Emergency Preparedness
Act Now and be Safe Later
November, 2007 - Issue #37
Most of us think of disasters as large, catastrophic events over which we have little, if any, control. This is not true. By planning and preparing for disaster before it strikes, you can control how a disaster affects you and your family.

For All Emergencies...
For all kinds of disasters, keep an emergency financial kit in a fireproof storage box containing:

Cash Banks and ATMs might not be operating. Keep a sufficient amount of cash, in small bills, for a week's worth of food and emergency supplies.

Important personal and financial papers Copies of birth certificates, marriage license, social security cards, deeds, insurance, checking, savings, etc. should be included.
Lists Knowledge of family medical conditions, blood types, allergies, etc. may prove vital during a stressful emergency.

Make sure you can get to it in a hurry.

Create disaster supply kits out of backpacks for your car, work or school containing medications, a first-aid kit; bottled water and high-energy snack foods; whistle (to alert rescuers to your location); cash; walking shoes; flashlight with extra batteries; personal hygiene supplies and a thermal blanket. If you traditionally tote kids or multiple passengers, increase the number of items and include necessities like formula or baby food.

Preparing for a Shaker
Keep a kit with a one-week supply water, food, medical supplies, first-aid kit, thermal blankets, flashlights, toilet paper; secure TVs, stereos, computers, etc. with Velcro; use putty or wax adhesive for smaller items; hang mirrors and artwork from closed hooks; bolt heavy furniture and appliances to walls; install flexible connectors on gas appliances; install latches on kitchen cabinets; strap water heaters to the wall; install battery-operated emergency lighting throughout the house that comes on when electricity goes off; keep shoes, flashlight and fire extinguisher next to each bed; know how and when to shut off utilities; select a safe place outside of your home to meet.

Wildland Fire Preparedness
Install smoke detectors and test monthly; Clear brush a minimum of 30 to 200 feet away from house; trim trees and branches away from electrical lines and chimneys, using a professional to trim near utilities and power lines; remove weak, dead, leaning,and bark beetle-infested trees; stack firewood and propane tanks at least 30 feet away from house; store combustible liquids in approved storage containers; ensure house numbers are clearly visible, both day and night, from the street; know at least two exit routes from your neighborhood; park vehicles facing the direction of escape with evacuation kits and valuables inside and windows rolled up; secure pets and prepare them for evacuation; if time permits, cover up by wearing long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, goggles, cap and bandana; close doors behind you when evacuating to slow down the flames, smoke and heat.

Floods and Storms
Store sandbags, plastic sheeting, plywood and lumber away from potential flooding; Store a seven-day supply of water (at least one gallon per person, per day) in closed, clean containers; Maintain fuel in cars, as electrical outages might make gasoline pumps inoperable; identify safety routes from your home or workplace to high, safe ground; clear debris and overgrowth from on-site drainage facilities. Avoid floodwater - the water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage; it is especially important to keep the water out of your mouth, eyes and nose. Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water if you are exposed to floodwaters.
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