Successful emergency preparedness requires every individual that shapes our community. When a disaster affects East Baton Rouge Parish, it takes the whole community to respond and recover. Every citizen, business, and organization plays a vital role in ensuring the resiliency of our Parish.
There are many ways to take action and prepare before a disaster occurs; this will ensure safety during a disaster and lessen the impact or need for recovery.
Make a Plan
Make a disaster plan with all members of the household or network. Consider what to do when disaster strikes, determine a meeting place, and how to communicate in an emergency. Make a plan that best suits personnel needs and the needs of the household.
Be inclusive in any disaster planning and consider the specific needs of the household. Children, the elderly, and those with disabilities or access and functional needs may need additional consideration.
Emergencies can occur anytime, discuss where to meet family, friends, or caregivers after an emergency. Pick two meeting places: one near the home in case of a household emergency, and the another should be an easily assessable public facility, such as a library, community center, or place of worship. Inquire with frequently visited locations like schools or work for what plans are in place for the facility.
Consider the transportation needs of the household, recognizing that a disaster may impact normal routes and transportation methods.
Create a Communication List so household members can connect during a disaster. Pick an out-of-area contact that family or friends can call if separated during a disaster. If cell phone circuits are busy, long-distance calls may be easier to make, this out-of-area contact can help you and your family communicate. Keep in mind that cell phones may not function during and immediately following a disaster due to high volume of activity; however, text messages can often get through, even if you can't make calls on your cell phone.
Practice disaster plans with all household members. Ensure that everyone has a copy of the household disaster plan and emergency contact information to keep at frequently visited locations.
Build a Disaster Kit
A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag. A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Prescription medications
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Many disasters happen with little or no warning. You need to be ready with the appropriate skills and knowledge to act immediately. Taking simple actions today to prepare for disasters will give peace of mind - even in the uncertainty of disaster.
Staying informed is one of the most important preparedness actions to be Red Stick Ready for all hazards. Current and up-to-date information can guide the decision making process throughout all phases of an emergency. preparation, our response, and recovery efforts.
There are several ways to receive emergency information during a disaster. It’s important to sign up ahead of time for alerts and make notes of where to check for up-to-date information during an emergency so that you’re always Red Stick Ready.
- Monitor the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather radio station for the most up-to-date forecasts.
- Forecasts for East Baton Rouge Parish can be found on am frequency 162.400.
- Monitor your local TV & Radio stations –Media can provide important information on weather preparation efforts, forecasts, and community resources. You may love to listen to music in the car, but always reserve one of your “favorite” radio stations for talk radio, which are most likely to provide regular updates on an emergency situation.
- Use mobile apps for updates and alerts. Apps from FEMA and the National Weather Service are available in the app store on Apple and Android devices. There is also a Red Stick Ready App available which is linked to the East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Page and includes lots of preparedness tips and resources.
- Make sure to stay connected with the City-Parish government during severe weather events hurricane season and all emergency events.