The Importance of Emergency Preparedness

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While no one ever wants to think about disaster striking, the simple truth of the matter is that we are all vulnerable to becoming victims of some type of natural disaster or emergency situation. If that should happen, it is crucial that we be prepared. According to reports from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), thousands of people are affected by disasters each and every year. The results of such disaster and emergency situations can be far ranging. When such an emergency arises, it is essential that you and your family are prepared.

One of the best ways you can be assured of such emergency preparedness is to make sure you have an emergency plan in place. Having such an emergency plan can go a long way toward reducing the fear that can arise from the unknown. An emergency plan can also help to mitigate personal losses that might be incurred. A great first step toward being prepared for an emergency is to make sure you are aware of all available community resources. For instance, if there is severe weather, do you know where you can take shelter? If you should need to leave your home, do you know the location of emergency shelter sites?

Your emergency preparedness planning should also include knowing the proper way to respond to specific types of emergency situations might naturally occur in your regional geographic location. The best way to prepare for potential dangers is to recognize the potential that may exist. For instance, if you live in an area that is prone to flooding, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your home from flooding to help alleviate potential losses.

A survival kit is also important to emergency preparedness. An emergency kit is meant to ensure you and your family members will have all of the necessary items for basic survival. Such items should include a three-day water and food supply for each person, blankets, radio, hygiene items, prescription medication and a flashlight and batteries. To ensure you are always prepared for an emergency, it is also crucial to check on your emergency kit approximately every six months to ensure medications are not outdated and food items are not expired. An emergency kit will benefit you little if you are not able to use the items stored away.

While it is impossible to prevent a disaster or an emergency from taking place, you can take steps to ensure you are as prepared as possible to cope with them when they do occur.

The Importance of Emergency Preparedness

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It’s no secret that we live in a world fraught with danger, ranging from man made calamities like wars or terrorism to extreme acts of nature. Fortunately such emergencies are rare, but that is small consolation if you happen to have an emergency situation develop near you. The best way to survive an emergency is to have planned in advance what you will do if an emergency occurs. Here are some suggestions on how best to prepare for an emergency:

1. Know the Possibilities:

What kinds of emergencies is your area prone to? Some places are more likely to experience flooding than earthquakes, some places are more likely to have a hurricane than others. Politically unstable areas are more prone to war and terrorism. Knowing what kind of emergencies are most likely to occur in your area is the first step to figuring out what you need to do in order to prepare.

2. Plan to Communicate

An emergency situation is potentially chaotic and getting in touch with friends and family may suddenly become difficult. Have an out of town contact everyone in the family can get in touch with should communications break down where you are. Make sure your children’s school has your contact numbers and addresses. Remember that emails often work when phones do not.

3. Plan to Meet

In case of an emergency evacuation or other confusing situation your family and friends may become scattered. Choose in advance a well known public place where you can regroup in case family members become isolated. In fact it is best to establish two such meeting places, in case one becomes inaccessible.

4. Gather Supplies

It is possible in certain emergencies that you could become trapped in your home for days at a time. Having put aside some essential supplies for just such a situation can be a godsend in a crisis. Non-perishable food, medicines, batteries, water and clothing are excellent ideas. Also sleeping bags, a radio and common tools can be of immense help in hostile environments. Also, do you have your insurance policies where they will be safe and readily available once the disaster passes?

In the final analysis emergency preparedness is everybody’s responsibility. Now is the time to prepare before an emergency strikes, so you will not be caught confused and unable to cope when danger strikes. So plan, and then share your plan with your family.

Preparation a Necessity Before an Emergency

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Being prepared in case of an emergency can be the difference between simply waiting out the worst of a disaster and frantically searching for some kind of help to arrive. Emergency preparedness should be a top priority for any family or business, since blackouts and storms can hit every region, but for those living in areas prone to natural disasters, it is an absolute necessity.

Emergencies are very real possibilities, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which reports that disasters affect thousands each year in the U.S. That is why it is so important to be prepared when an emergency alert is issued. You need to be aware of where you would can seek shelter in the case of a disaster in case you must vacate your home. The frantic period following or during an emergency is not the time to locate shelter.

For you personally, having supplies and training are also absolute necessities. Knowing how to properly reinforce a home or restore power in the case of an emergency can protect your home or your family. For businesses or schools, there must be not only basic training for all employees but elaborate emergency plans.

Whether as a business or an individual, you should be sure to have at least some emergency supplies and kits on hand. If you purchase a ready-made kit, it is better to buy one that has been designed by first responders or emergency services personnel, since these are the experts in the field of emergency preparedness. You need to be aware of where these supplies and kits are stored in your home or business, and be sure to let other household members or employees know as well.

As you are selecting such kits, there are a few things to be sure are included, according to the Red Cross: a radio that operates on battery power, a gallon of water per person for each day they could be in the house or business — typically three days for likely evacuations or two weeks if not — a flashlight with working batteries, extra batteries, a seven-day supply of medications, canned and dry goods, a can opener, cell phone and charger and a multipurpose tool.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits is the peace of mind that preparedness can give you in the case of an emergency. You can focus on dealing with the situation at hand, rather than scrambling for water or other supplies.

Emergency Preparedness Starts With Knowing Your Threats

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Every family needs to prepare for emergencies. No one can predict when or where events like terrorists attacks will occur, but they are aware of specific threats in their area. Fire, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, mudslides and extreme winter weather are causes of potential emergencies that are prone to happen in certain areas of the country.

To keep your family, friends, home and community as safe as possible preparing for an emergency is more than stashing a few items in the basement. Information is equally as important as supplies. Research the community, government, county and non-profit resources that provide assistance during disasters. Find out what each entity offers such as food, shelter and other emergency services. Once you have the information you need, educate your family on the available resources.

Teach your children how to dial 911 and then put an emergency plan in place so everyone knows what to do. Have a strategy for both staying in your home, and exiting the premises. Everyone needs to know how to exit the residence and where to meet each other outside. Stress the importance of keeping your vehicles full of gas to every driver in the home. If you are able to drive your vehicles, it may be days or longer before you have access to fuel. An interrupted gas supply and loss of power will both have a bearing.

Now you are ready to gather those items for an emergency preparedness kit. There are basic items to have on hand for at least a 3-day period. Included is water, emergency food storage, blankets, first aid kit, crank radio, flashlights, batteries, candles, matches, hygiene items, can opener, medications, cash and a small toolkit. If room allows, helmets or hard hats protect people from falling or flying debris. Check your emergency supplies every 6-months and replace food, water, medications and batteries. There are supplies that can help in an emergency that are unique to specific events.

Flood danger could include sand bags and a life raft. Hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes often need plywood to board up broken windows and other damage caused by the event. Although not normally considered an emergency item, you often see spray paint used to mark SOS on damaged or flooded dwellings alerting authorities that you need help. The frequency of natural disasters is more prevalent than ever, so protect your family against them to the best of your ability.

The Importance of Emergency Preparedness

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The key to being prepared for an emergency is to plan before an emergency occurs. For natural disasters like floods and hurricanes, having a disaster supplies kit makes sense. A disaster supplies kit is a ready to go package of basic supplies that help a family or individual get through the critical first hours after a disaster hits. Packing this type of kit is not difficult, but the kit will be appreciated if the need arises.

The basic items needed in a disaster supplies kit include water, food and personal hygiene items. Each person needs one gallon of water per day for at least three days. Water is needed not only for drinking but for sanitation. Along with water, each person needs a three day supply of non-perishable foods like canned fruit, crackers, and canned meat with pop-top lids. A manual can opener for opening food, paper plates and paper cups should be part of the kit.
Baby wipes or other types of moist towelettes are handy for cleaning the hands when no running water is available.

If there are babies and young children in the family, their needs should also be considered. Extra diapers, baby food and snacks appropriate for young children should be packed in the kit. Fruit leathers, crackers, soft canned meats, and powdered baby formula are examples of foods that might be included. Additionally, small puzzles, games, word searches and other space saving toys can help keep little ones busy for hours.

At least one flashlight with extra batteries should be placed in the disaster kit, as well as a battery operated radio. A first aid kit with bandages, antibacterial ointment, and other items to treat minor cuts and scrapes should also be include in the disaster kit.

Usually, when returning home after a disaster, cleaning materials may be in short supply. Garbage bags with ties, bleach, disposable gloves; and a dust mask to filter air that may be contaminated by mold and other substances are among important items for a disaster supplies kit. Maps of local areas, and tools such as pliers and wrenches should also be included in the disaster kit. An extra cell phone charger and cell phone batteries can be included in the kit. Taking extra cash is important because immediately after a disaster ATM machines are usually inoperable due to power outages.

The Importance Of Planning For Road Trip Emergencies

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Planning for emergencies is a topic often overlooked. In today’s technologically advanced world, it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. Though GPS-enabled phones and cars, and instant emergency services are there to help you, what happens when your phone dies or when technology fails?

There’s no need to fret. There are a few simple steps you can take to travel safer. By establishing a plan, having a back-up, and packing some extra gear, you can make your trip much safer and more enjoyable.

Having A Plan

Before leaving for your trip, make sure you have a plan. Print out directions. Let friends or family know where you intend to go and on what dates you plan to leave and return. Call ahead to hotels you plan to stay at. It’s no fun finding out at 2am that there are no open rooms.

Next, try to estimate how much gas you’ll need to get there and back. Bring spare cash and keep it separate from your spending money. Credit cards can be great for emergencies, but the machines don’t always work, and some out-of-the-way places might not even take cards.

Preparing Your Vehicle

There’s the old cliché, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In a travelling situation, it couldn’t be more true. Changing your oil before a trip might cost you twenty or thirty dollars, but that is nothing compared to the hundreds of dollars you could spend on getting your vehicle towed.

So before you leave, make sure your vehicle is up to the trip. Ensure the oil is fresh, the maintenance is up to date, and the tires are inflated properly and they match the season you plan to travel in. Also make sure that you have a spare tire and the basic equipment to change a flat.

Packing The Right Gear

Now that you’ve established a plan, it’s time to talk about some gear you should have on hand if disaster does strike. Accidents do happen. People get lost, they get flat tires, their vehicles break down, and they run out of gas. But, having the right gear can go a long way to making an overnight stay a little less scary. Hey, it could even make for some funny stories when you make it back home.

Keep some basic gear in your car to help you along. If the weather is cold, make sure you have some blankets or a sleeping bag with you. Bring a first aid kit. Have some high-energy snacks like granola bars on hand. In addition to the gear for changing a flat, think about investing in some jumper cables or a portable battery charger. If you want to go overboard, you could even have some extra belts tucked away in case one breaks.

Traveling can be a rewarding experience, and though emergencies do happen, they don’t have to ruin your trip. By planning ahead and being prepared for an emergency, you can put your mind at ease and focus on what really matters – enjoying the open road.

Plan Ahead for Emergencies

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Being unprepared in the face of an emergency is one of the worst scenarios to be in. When disasters, power outages and other events beyond our control occur, it pays to be ready. Emergency situations are usually very frightening for everyone involved, especially small children. if you can make a plan and have supplies stocked, however, you’ll be able to execute the plan and keep everyone calm. There are several ways that you must be prepared for an emergency, including food supplies, evacuation plans and miscellaneous first aid items.

In a real disaster, such as a flood, hurricane, tornado or blizzard, it is vital to have food and water supplies. You won’t be able to go to the store and pick up anything to eat during an emergency, so it is a good idea to always have as much food as possible stored in your house. There is no way to actually plan for nature’s fury, so it is a good idea to be in a mindset of always being prepared with food and drinks.

Evacuation plans are just as important as food items. If you are faced with an emergency and you are able to safely leave your house, you should leave. Make a plan with everyone in the family and review it from time to time to make sure everyone would know what to do in the case of an emergency. Your family could become confused without a plan, and children could become lost or very distraught. A well-devised plan will keep everyone calm and they will be able to fall back on the plan once it has become automatic for them.

First aid items are always good to have, but you should definitely store them for emergency purposes. Bandages, splints, ointments, Tylenol, a battery operated radio and extra change of clothing are all great items to have in a first aid kit. These items will come in handy when you need them the most. If someone gets hurt, you may not be able to get them the medical attention they need. Deep cuts should be pressured to stop bleeding. Having a real first aid kit will go a long way to keeping your family safe during an emergency.

Emergency preparedness is a vital aspect of life. Accidents and natural disasters do often catch people off guard, but they can be ready with some easy planning and alertness.

Emergency Preparedness is Important for Families

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Many families don’t think about it much. However, a review of the news over the last year in the US gives plenty of reasons for families to put emergency preparedness on the front burner.

Every region of the US is vulnerable to some type of natural disaster. The Pacific Northwest can be hit by everything from earthquakes to volcanic eruptions and forest fires, while the famous Nor’easters bear down on New England. Most people believe they won’t be struck by disaster, and most are right. The problem is that, when people aren’t prepared, the unlikely disaster is much more likely to be deadly. The most important way to prepare for a disaster is to assemble some essential items in a kit and stow it in a safe place. The most important parts of the kit are water, ready-to-eat food, flashlights and radios.

In many disasters all utility service stops. Having fresh water on hand for hydration and sanitation is the minimum. Since gas and electricity are also often lost, in the winter people should make sure they have adequate clothing and blankets for winter conditions in their area. The disruption of electricity also means that most stores will be closed and most cooking appliances won’t work. Families should have either spare cooking appliances, such as propane stoves, or ready-to-eat food. Preferably, they will have both.

Without electricity, light and information can be in short supply. Flashlights and radios are both essential components of emergency kits. Powerful battery flashlights are handy, but at least one crank flashlight and radio is essential. Other items for emergency kits include tarps, multitools and rope.

For most families, many of the main ingredients of an emergency kit are already in the home. However, while water jugs may be available, they must be filled. Batteries in battery powered flashlights should be replaced yearly, and emergency ready-to-eat food supplies should be stocked separately from other supplies so hungry teenagers don’t consumer them!

In case of an emergency, remember that most camping stoves and other propane appliances aren’t meant to be operated indoors. They should be operated outdoors or, at the very least, in a well-ventilated area unless the instructions suggest otherwise.

Most families will never be involved in a serious emergency. However, if they are, an ounce of preparation is worth a thousand pounds of cure.