Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

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Carrie McBride
May 29, 2008

A few years ago we attended a Red Cross Emergency Preparedness seminar mandated by our employer. We left convinced of the importance of having some supplies set aside in the event of the unforeseen and we even started a list of things to get. But, as it often goes, in a few days our motivation was waning and the whole project was all but forgotten in a few weeks. But the recent tragic events in Myanmar and China have renewed our motivation to make a plan and carry it through.

Click through for some resources on preparing your family for an emergency be it a hurricane, earthquake, extended power outage, etc..

When we think of emergencies, we think of the American Red Cross and that's a great place to start for information. Their mantra is "Get a Kit. Make a Plan. Be Informed." and they offer a great video module on their website to walk you through each step.

We just downloaded their Emergency Preparedness Shopping List as an Excel document so when you punch in how many family members you have and how many days you're preparing, the amounts you'll need are automatically reflected. You can shop for your kit supplies yourself or order a kit through the Red Cross online store.

The Make a Plan part involves everyone in the family: who will be responsible for what in the event of an emergency; who will be an out-of-area contact person you can each call; what's your home evacuation route; what's your plan for family pets, etc.

Be informed. This includes learning about disasters that may occur where you live (knowing if you live in a likely earthquake zone for example), learning where to get reliable information during a disaster and "action steps" you can take, like learning first aid, to help yourself, your family and your neighbors should disaster strike.

This is just a quick summary. Find more complete information at the American Red Cross's website and through the Emergency Preparedness video module.

Another great online resource is a website sponsored by the City of San Francisco, 72hours.org, which provides both general information about preparing for and coping with an emergency, but also specific information by emergency type: earthquake, terrorism, fire, transit event, contagious disease, etc. Some of the information is specific to San Francisco residents, but most will be helpful to anyone. The site also offers specific advice for preparing your children including teaching them to call 911, teaching them not to touch live wires, role playing stop, drop and roll and other things your kids should know.

Is your family prepared? Do you have parts of a plan thought out? Have you collected any supplies? Are we the only ones who get a failing grade in this department?

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