Emergency management officials offer these tips for preparing for storm season:
- Contact your emergency management office; be prepared to take notes.
- Ask what types of disasters are most likely to happen.
Request information on how to prepare for each.
- Learn about your community’s warning signals: what they sound like and what you should do when you hear them.
- Ask about animal care after disaster. Animals may not be allowed inside emergency shelters due to health regulations.
- Find out how to help elderly or disabled people, if needed.
- Next, find out about the disaster plans at your workplace, your children’s school or day care center and other places where your family spends time.
Create a disaster plan
- Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster.
- Explain the dangers of fire, weather and other hazards to children.
- Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.
- Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.
- Pick places to meet.
- Ask an out-of-state friend to be your “family contact.”
- Discuss what to do in an evacuation.
- Plan how to take care of your pets.
Make emergency preparations
- Post emergency telephone numbers by phones: fire, police, ambulance, etc.
- Teach children how and when to call 911 for emergency help.
- Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches.
- Determine whether you have adequate insurance coverage.
- Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher —ABC type — and show them where it’s kept.
- Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, near bedrooms.
- Conduct a home hazard hunt.
- Stock emergency supplies and assemble a disaster supplies kit.
- Take a first aid and CPR class.
- Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
- Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.
- Practice and maintain your plan.
- Quiz your kids every six months so they remember what to do.
- Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills.
- Replace stored water every three months and stored food every six months.
- Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer’s instructions.