Prepare Your Family In Case Disaster Strikes
Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. Although a tornado is different
from a hurricane, earthquake, or flood, many of the ways to prepare are the same.
Once you know what kind of disasters are common in your area, develop a home disaster
plan, and hold a family meeting to discuss how to respond to each kind of disaster in case
"Preparing your family in advance is the best protection in an emergency,"
said Dr. Elaine Josephson of the American College of Emergency Physicians. "You
might not have much time to act, so develop a plan that will allow you to evacuate your
home quickly if needed. The plan should include the safest places in the house to go
in certain emergencies. You should also learn about the emergency plans in your
child's school or day care center and in your community."
Here are some tips to help keep your family safe when a disaster occurs:
- Assemble a disaster supplies kit that includes such items as a home first aid kit, extra
set of car keys, credit card, and one change of clothing per person. It's also a
good idea to have on hand 3 gallons of bottled water per person, canned foods, and
blankets or sleeping bags.
- Keep a battery-powered radio and flashlight in your home, with spare batteries; in a
disaster situation, listen to your local radio and TV stations for updates - follow all
- Conduct a household inventory. Make a detailed visual or written record of all
your possessions, including model and serial numbers.
- Store important documents in a safe deposit box away from your home. Keep
valuables and copies of important papers in an evacuation box that includes health
information, such as prescription medications; copies of prescriptions and children's
immunization records; lists of allergies; list of emergency numbers, including telephone
numbers of physicians; extra pairs of eye glasses; and a First Aid Manual.
- Conduct family emergency drills. Identify places to meet in case of emergency, and
know the safest route to emergency shelters. Show each family member how and when to
turn off water, gas, and electricity. Post emergency numbers by telephones.
- Take First Aid and CPR classes. Learning these skills and being prepared can save
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Material taken from the American College of Emergency Physicians.