Sponsored by ALA Carnegie-Whitney Grant (2010)
Is Your Family Prepared for the Next Disaster?
Disasters can strike at a moment's notice so being prepared before they occur is an important step in ensuring the safety of you and your family.
- Create a household disaster plan.
- Prepare first aid kits for the home and for each vehicle.
- Create an emergency supply kit or grab-and-go bag.
- Keep important papers in a fire-resistant carrying case and bring it with you in case of an emergency.
- Create a roadside emergency kit for each automobile (breaking down while evacuating could leave you and your family in worse shape than if you had simply done nothing).
Household Disaster Plan
- As a family, decide on two places to meet in case an emergency occurs in or near your home (one should be near your home; the other, outside of the neighborhood).
- Pick two out-of-town contacts (family, family friends) for the family to contact in case you become separated.
- Prepare a checklist of important phone numbers, addresses, and contacts.
- Develop a 'shelter in place" strategy in the event that evacuation is not an option.
- Prepare an evacuation strategy for different types of disasters that may occur in your area. Practice each strategy with your family several times a year.
- Train all able-bodied family members in the use of CPR, fire extinguishers, and common first-aid procedures.
- Ensure your yard is prepared for a disaster by trimming branches, replacing gravel or rock landscaping with light-weight mulch, and checking for fire hazards.
- Purchase a battery-operated radio or NOAA weather radio in case power is lost during a disaster.
Recommended Supplies for First Aid Kit
- A first aid manual
- Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- Cleansing agents such as isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, soap, antibiotic ointments
- Several pairs of latex gloves
- Petroleum jelly
- Cotton Balls
- Tweezers, needles, scissors
- Moistened towelettes or baby wipes
Recommended Emergency Kit Supplies
- Prescription medications
- Cash, traveler's checks, and loose change
- A sleeping bag, blanket, and pillow for each family member. Keep additional blankets handy if you live in a cold-weather climate
- At least one additional change of clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, pants, durable shoes, and gloves
- A bottle of chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper can be used to create a disinfectant, or even drinking water if no other options are available. For a disinfectant, combine nine parts water to one part bleach. To treat water, add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water. Avoid scented or color-safe bleaches.
- A fire extinguisher
- Waterproof matches and a lighter
- Personal hygiene items
- Paper plates, paper cups, plastic utensils, and paper towels
- Paper, pens and pencils; books, magazines, videos, games, and puzzles
- Batteries of various sizes and types
- If you have pets, keep extra food and medicines on-hand. Also, have a travel crate ready for each pet in case you must evacuate your home.
- A pocket knife, whistle
- Dusk mask
- Local maps.
Recommended Food for Emergency Supply Kit
- Dried meats (a good source of protein)
- Canned fish and meat
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Whole grain crackers (can be used in place of bread)
- Nuts, granola bars, and/or dry cereals
- Juice boxes
- Electrolyte drinks
- Enough water to sustain each family member for 72 hours
- A bottle of multivitamins
- A manual can opener
- An assortment of Ziploc bags, Tupperware, and a roll of tinfoil
- A small camping stove or grill that can be used for cooking.
Important papers that should be kept in a fireproof, waterproof container include:
- Copies of all insurance policies, wills, deeds, tax returns, driver's licenses, credit cards, automobile titles, and bank records
- Copies of utility bills which can be used to prove or establish residency
- Family records such as Social Security cards, passports, as well as birth and marriage certificates
- List of medical contacts, including family physicians, hospitals, and other medical service providers. It is also a good idea to keep a list of medical conditions, allergies, and drug prescriptions.
- For pet owners, keep vaccination and veterinary records, along with up-to-date photos of your pet can assist in locating them if you are separated.
- An inventory of valuable household goods can be helpful when filing insurance claims.
- A list of phone numbers and addresses of relatives and friends.
Recommended Supplies for Roadside Emergency Kit
- Jumper cables
- Several quarts of oil
- Spare fuses
- A flashlight and extra batteries
- A small tool box
- A can of tire inflator
- Tire pressure gauge.
Disaster Preparedness Lists Compiled by
Edmand Pace, MLIS