BASIC DISASTER PLANNING NOTES
BECAUSE WHAT IF IT HAPPENED TODAY, WOULD YOU BE READY?
1). Make a Plan.
A. Know what type of disasters could occur in your area and plan accordingly. Hold a family meeting to talk about these possibilities and your disaster plans.
B. Make an updated list of Emergency numbers such as local utilities, poison control, police, fire etc. Keep a copy by your home and office phone and have another copy in your wallet or purse and one for each member of your household or family. This should include an out of area contact number (A Family or Friend because local lines may be jammed).
C. Have a safe central location meeting spot in your home and one outside your home, depending on the type of disaster. Example: For a fire you would want to meet in a safe place outside away from downed power lines and falling debris, however for a hurricane or tornado you would want to be in a safe location in the house away from windows, possibly a safe room or basement.
D. Know your communities evacuation routes.
E. Take into account any special needs for elderly or disabled persons.
F. Take into account any special needs for your pets and/or livestock.
G. Have a good pair of shoes, warm clothes and flashlight (preferably crank or solar as to not need batteries) near each family members bed in case a fast evacuation is required. Also you should have a bug out kit, bag or backpack at the ready if a fast evacuation is required. This kit should be lightweight, and have at least the basic 72 hours of food, water, medical supplies as well as extra dry clothes etc.
H. Note: one for each member of the family is even better to keep one person from having to carry all the weight.
I. Also have a quality Disaster Relief Kit with AT LEAST 72 hours or three days of life saving supplies like light weight long shelf life food solutions, water (at least one gal per person per day for at least three days, stored in a food grade or water safe container and should be rotated every six months). It is also a good idea to keep water purification tablets with your kit. A medical kit with a basic first-aid manual, flashlights and radios (again preferably crank or solar) staged in an easily accessible area of your home. (Possibly inside near your back door).
FEMA and The American Red Cross and other Emergency Management Officials suggest 72 hours or three days, however I recommend a much longer period of time for your home kit and supplies to be able to last without outside assistance.
J. It is also important to realize disasters don’t wait for you to be home, so you should always have a kit in your vehicle, one at your office at school etc. Small, lightweight and waterproof is also good.
K. It is also important to have copies of important family documents, pictures and important items stored in an off location safe place such as a bank safe deposit box at your bank.
L. If you use Gas Utilities, you should have an emergency shut off valve. The main breaker in electric panel boxes should be shut off if accessible and not dangerous to do so when a disaster hits.
M. Strapping heavy items like wall mount Pictures and TV’s, your homes hot water heater and other heavy items is a good idea as well as securing small expensive or glass items to shelves.
N. Check your insurance policy for flood, earthquake etc… and update if need be.
O. Know your child’s school, daycare and your employers disaster plans so you can react effectively at the time of disaster.
P. Other handy items to have with your kit might be some basic tools, waterproof matches, cooking utensils, feminine and other personal hygiene products etc... Also keeping your car full of gas and your electronics such as cell phones and others fully charged with alternative charging supplies are also very good ideas.
2). Special Notes:
When a disaster hits it can be very chaotic, confusing and scary especially for children so keep some coloring books, playing cards and other items to occupy the child’s time and give them constant reassurance that everything will be OK.
You have to decide for yourself and your family at what level of disaster preparation is good for you. Maybe you’re Ok with 72 hours or three days, or maybe you want to become a full on prepper or maybe a happy middle ground works best for you. Regardless it is VERY IMPORTANT to take this seriously and begin preparing now because once a major man made or natural disaster happens, it’s too late. Even if you can get to local stores if they are open, they will run out of the basic necessities very fast.
It is also important to become disaster prepared to help take some pressure off first responders who will be overwhelmed. Another thing to keep in mind is your neighbor’s, especially the elderly or disabled, check on them to see if they need help.
This is a basic starting point to begin getting yourself and loved ones ready for a possible future disaster. I would love to help you in any way possible by just answering any preparedness questions you may have.
Our Motto is “Be Prepared, Not Scared” and we are here because nothing is more important than the safety and well being of you and your loved ones.
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Tim Pettay (Owner)