Tue 6 Jul 2010
No one knows how or when a disaster will strike. But everyone should be prepared. A disaster is a sudden event that causes great harm to people and property. The disaster might be severe weather, such as a hurricane or a tornado. Or it might be a flood, an earthquake, or a volcano.
Disasters can also be caused by people. A large fire might threaten an entire community.
Chemicals might spill from a truck. A terrorist attack might threaten air, water, or personal safety. Being prepared starts with having a conversation. Household members need to talk about the kinds of things that can happen where you live. Develop a family communication plan and assemble disaster supply kits that are stored in an identified place in the home. If a disaster does strike, go to an inside room of your home, or to the room with the fewest windows. Bring your disaster supply kit with you. Listen to a battery-powered radio for news and instructions.
Sometimes household members are away from home during a disaster. Or emergency officials might advise you to leave your home. In either case, you and your loved ones will need a place to meet. Pick a friend or relative’s house outside your neighborhood. Be sure to pick this place before a disaster strikes so you can be prepared. Also, memorize the phone number of a relative that lives out of state. Use it if you become separated from your loved ones. Let that relative know where you are so your loved ones can find you.
Your communication plan should include:
• Places in and out of your town, where you and your family could meet.
• Phone numbers of in-town contacts.
• An address and phone number of someone out of town (this could be a friend or relative).
• You can write this information on a card that each family member keeps with them. Help your children feel safe.
• Discuss and learn together about the different types of weather that can affect your area.
• Tell your children that you or another grownup will be there to help if something happens. Talk about how a relief worker, firefighter, police officer, teacher, neighbor or doctor might help.
• Put a list of emergency numbers by each telephone in your home. Tell you children what each number is for. You should also list the work and cell phone numbers of family members.
FEMA has a site, www.Ready.gov which is devoted to emergency planning. FEMA’s motto is:
- Get a Kit
- Make a Plan
- Be Informed
There are many disasters happening throughout the US. BE PREPARED!