Personal & Family Preparedness
Every individual and family needs to be prepared for any kind of disaster. Two important ways to be prepared are to have a disaster kit for your home and to have an emergency plan.
Making an Emergency Kit…It’s up to YOU!
Stock up on nonperishable food and water to sustain you and your family for up to 72 hours or longer. Ensure you have important papers (e.g. insurance, identification), first aid kit, a supply of prescription medicines and other specialty items in your preparedness kit. Have a battery-operated radio in your house in case the power goes out. A NOAA weather radio will alert you when there are severe weather watches or warnings. Don’t forget to check the back-up battery in your weather radio on a regular basis. You will want the radio to work even if there is a power outage. While creating a disaster kit, pet owners should remember to pack the necessary items for their pets.
In addition, plan to have an emergency kit for your car in case you need to evacuate.
Making an Emergency Plan…It’s up to YOU!
Every family should have a family emergency plan that is prepared and discussed in advance. Identify ahead of time where you could go if you have to leave your home. Choose several places, such as a friend’s home in another town, a motel or a shelter. Make sure you know how to contact members of your family and have an emergency contact number for someone out of state that knows where you are in the event of an emergency. Find out about emergency plans at your workplace and at your children’s schools. Make sure your pet is included in your emergency plan. Offer assistance to an elderly or disabled family member or neighbor that may be alone and may need your help during an emergency. Make plans ahead of time and practice them.
Preparedness for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs:
It is especially important for people with disabilities and other special needs to prepare in advance for disasters. Plan to make it on your own, at least for a period of time. It’s possible that you will not have access to a medical facility or even a drugstore. The more planning that you do in advance, the easier it will be for others to help you in case of an emergency.
Create a support network in advance to help in an emergency. Tell these people where you keep your emergency supplies. Contact your local Emergency Management Agency. Many of them keep lists of people with special needs so they can be located quickly in a sudden emergency.
In addition to the things listed above, you should also have these additional supplies:
- Prescription medicines, list of medications including dosage, list of any allergies.
- Extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries.
- Extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen.
- Keep a list of the style and serial number of medical devices.
- Any other medical supplies you use on a regular basis.
- Medical insurance and Medicare cards.
- List of doctors, relatives or friends who should be notified if you are hurt.
Sign up for a community awareness presentation by Central Georgia Medical Reserve Corps on disaster preparedness for individuals with special medical needs.