We can’t say for sure when the next disaster may strike, for that reason, it is important to be prepared. There are several ways you can prepare yourself and your family for disasters.
A major disaster may cause delays in first responders to certain areas; one way you can be prepared is to learn lifesaving skills – such as CPR and first aid. Check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards that you may face in your area such as earthquakes and floods. Make sure to consider the costs you may face during a disaster and make sure you save for an emergency. Educate yourself on tasks you may face during a disaster such as turning off your home's water and gas.
Build an emergency kit. An emergency kit should contain at the very least:
- Water – One gallon per person, per day (3-day supply in case of evacuation)
- Food – non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply in case of evacuation)
- First Aid Kit
- Medications (7-day supply)
- Pet supplies if you have a pet, including food and water
Other items you may want to include in your kit:
- Battery-powered radio
- Extra Batteries
- Multi-purpose Tool
- Manual Can Opener
- Sanitation/Personal Hygiene Items
- Copies of personal documents (insurance policies, passports, proof of address)
- Cell phone chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra Cash
- Map of the area
It is also recommended to have a “By the Bed” kit in case you need to evacuate immediately. This kit should have a pair of sneakers, a flashlight and a spare pair of prescription glasses (if needed).
A little readiness can make all the difference in the event of a disaster or emergency. Talk to your family about what type of emergency events could happen and how you will respond. You may not be together during the emergency. You should have a communication plan and all the members of your family should be familiar with the plan. The plan should include a home escape plan and this plan should be practiced at least twice a year. Have a designated meeting area and don’t forget to consider any special needs your family may have such as elderly family members or younger children that may need assistance if evacuation is necessary.
Last, stay informed. Fountain Valley Fire Department encourages residents to sign up for emergency alerts and notifications at www.AlertOC.com. Also, ReadyOC.org is a great site with emergency preparedness tools and resources to help you prepare. You can’t predict disasters but you can prepare for them.