1. Be Informed
- Listen to local radio and television stations for forecasts and emergency instructions. Post the dial/channel listings of these stations for easy access.
- Keep phone lines open to notify local authorities of fires, flash floods, tornado sightings, injuries or damage. Do not use the telephone to obtain emergency information.
- Learn your children's school and/or day care center emergency plans.
- Learn your worksite's emergency plans.
- Post all emergency plans/phone numbers in a prominent place.
- Learn your community's evacuation routes, as some hazards may force you to leave your home. This is especially important for those in low-lying areas where flood waters could make roads impassable.
- Learn first aid. Professional medical assistance may not be immediately available.
2. Develop A Family Plan
Conduct family meetings and discuss hazards that may affect our area. Talk about what each family member should do in each of these emergencies. Put the plan in writing and see that everyone in the family has a copy. Parents should carefully explain safety rules to their children.
- Teach family members about smoke detectors and how to maintain them. Select a predesignated place to meet outside if a sudden emergency like a fire forces you out of the house. Conduct evacuation drills periodically.
- Go from room to room and imagine what would happen to furniture, appliances, fixtures, and objects during disasters. Identify "safe" areas in each room such as in doorways or under sturdy tables in earthquakes, or interior bathrooms or closets on the lowest floor for tornadoes. Identify all potential exits for each room. Check for frayed electrical cords or overloaded circuits. Don't keep rags or paper goods near electrical equipment or flammable materials.
- Teach responsible family members how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at main switches.
- Decide on an alternate location at which to meet if an emergency happens while your family is away from the home and they cannot return.
- Select someone outside your immediate area to act as a central point of contact for your relatives and friends who may try to call you following a disaster, as you may not have telephone service. As soon as some means of communication becomes available, get word of your situation to the contact person.
An emergency could isolate you in your home for several days. Make sure you have on hand at least a five-day supply of food and water for each family member. Store water is sealed, unbreakable containers.
Since refrigeration and cooking facilities may not be available, foods should be non-perishable goods such as canned or sealed-package items. Rotate foods into your regular pantry supplies and replace stored water every few months.
Other items you may want to keep stocked for emergency use:
- Special medicines or foods required by family members -- such as insulin, prescription medicines, baby food, or food required for special or limited diets.
- Battery-powered radio and flashlight and extra batteries for each.
- A first aid kit and manual. Your local fire department, rescue squad, or local American Red Cross chapter can offer advice about items you should include in your kit.
- Fire-fighting equipment to suppress small fires, including an all-purpose, 5-lb. fire extinguisher (rated A-B-C).
- Fuel heating device. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and make sure there is adequate ventilation to avoid build-up of hazardous fumes.
For more information, visit this site: http://www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?genericContentID=297
What should be in your first aid kit?
- pocket mask/ face shield
- band-aids, gauzes, and dressings
- hand sanitizer
- cotton swab
- space blanket/ emergency blanket (foil blanket)
- oral rehydration salts
- smelling salts
- aloe vera gel/ burn cream
- petroleum jelly
Hope all of you, including your loved ones and family members are safe. Let us all continue to pray for our brothers and sisters who are greatly affected by this recent disaster.