Family Preparedness

By: Ann Howard
By: Ann Howard

Here at home...we want to talk about what your family should do if there is an attack on American soil.

Does your family know where to meet if a disaster happens while you're not together?

Is there someone in your family with special needs?

Donna Kephart is getting prepared, in the event something unexpected happens.

"We just moved here from Iowa and we've seen sign's from the Red Cross about what to have,” says Kephart

The Division of Emergency Management says all American’s need to be prepared, and there are three steps.

"Have a plan, have your supplies and know what's going on around you,” Craig Fugate says of the Division of Emergency Management.

According to the American Red Cross, these are some of things that would be in your home, in case of an emergency: water, ready to eat, non-perishable food, special foods for infants or the elderly, first aid kits, which are available through the Red Cross.

Plus, batteries and flash lights.

These are just the basics. For more information contact your local Red Cross.

Some more important advice for parents from the emergency management center, contact your children's schools to make sure they have your proper contact information, and to find out what plans the schools have in place if your children are there during a disaster.

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Emergency Supplies

Tools

  • A portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Signal flare
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Shut off wrench, pliers, shovel and other tools.
  • Duct tape and scissors
  • Whistle
  • A-B-C type fire extinguisher
  • Tube tent
  • Compass
  • Work gloves
  • Paper, pens and pencils
  • Needles and thread
  • Battery-operated travel alarm clock.

Kitchen Items

  • Manual can opener
  • Mess kits or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • All-purpose knife
  • Household liquid bleach to treat drinking water
  • Sugar, salt, pepper
  • Aluminum foil and plastic wrap
  • Re-sealing plastic bags
  • If food must be cooked, small cooking stove and a can of cooking fuel.

Sanitation and Hygiene Items

  • Washcloth and towel
  • Towelettes, soap, hand sanitizer, liquid detergent
  • Tooth paste, toothbrush
  • Shampoo, deodorants, comb, razor, lip balm, insect repellent, contact lens solution, mirror, feminine supplies
  • Heavy-duty plastic garbage bags and ties for personal sanitation
  • Toilet paper
  • Medium-sized plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Disinfectant and household chlorine bleach
  • Extra clothes
  • Bedding materials
  • Consider including a small shovel for digging a latrine

Household Documents

  • Personal identification
  • Cash, including change and a credit card
  • Copies of important documents: birth certificate, marriage certificate, driver’s license, social security cards, passport, wills and deeds.
  • Immunization records

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Homeland Security Advisory System Recommendations for Families

Severe – Red

  • Complete recommended actions at lower levels
  • Listen to radio/TV for current information/instructions
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it to proper authorities immediately
  • Contact business/school to determine status of work/school day
  • Adhere to any travel restrictions announced by local governmental authorities
  • Be prepared to shelter in place or evacuate if instructed to do so by local governmental authorities
  • Discuss children’s fears concerning possible/actual terrorist attacks

High – Orange

  • Complete recommended actions at lower levels
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it to proper authorities
  • Review disaster plan with all family members
  • Ensure communication plan is understood/practiced by all family members
  • Exercise caution when traveling
  • Have shelter in place materials on hand and understand procedure
  • Discuss children’s fears concerning possible terrorist attacks
  • If a need is announced, donate blood at designated blood collection center

Elevated – Yellow

  • Complete recommended actions at lower levels
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it to proper authorities
  • Ensure disaster supplies kit is stocked and ready
  • Check telephone numbers and e-mail addresses in your family emergency communication plan and update as necessary
  • If not known to you, contact school to determine their emergency notification and evacuation plans for children
  • Develop alternate routes to/from school/work and practice them

Guarded – Blue

  • Complete recommended actions at lower levels
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it to proper authorities
  • Review stored disaster supplies and replace items that are outdated
  • Develop an emergency communication plan that all family members understand
  • Establish an alternate meeting place away from home with family/friends

Low – Green

  • Develop a personal disaster plan and disaster supplies kit
  • Take a Red Cross CPR/AED and first aid course

Source: www.fema.gov (Federal Emergency Management Agency) contributed to this report.


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