Wintertime Emergency Prep
Surveys suggest that over 75% of Americans are unprepared for natural disasters. Winter storms can be brutal, bringing freezing temperatures, heavy rain, sleet, snow, ice, and high winds. These types of storms can last hours or even a few days. During these types of events, heat, power, and communication may be wiped out, leaving you and your family to fend for yourselves. Wintertime emergency preparation will be the best way to avoid some of the danger and destruction storms can cause.
Pay Attention to Warnings
Public safety systems are in place to help you to prepare and avoid danger. Pay attention to winter weather watches, advisories, and warnings.
Identify which services will notify you during an emergency and how you will get information. This may include local radio, TV, or NOAA Weather Radio stations and channels.
Know the different weather alerts and watches and know how to act in each situation.
Be aware and informed when traveling or moving to a new area. Know what actions to take for disasters that may be common in those areas, especially those that may be new to you.
Major disasters can change communities in an instant. You may not have quick access to supplies or medical attention. Having someone in the home that is trained in basic first aid, CPR, and the use of an AED can be very useful.
Create an Emergency Plan
Know what types of emergencies are most likely to happen in your home or area. Include events that a singular to your home or family like a home fire or medical emergency. Have a discussion with everyone in your home about how you will prepare and respond to these emergencies.
Make sure communication is part of your plan. How will you communicate if there is an emergency? What to do if we become separated? Will we have a meet up spot if evacuated?
Identify then create a checklist with assignments and each member’s responsibilities for possible scenarios.
Practice what pieces of your plan you can. Make sure household members know where key shut off valves are located in situations where gas, electricity, or water need to be shut off.
Put Together an Emergency Kit
Your kit should be easy to transport and include items you need to survive for at least 3 days.
Ideally, your kit should include at least one gallon of water per person per day.
Other items include: non-perishable food (for 3 days), can opener, flashlight, battery operated radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, 7 day supply of medications, multipurpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copies of personal documents, cell phone and chargers, family and emergency contacts, extra cash, emergency blanket, and a map of the area.
Additional items may need to be added according to specific family member’s needs. This may include small games for children, baby supplies, etc.
Think about where you live and seasonal weather and add any other emergency items that may be appropriate including winter clothing, extra blankets, a generator, extra firewood, etc.
Preparation for an emergency is the best way to keep you and your family protected and safe. Do not wait to get your emergency preparations in order. Procrastination could put you and your family in a dangerous situation.
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