Remember: All Disasters are Local!
Often people in the community do not adequately prepare for disasters, but instead opt to rely on emergency responders to take care of things. Most often this strategy is not a problem, but in a large scale event such as a tornado, fire, disease outbreak or other such even those services are overloaded and emergency responders may not be able to get to you as quickly as you need them which is why preparation for disasters is so important.
Prepare for a health emergency by taking these steps at a minimum:
- Prepare a family disaster/survival supply kit. More information on building a kit can be found either at Ready.gov or TexasPrepares.org.
- Keep copies of your important documents such as identification cards or passports.
- Maintain a list of emergency telephone numbers which should be included in your kit.
- Keep a number of a non-local family member you can contact that can notify other family members of your status (helps keep telephone calls to a minimum in an emergency).
- Show family members how to turn off water, gas, and electricity in the case of an emergency.
- Teach family members how to use your home fire extinguisher.
- Have a plan for the family if an event happens while members are separated.
- Don't forget to have kits in your vehicles and have a plan in case disaster strikes during work/school hours.
Family Disaster Preparedness Kit
Here are some basic things you would want to include in a family disaster kit. Keep in mind, this kit is intended to keep you fed and safe for at least 3 days. It is also a good idea to have "bug out" bags for each family member in the event that you cannot stay in your home and need to evacuate quickly. Such situations may not allow time for packing a bag.
- Three day supply of drinking water (this is important in the event that standard utilities are not operational).
- Canned food.
- Manual can opener.
- One change of clothing and footwear per person.
- One blanket or sleeping bag per person.
- First aid kit that includes critical family member prescription medications.
- Flashlight with extra batteries.
- Battery operated radio.
- Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
- Sanitation supplies.
- Cash or traveler’s checks.
If disaster strikes remember to:
- Check on neighbors, especially the elderly or disabled.
- Confine or secure your pets.
- Stay away from downed power lines or other obvious hazards.