- Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. Communities, families, and individuals should know what to do in the event of a fire and where to seek shelter during a tornado. They should be ready to evacuate their homes and take refuge in public shelters and know how to care for their basic medical needs.
- People also can reduce the impact of disasters (flood proofing, elevating a home or moving a home out of harm’s way, and securing items that could shake loose in an earthquake) and sometimes avoid the danger completely.
- Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property.
- If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere.
- You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area—hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme cold, flooding, or terrorism.
- You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
The following items are recommended for inclusion in your basic disaster supplies kit:
• Three-day supply of non-perishable food.
• Three-day supply of water – one gallon of water per person, per day.
• Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries.
• Flashlight and extra batteries.
• First aid kit and manual.
• Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper).
• Matches and waterproof container.
• Extra clothing.
• Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener.
• Photocopies of credit and identification cards.
• Cash and coins.
• Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries.
• Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers.
• Other items to meet your unique family needs.
If you live in a cold climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat. Think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including:
• Jacket or coat.
• Long pants.
• Long sleeve shirt.
• Sturdy shoes.
• Hat, mittens, and scarf.
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket (per person).
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