Severe weather is one of the most common sources of natural disasters, and no region of the U.S. is off limits. Does your family know what they should do in the event a weather-related natural disaster strikes?
According to the Home Safety Council, fewer than 30% of U.S. families have created and discussed an emergency communication plan. One of the reasons that so few families have developed one is that many people believe it requires considerable time and effort.
Creating an emergency communication plan is actually easier than you might think. The first component that you should have, according to the Home Safety Council, is a corded land line phone in your home. It is the most reliable source of communication in an emergency because it will continue to operate even if the power goes out in the house.
In addition to a communication plan, the Home Safety Council offers the following recommendations:
- Have a “Ready-to-Go-Kit” – In a duffel bag or backpack, place one gallon of water per person, non-perishable canned food, a can opener, paper plates and cups, plastic utensils, a flashlight and extra batteries, a battery-operated radio, a change of clothes for each family member, personal hygiene items, a small first-aid kit, and pet food and supplies. Keep the kit near any medications you would need to take with you in an emergency.
- Have a “Ready-to-Stay Kit” – You might have to stay inside your home for an extended period of time, and this kit will help you survive. In a large plastic tub with a cover, or easily accessible cabinet designated for this purpose only, place three gallons of water per family member, enough non-perishable canned food and snacks for at least three days, a can opener, toilet paper, blankets, books and games to keep you busy, a flashlight and extra batteries, a battery-operated radio, a small first-aid kit, paper plates and cups, plastic utensils, a change of clothes for each family member, personal hygiene items, and pet food and supplies.
- Designate a safe meeting place outside your home.
- Designate a safe place to seek shelter in your home in case of severe weather. Your survival supplies should be stored in this location.
- Teach young children how to use the phone to call for help.
- Update wireless phones with “in case of emergency” (ICE) contact information.