The New Year is a perfect time to Resolve to be Ready and Dickinson-Iron District Health Department is helping to promote emergency preparedness for 2012.
Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Ready Campaign, Resolve to be Ready is a nationwide effort designed to increase awareness as well as encourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to take action and prepare for emergencies in the New Year, Health Department officials said.
The Ready Campaign encourages residents to make an emergency preparedness resolution to take three important steps:
Know the hazards and risks in your area.
Make a family emergency plan, so you know how you would communicate with and find your loved ones if a disaster strikes.
Emergency preparedness is not the sole concern of Californians for earthquakes, those who live in "Tornado Alley"; or Gulf Coast residents because of hurricanes, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials said.
Most communities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime.
Americans also travel more than ever before; to areas impacted by hazards they may not be at risk of near their homes.
Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
Some of the basic protective actions are similar for multiple hazards, officials said.
For example, safety is necessary when experiencing all hazards, whether this means sheltering or evacuating depends on the specific emergency.
Build a kit.
Build an emergency supply kit - both at home and in the car - that includes water, food and first aid supplies to help you survive if you lose power or get stranded in your car, Dickinson-Iron District Health Department said.
This is especially important for dealing with icy roads and snowstorms this winter.
The following items are suggested for a basic disaster kit.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
- First aid kit.
- Whistle to signal for help.
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
- Manual can opener for food.
- Local maps.
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger.
Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:
- Prescription medications and glasses.
- Infant formula and diapers.
- Pet food and extra water for your pet.
- Cash or traveler's checks and change.
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper. When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire extinguisher.
- Matches in a waterproof container.
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils.
- Paper and pencil.
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.
Find out how you can promote preparedness in your community.
Get involved before disaster strikes. Here are a few ways you can help:
- Volunteer to support disaster efforts in your community. Get trained and volunteer with a Community Emergency Response Team, Medical Reserve Corps unit and/or other Citizen Corps Partner Program or Affiliate organization. Many local faith-based and community organizations have programs active in supporting disasters, too.
- Be part of the community planning process. Connect and collaborate with your local emergency planning group, or local emergency management agency.
- Join or start a preparedness project. Find an event or identify local resources, build a team, choose a project, set goals and serve the community by improving the preparedness of your friends, colleagues and neighbors.
- Support major disasters by donating cash or goods which may help meet the needs of the community in times of disaster.
Emergencies can range from inconvenience to devastation, but you can resolve not to be a victim of an emergency or disaster and take steps to minimize the impact on you, your family and your businesses.
For more information, call 1-800-BEReady.