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Tips for Disaster Situations

Create a Family Disaster Plan

  • Pick two places to meet in case of disaster, one outside of your home in case of fire and one outside of your neighborhood in case you cannot return home.

  • Pick two out-of-town contacts for children and adults to call in case of separation. During an emergency it is often easier to complete a long-distance call than a local call.

  • Discuss a plan on where to stay in case authorities advise you to evacuate - make arrangements with a friend or relative who lives out of town and learn more about public shelters in your community.

  • Plan how to take care of your pets. Pets are usually not permitted at public shelters. Contact your local emergency management agency to find out about shelters that may accept pets.

  • Store a shut-off valve wrench or special tool near gas and water shut-off valves. Do not turn off the valves unless you suspect a leak or if you are instructed to do so by authorities. If you turn the gas off, you will need a professional to turn it back on, which could take some time in a real emergency.

  • Keep originals of important documents in a safe deposit box. Make two copies of each document. Keep one set in a waterproof, fire-resistant portable box in the home and give the other copy to an out-of-town friend.

Make a Disaster Supplies Kit and review its contents every six months.

Disaster Supplies Kit

  • Portable, battery powered radio or television
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Cash and coins
  • Copies of important documents - driver's license, passports, work badges and copies of medical prescriptions and credit cards
  • Extra set of house and car keys
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Special items such as contact lenses and supplies, hearing aid batteries, baby and pet supplies
  • Food - a three day supply in the kit and at least four extra days readily accesible
  • Water - three gallons per person in the kit and an additional four gallons per person readily accessible
  • Medications - prescription and non-prescription
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Complete change of clothes and extra footwear for each person - adjust for the season
  • Blanket or sleeping bag for each person
  • Small tent
  • Compass
  • Shovel
  • Paper and pencils
  • Needles and thread
  • Whistle
  • Emergency preparedness manual
  • Sanitation and hygiene items - toilet paper, soap, feminine supplies
  • Heavy duty Garbage bags with ties
  • Entertainment items - children's games, books, or cards
  • Roll of duct tape (10 millimeters thick)
  • Scissors
  • Plastic sheeting pre-cut to fit shelter-in-place room openings

For more information:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dept. of Homeland Security
American Red Cross

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