Being Red Stick Ready for a disaster means being prepared for all hazards prior to the emergency
MAKE A PLAN
Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Make a disaster plan with your household members to prepare for what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate in an emergency. Make a plan that best suits your needs and the needs of your household.
- Know where you will meet family, friends, or caregivers after an emergency.
- Pick two places to meet: one right outside your home and another outside your neighborhood, such as a library, community center, or place of worship.
- There are resources available to help you locate family and friends that have been affected by a disaster. Learn more
- Identify all possible exit routes from your home and neighborhood.
- Pick someone near your home that family or friends can call for support 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.
- Plan for everybody's needs, including seniors; people with disabilities, access and functional needs; children; non-English speakers; and pets and service animals.
- Ensure that household members have a copy of your household disaster plan and emergency contact information to keep in their wallets and backpacks.
- Practice your plan with all household members.
- Gather supplies for whether you have to stay or go leave your home.
- When developing your family's disaster plan, you should assemble and make copies of vital contact information for each family member.
- Tip: buy the right insurance. If you rent your home, renter's insurance will insure the items inside your apartment. If you are a homeowner, make sure your home is properly insured — flood and wind damage are not covered in a basic homeowner's policy.
BUILD A 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
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and cars.
Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
Car: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.
As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets or specific needs like operating medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:
- Different ages of members within your household
- Responsibilities for assisting others
- Locations frequented
- Dietary needs
- Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
- Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
- Languages spoken
- Cultural and religious considerations
- Pets or service animals
- Households with school-aged children