
- Stay Connected During an Emergency
- Keep your contacts all updated-via text messages, phone calls, emails and on facebook, twitter, g+, etc.
- Consider creating a group list-serve of your top contacts, so this is a quick process
- Know how to send text messages-and make sure that all your family members know how to send and receive these as well.
- Keep extra batteries for your phone in a safe place or purchase a solar-powered or hand crank charger-for keeping cell phones and laptops charged during an emergency.
- Make sure to have a charger for your phone in your car.
- Program your Emergency Contact in your cell phone as the “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) title- let this person know that they are your ICE, as well as any medical issues or other special needs you may have.
- If you have a traditional landline phone (Non-broadband or VOIP) keep at least one non-cordless receiver in your home because it will work even if you lose power.
- If you are evacuated and have call-forwarding on your home phone, forward your home phone to your cell phone
- If you do not have a cell phone, keep a prepaid calling card on you
- Prepare a family contact sheet – to include the ICE
- Have a battery powered or hand cranked radio or television available with extra batteries
- TIPS FOR TECHNOLOGY
- Keep phone calls brief, for battery power to last longer.
- If your phone call is unsuccessful dialing through to the number, wait 10 seconds to avoid network congestion.
- Conserve battery power by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone to airplane mode, and close all apps not being used.
- If you lose power, you can charge your phone in your car, make sure that you car is in a well ventilated area
- Immediately after a disaster, resist using your cell phone to watch videos, download music or videos or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion. Limiting the use of these services can help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 9-1-1
- For non emergency situations, use text messaging, emailing or social media to get a message out, instead of making a phone call, again this will clear up network congestion allowing for live saving emergency calls to better get through to 9-1-1.
Get Tech Ready: Get Organized
- Store your important documents in the “Cloud” or a secure flash drive that you can keep readily available. (you can keep this flash drive on your key ring)
- Documents that should be stored in Cloud or on a flash drive include:
- Personal and Property Insurance
- ID- driver’s license, passport, military ID
- Bank information
- Your pets veterinary medical records
- Current photos of you and your family members, as well as all pets.
- Documents that should be stored in Cloud or on a flash drive include:
Get Tech Ready: Emergency Resources
- Save important websites that you and/or your family members utilize or might need to visit in the event of an emergency.
- Local emergency management agency website, with contact info
- County/state website
- Center for Disease Control: m.cdc.gov
- American Red Cross: www.redcross.org/mobile
- FEMA/Ready: Fema.gov
- National Hurricane Center: www.nhc.noaa.gov/mobile
- National Weather Service: www.weather.com
- Also, Save your families predestined meeting areas on a map on your phone/computer
- Also, Know that you can call 3-1-1 for non-emergencies
Individuals with Access and Functional Needs: What are functional Needs?
- Those who are deaf or hard of hearing may need to make special arrangements to receive emergency messages.
- Single working parents and those with limited English proficiency may need help planning for disasters and emergencies. Community, faith-based and cultural groups may be able to help keep people informed.
- People without vehicles may need to make arrangements for transportation
- People with special dietary needs should take precautions to have an adequate emergency food supply
Individuals with Access and Functional Needs: How to Stay Independent
- Create a support network to help you plan for an emergency, tell these people your emergency plans, where you keep your emergency supplies and give one or two of these people (Whom you trust) a key to your house or apartment. Consider:
- People who provide services to you
- Faith-based and community groups
- Contact your Prince Georges County Office of Emergency Management and ask for assistance or advice on how to plan.
- If you receive dialysis or other life sustaining medical treatment, identify the locations and availability of more than one facility and work with your provider to develop your personal emergency plan.
- Show others how to operate your wheelchair or other assistive devices
- Keep contact information for local independent living centers and other disability services organizations in a safe and easy to access place.
- If you use in-home support services such as Meals on Wheels, Life Alert or other support services, work with them to personalize emergency preparedness plans to meet your needs so you can keep in touch with them during and after an emergency.
- Work with local transportation and disability services to plan ahead for accessible transportation if you may need that for evacuation or other reasons during a disaster.
- Develop back-up plans for personal assistance services, hospice or other forms of in-home assistance.
Individuals with Access and Functional Needs: Emergency Items
Be sure to have a Medical Alert Bracelet or Necklace
On top of the general Items that should already be in your Go-Kit, please keep these items in consideration when building your Go-Kit.
- Extra eye glasses, hearing aids, cane, walker, dentures, etc.
- Battery chargers and extra batteries for hearing aids, motorized wheelchairs or other battery-operated medical or assistive technology devices
- Copies of medical prescriptions, doctors orders and the style and serial numbers of the support devices you use
- Medical alert tags or bracelets or written descriptions or your disability and support needs (in case you cannot describe the situation or what your needs are)
- Supplies for you services animal
- Medical insurance cards, Medicare/Medicaid cards, physician contact information, list of your allergies and health history
- List of local non-profit or community-based organizations that know you or assist people with access and functional needs similar to yours
- A list of personal contacts, family and friends that you may need to contact in an emergency
- A laminated personal communication board, if you might need assistance with being understood
- Extra medicine, oxygen, insulin, catheters or other medical supplies you use regularly.
- If you use a motorized wheelchair, have a light weight manual chair available for emergencies. Know the size and weight of your wheelchair, in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported
- Put your information (health insurance, Medicare/Medicaid information, physician contact information, list of allergies and health history, health needs) on a portable thumb drive for easy transportation if you have to evacuate.
Individuals with Access and Functional Needs:
Be sure to have a Medical Alert Bracelet or Necklace
- For those Hard of Hearing or deaf:
- Store pens and paper in their emergency kits
- Carry printed messages
- Get battery operated televisions that has a decoder chip for access to signed or captioned emergency reports
- For those with Communication/Speech related disabilities:
- Store writing materials and/or preprinted message
- Make sure your emergency health card states the best way to communicate with you
- Make sure you have an alternate power source if you use a computer for communications
- For those with Cognitive/Intellectual Disabilities and/or Psychiatric Needs:
- Keep a written copy of prescript notes, so rescuer will know how to communicate with you to assess your needs
- For those with Visual Impairments:
- If you have some vision, place security lights in each room to light travel path.
- Make sure you know exactly where you emergency supplies are in your home.
Infants and Young Children: Unique needs
When packing your Go-kit, do you have everything you need for the young people in your family?
- For Babies
- Powdered milk
- Moist towelettes
- Diaper rash ointment
- Teething rings
- Blankets, toys, play pen
- For Toddlers
- Plan for their dietary needs
- Diapers, toilet training products
- Toys and books
- Any medications they may need
- For Young Children
- Plan for their dietary needs
- Any medications they may need
- Have them help you select a toy and/or book that they would like to have with them
- Have them help you select a blanket or sleep aid that may make it easier for them to stay relaxed in a shelter.
Senior Citizens Needs
It is important that Senior Citizens take the necessary measures to be prepared for an emergency. They should have a network of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers to aid them in the times of emergency. This network should know of their needs, their disabilities, their allergies and where to find their emergency supplies. The following items should be kept in an easily accessible location:
- Extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medications, food for service animals, walker, cane, hearing aid, eyewear and any other items that you need for day to day living.
- Keep written copies of your prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and orders for medical equipment including dosage, treatment and allergy information in your emergency go-kit and also on a thumb drive.
- Try to obtain an emergency supply of prescription medications; if you can’t than talk to your pharmacist or doctor about what options you have to prepare yourself for an emergency; if you cannot obtain an emergency supply of prescription medications, be sure to fill your prescription on the first day you are eligible for a refill.
- If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital or if you receive regular services such as home health care, treatment or transportation, talk to your service provider about their emergency plans. Work with them to identify back-up service providers and incorporate them into your personal support network.
- Consider other personal needs such as eyeglasses, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries, wheelchair batteries and oxygen.
Senior Citizens: Important Documents to have ready in an Emergency.
- Family records, medicals records, wills, deeds, social security number, charge and bank account information, tax records
- Copies of medical insurance and Medicaid cards
- List of the style and serial number of all medical devices or other life-sustaining devices, include operating information and instructions
- Make sure that a friend or family member has copies of all these documents
- Include the name and contact information of your support network, as well as your medical providers
- If you have a communications disability, make sure your emergency information notes the best way to communicate with you
- Keep these documents in a water tight container for quick and easy access
Senior Citizens: They Need a Support Network Too
- As a senior citizen, if you anticipate needing assistance during a disaster, talk to family, neighbors, friends and co-workers
- Write down and share each aspect of your emergency plan with everyone in your support network.
- Make sure everyone knows how you plan to evacuate your home and where you will go
- Make sure that someone in your local network has an extra key to your home and knows where your emergency go kit and all other emergency supplies are.
- Teach those who will help you how to use any lifesaving equipment, administer medicine in case of an emergency
- Practice your plan with those who have agreed to be part of your network.
Caring for Animals: What you need to consider
Preparing for a pet is similar to preparing for you and your family. The difference will depend upon whether or not you have to evacuate or shelter in place. Identify a veterinarian’s office, animal shelter, kennel or family member’s home that will accept the pet in case you are absent and have the transportation equipment for a safe transport. Also contact out of area hotels or motels to check on their pet acceptance policy.
Develop a buddy system for someone to be available to evacuate your pet if you are unable to do so. Check out www.ready.gov/america/getakit.pets.html.
If you must leave your pet behind, never keep him chained up or locked in a cage. Leave them out in the open, with plenty of food and water; remove the toilet lid, raise the seat and brace the bathroom door open, so they can drink the water if they need to.
Lastly, in your air-tight, water resistant container with all your important documents, keep a copy of your pet’s vaccination records, registrations, medications and a current photo or two, along with a printed description of the pet for proof of ownership.
What if disaster strikes at work?
Check out http://www.ready.gov/business/
- Learn about disaster plans in your workplace:
- Sheltering in place or evacuation
- Continuity of Operation Plans
- Chain of Command if your office is specifically involved.
- Know where to find a phone list of key employees/customers
- Prepare an emergency go-kit for the office-make sure its tailored to everyone’s specific needs in the office.
- Designate one remote number that you can leave a message for employees regarding the status of the office-make sure everyone knows this number.
- Emergency Plan
- This should define specific roles and responsibilities that authorizes selected employees to act and develop the program to protect employees/customers
- Maintains public service to minimize disruptions to the business operations
- Protects the facility, assets, electronic information and prevents environmental damage.
What if disaster strikes while you or your children are at school?
Check out this website: http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/emergencyplan/index.html
- Develop procedures for communicating with students, staff and other families
- Establish procedures to account for students/faculty
This is a good time to discuss with children the importance of emergency preparedness again. Ask them what concerns they have or what they would do in certain situations. It’s never too early to start children thinking about preparedness.
Military Family Preparedness
- Every time you relocate, learn the types of emergencies likely to affect the area and update your emergency kit and plan with new materials if necessary.
- Be aware that mass warning systems differ at different locations. It could be a “Giant Voice” outside speaker, siren, telephone alert or some other system or procedures
- If you are stationed abroad find out what the emergency phone number is (most likely it’s not 911); be sure to have you passport in an easily accessible place at all times-if you need to grab it on the go you can; as well as your birth abroad certificates for children born overseas; cash in the local currency; a card with local translations of basic terms and an electrical currency converter.
- READY ARMY is an Army-wide campaign developed by the headquarters Department of the Army and the Army Emergency Management Program to prepare the Army Community, encourages soldiers, their families and Army Civilians to build a kit, make a plan and be informed.
- The Secretary of Defense may direct all DOD affiliated people in the affected area to check in with their Command for accountability-if you have internet you can do this via Army Disaster Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (ADPAAS) OR report through Chain of Command or by contacting one of these call centers:
- Army Info Hotline: 1-800-833-6622
- Army One Source: (Within CONUS) 1-800-464-8107
(Outside CONUS collect) 484-530-5980
(Outside CONUS Toll-free) 1-800-3429-6477
- Operation Prepare is a Navy-wide program initiated by the Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC)
- Prepare to Muster:
- Navy requires you to muster or report your whereabouts with your command to ensure all member of the Navy Family are accounted for
- Log into the Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System (NFAAS) or call Navy Personnel Command Emergency Coordination Center (NPCECC) at 1-877-414-5358 or 1-866-297-1971
- AIR FORCE:
- Check in on Air Force Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (AFPAAS) website or call Air Force Personnel Readiness Center at 1-800-435-9941, DSN 665-2020 or commercial at 1-210-565-2020