Always Have a Plan

Always Have a Plan Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. Family Emergency Plan Identify an out-of town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts. Teach family...
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Have a Survival Preparedness Kit

Have a Survival Preparedness Kit You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer. Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit: Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both Flashlight and extra batteries First aid kit Whistle to signal for help Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct...
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Why Disaster Preparation is Important

Why Disaster Preparation is Important Some people are apathetic about preparedness, often because they aren’t sure what to do or where to begin. They may become overwhelmed at the prospect of a crisis and the responsibility of self-reliance and become discouraged before they begin. Others are frustrated by contradictory advice, not sure whose ideas to follow. Still others do nothing, figuring that if trouble comes, an emergency disaster organization will rush to their rescue. A common misconception that can be refuted is that the government will immediately come to the rescue. Federal and state organizations perform marvelous service, but when a large population is relying solely upon them, it is virtually impossible to provide for specific or individual needs of everyone. The Federal Emergency Management Agency advises, “If a disaster threatens your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you. But you need to be prepared as well. Local officials may be overwhelmed after a major disaster, and emergency...
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Coping with Disasters

Coping with Disaster The emotional toll that disaster brings can sometimes be even more devastating than the financial strains of damage and loss of home, business, or personal property. Understand Disaster Events Everyone who sees or experiences a disaster is affected by it in some way. It is normal to feel anxious about your own safety and that of your family and close friends. Profound sadness, grief, and anger are normal reactions to an abnormal event. Acknowledging your feelings helps you recover. Focusing on your strengths and abilities helps you heal. Accepting help from community programs and resources is healthy. Everyone has different needs and different ways of coping. It is common to want to strike back at people who have caused great pain. Children and older adults are of special concern in the aftermath of disasters. Even individuals who experience a disaster “second hand” through exposure to extensive media coverage can be affected. Contact local faith-based organizations, voluntary agencies, or professional counselors for counseling. Additionally, FEMA and state and local governments of...
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Water Supply

Water Supply Water is one of your most urgent needs in a survival situation. You can’t live long without it, especially in hot areas where you lose water rapidly through perspiration. Even in cold areas, you need a minimum of 2 liters of water each day to maintain efficiency. More than three-fourths of your body is composed of fluids. Your body loses fluid as a result of heat, cold, stress and exertion. To function effectively, you must replace the fluid your body loses. So, one of your first goals is to obtain an adequate supply of water. Securing a dependable supply of drinking water may be your greatest challenge. Indeed, the entire world seems to be entering a crisis mode — one-fifth of humanity has no access to safe drinking water and it’s only getting worse. For most everyone reading this, however, there’s still plenty of easily accessible water, but water main breaks, flooding and contamination may change things abruptly. In addition, more regions...
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During a Hurricane

During a Hurricane If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should: Listen to the radio or TV for information. Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors. Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed. Turn off propane tanks.· Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies. Moor your boat if time permits. Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water. You should evacuate under the following conditions: If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions. If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure—such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricanes no matter how well fastened to the ground. If you live in a high-rise building—hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations. If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an...
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Before a Hurricane

Before a Hurricane To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures: Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking. Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage. Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed. Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts. Determine how and where to secure your boat. Consider building a safe room. // ...
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During a Flood

During a Flood If a flood is likely in your area, you should: Listen to the radio or television for information. Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move. Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain. If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following: Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor. Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips: Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have...
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