Jan 04, 2016 12:00PM ● Published by Bryan Scott
By Sherry Cowdell
South Valley - Disaster can strike without warning at anytime, anywhere or in any place. It can be as elusive as coming home to find your basement flooded from a broken water line or experiencing sudden unemployment and finding you do not have enough food storage on hand to feed your family through unexpected and uncertain times. Whatever the emergency is, being prepared is the key to survival.
Make a Plan:
Families can cope with disasters by preparing in advance and working together as a team. If something catastrophic were to happen, how would you contact one another, how would you get to a safe place, and what would you do in different emergency situations? Planning what to do before a disaster strikes provides the best protection for you and your family. Complete a contact card for each family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse, or backpack.
Before Disaster Strikes:
• Learn about your community’s warning signals. What do they sound like and what you should do when you hear them?
• Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
• Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster. For example, during an earthquake you would want to practice “drop, cover, and hold on” under a sturdy desk or table. During a tornado, you would want to seek shelter in a lower level room without windows.
• Know how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at the main switches and when it is important to do so.
• Know how to use the fire extinguisher, and place it in areas where sources of heat and flame co-exist.
• Conduct fire and other emergency drills with your family.
• Check your emergency supplies throughout the year to replace batteries, food, and water as needed.
• Check if you have adequate insurance coverage to cover possible flooding or structural damage to your home and property.
• Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms. Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) and smoke detectors according to manufacturer’s instructions.
• Install at least one battery-powered or battery back-up carbon monoxide alarm in your home, preferably near bedrooms. Test the battery at least twice a year, when you change the time on your clocks.
• Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class.
If a disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. You should have emergency kits for your home, office, school, and car. Here are some steps you can take to help your family stay safer and healthier during and after a disaster.
Pack an emergency supply kit:
Food and Water
• Water-one gallon per person, per day
• Food-easy-to-make and won’t spoil
• Manual can opener
• Battery powered, solar, or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
• Cell phone with chargers
• Extra batteries
Health and safety supplies
• First aid kit
• Medicine (7-day supply), other medical supplies, and paperwork about any serious or on-going medical condition
• Emergency blanket
• Soap, toothbrush, and other personal care items
You should also keep:
• Family and emergency contact information
• Multipurpose tool
• Copies of important documents such as insurance cards, immunization records, etc.
• Extra cash
• Map(s) of the area
• Extra set of car keys and house keys
Please join us at the Riverton Senior Center Wed., Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. in partnership with the Division of Emergency Management, for a presentation on “Emergency Preparedness on a Budget”. Maralin Hoff, known as the “earthquake lady” will present on topics such as: planning ahead for specific disasters, how to make an emergency kit, planning on a budget, etc.
Disasters happen when you least expect them. If you prepare now you will be better able to meet the challenges that lie ahead when the unexpected arises.
For more information visit: http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness