Be Prepared for a Emergency Weather Event
It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of ensuring your family and household are prepared for an emergency weather event. Being storm prepared means developing a plan and then taking the necessary steps to ensure its success. A great emergency plan accounts for sufficient food, water, emergency supply storage, important documents, specific needs, and a plan for your family to communicate during and after a disaster.
Consider Specific Needs
Specific needs are needs that are exclusive to certain family members. Examples include dietary needs, medications, medical equipment, and needs specific to age and pets as well. For example, if you have any pets, contact hotels outside of your area and find out what their policies on pets are. If they have a “no pet” policy, ask if this would be waived during an emergency.
Plan Sufficient Food and Water Storage
It is crucial that if a storm or weather emergency takes place, you and your family have sufficient food and fresh water storage for up to 2 weeks. Have at least one gallon of fresh water per person, per day. This allows for fresh drinking water, and water for hygiene purposes. Stock up on non-perishable, easy to store food that is simple to prepare and does not require heat or water. Good examples include dried fruit, peanut butter, energy bars, and canned goods. Ensure that you also have a manual can opener to open any cans that you have.
Secure Important Documentation
Vital personal documentation should be stored in a fire and waterproof safe or safety deposit box. Some important documents to consider are:
- Photo IDs, birth certificates, and social security cards
- Housing payments, insurance policies, and sources of income
- Health insurance information and immunization records
Emergency Supply Essentials
Some emergency supplies that would be beneficial include:
- First aid kit, fire extinguisher, flashlights and extra batteries, a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, and portable battery powered two way radios.
- Change of clothes for at least three days, toothbrush, toothpaste, and soap
Communication during an emergency is crucial. Create a paper copy of important contact information for your family, friends, and facilities such as doctor’s offices and schools. Ensure that everyone has a copy on them at all times. It may also be helpful to post it in a central area of your home. You will also want to ensure that you have someone outside of your community or state who can act as a “contact person” to help your family reconnect. This is important, as it may be easier to make a long distance phone call rather than a local call where the phone lines may be jammed.