Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services, such as water, gas, electricity, or telephones were cut off? Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away.
Families can and do cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility. Learn more about Family Disaster Plans by contacting your local emergency management office or your local American Red Cross chapter.
☑ Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
☑ Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
☑ Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles.
☑ Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
☑ Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
☑ Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
☑ Check your insurance coverage – flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
☑ Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.
☑ Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
☑ Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.
More information and a Family Emergency Plan worksheet for downloading available here: www.ready.gov