Would you be ready if disaster struck? Would your community? Whether surviving a massive storm like the recent tornadoes in Western Mass, a house fire, or even extreme seasonal temperatures – simple steps can help you recover from all types of emergencies.
Create The Good’s Operation Emergency Prepare offers tips and resources for individuals and groups to get organized prior to an emergency or natural disaster. The online, printable guide lays out the basics to help you and your neighbors gather resources and prepare.
Here are some top tips for planning ahead of time.
Secure vital documents. Crucial records can be lost in an instant, and can be extremely difficult to replace during an emergency. Keeping copies in a waterproof container (even a plastic zippered bag would do), and stored in a safe place is quick, easy, and inexpensive to do. Vital documents to copy include:
- Personal ID
- Social Security and health insurance cards
- Bank statements, retirement accounts, and credit card numbers
- Wills, insurance policies, contracts, deeds
- Family records, birth and marriage certificates
- Video and photo inventory documenting valuables and the interior and exterior of your home
- Cash, travelers checks
- Important phone numbers of family, friends, doctors, insurers
Prepare a basic emergency supply kit. Often just a matter of organizing items you already have at home, a kit should have the essentials to meet someone’s basic needs for a few days. Items to consider:
- Water (one gallon per day per person)
- Food (canned and dry goods, high calorie food bars)
- Personal first aid kit
- Flashlight, batteries
- Battery-powered radio, with extra batteries
- Personal medication record
Develop an evacuation plan. As you plan one for your household, also consider your community, and think about creating a plan that includes older friends and neighbors. Things to consider in the event of a disaster:
- Do not wait until the last minute to leave.
- Follow instructions for official evacuation procedures.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors before you head out.
- If heading to a shelter, plan on using your own supplies, and be aware most do not take pets.
- In the event of an emergency, tips on what to do just before and during an emergency:
- Close and lock all windows and doors.
- Stay tuned to local news stations via battery-operated radio.
- Prepare to evacuate if ordered.
- Cover windows and doors with shutters or plywood if high winds are expected.
- Move electronics or valuables away from windows, and wrap in plastic garbage bags to keep dry.
- Have a supply of bottled water on hand; fill sink and tubs with water.
- Shut off water at the main valve, and electricity at the main fuse or breaker box.
Secure outdoor objects such as trash cans and patio furniture.
Important Websites and Phone Numbers
For more detailed information on emergency preparedness, visit Ready.gov.