Disaster Preparedness

When the next disaster strikes, you may not have much time to act. Prepare now for a sudden emergency. By planning ahead you can avoid waiting in long lines for critical supplies such as food, water and medicines. Remember to review your plan regularly.

Your Disaster Checklist
_ Assemble a disaster supplies kit.
_ Arrange for someone to check on you.
_ Plan and practice the best escape routes from your home.
_ Plan for transportation to evacuate to a Shelter.
_ Find the safe places in your home for each type of emergency.
_ Have a plan to signal for help.
_ Post emergency phone numbers near the phone.
_ If you have home health care service/medical equipment, plan ahead with your agency for emergency procedures.
_ Teach those who may need to assist you in an emergency how to operate necessary medical equipment.
_ For your safety and comfort, you need to have emergency supplies packed and ready in one place before disaster hits. You should have enough supplies for at least three days.
_ Assemble the supplies you would need in an evacuation, both medical and general.
_ Store them in an easy-to-carry container such as a back pack or duffel bag.
_ Be sure your bag has an ID tag.
_ Label any equipment, such as wheelchairs, canes, or walkers that you would need.

For Your Medical Needs
_ First–aid kit.
_ Prescription medicines, list of medications, and list of allergies.
_ Extra eyeglasses and hearing aid batteries.
_ Extra wheelchair batteries and oxygen.
_ List of the style and serial numbers of your medical devices such as pacemakers, Medical insurance, and Medicare cards.
_ List of doctors, relatives, and friends who should be notified if you are injured.
_ Any other items you may need.

General Disaster Supplies
_ Battery powered radio and flashlight with extra batteries.
_ Change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes.
_ Blanket or sleeping bag.
_ Extra set of keys.
_ Cash, credit cards, and change for pay phones.
_ Personal hygiene supplies.
_ Phone numbers of local and non-local relatives and friends.
_ Insurance agent’s name and phone number.
_ Other items you want to include.
• It may be necessary to evacuate or you may be ordered to stay in your home. If this happens, you will need in addition to the above items:
_ Water supply, 1 gallon per day per person. Remember to plan for at least 3 days.
_ Non-perishable food supply—including any special food you require.
_ Manual can-opener you are able to use.
_ Non-perishable food for pets.
• If You Need To Evacuate:
_ Coordinate with your care provider for evacuation procedures.
_ Try to car pool if possible.
_ If you must have assistance for special transportation call the American Red Cross or your local officials.
_ Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes.
_ Take your disaster supply kit.
_ Lock your home.
_ Use the travel routes specified and follow any special directions provided by local officials.
_ Notify shelter authorities of any need you may have.

If You Are Sure You Have Enough Time…
• Shut off water, gas, and electricity if instructed to do so and if you know how.
• Let others know when you leave and where you are going.
• Make arrangements for pets. Animals other than working animals may not be allowed in public shelters.

Summary and Reminders
Take responsibility by planning now. Listen for information on radio and TV about hazardous weather and other events. In some communities, people who need help or transportation during an evacuation are asked to register that need with the local government. Gather essential supplies, and be sure to keep a copy of your eyeglass prescription, list of medications and other important papers to take with you if you have to leave.