Conference Disaster Response Coordinator offers disaster preparedness tips

5/13/2013

We are officially in the storm season.  Do you have a plan if a natural disaster happens in your community?  Disaster preparedness for our Conference begins when our churches are prepared, and our churches are prepared when our members are prepared.

Make sure that you have an "emergency" plan ready and in place for your home.  You should have an emergency kit (or bag) ready at a moment's notice.  Some of the things that should be in your emergency kit are the following:

  • 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
  • Duct tape (has tons of uses)
  • Moist towelettes, cleaners, and hand sanitizer
  • Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • If you have an infant, diapers and wipes
  • If you take medication, have your medicines convenient so that you can secure them
  • List of your medication along with the prescribing doctor and prescription number
  • In a waterproof bag, have copies of property insurance policies, as well as family contact information

These are just a few of the items you will need if a disaster strikes your home. 

Also, know where you will go when there is a weather warning - such as a basement, storm shelter or an interior room without windows.  If you have children, practice going to this safe space with them.  Remember if you are in a mobile home seek shelter elsewhere.  Familiarize yourself with available shelters in your community. 

During times of a weather warning proceed immediately to your safe space and take your emergency kit. Blankets or sleeping bags will make a cover in case there is falling debris.  If your children have bicycle helmets have the wear them until the all clear is given.  Motorcycle or ATV  helmets also provide protection.

Red Cross (www.redcross.org/prepare) and FEMA (www.fema.gov/plan-prepare-mitigate) also have suggestions for you and your family. 

After any disaster, follow the directions of your local law enforcement, fire department and EMA officials. Remember to check on friends and family after a storm has passed. 


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