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How to Be Ready for Any Disaster

From the Louisiana floods and forest fires ablaze in the Western and Central U.S. to Zika and other pandemic disease outbreaks worldwide,  disaster could strike at any time. Are you adequately prepared? Very few people are.

September is National Preparedness Month, with Get Ready Day occurring the third Tuesday of the month. Protect yourself and your family by bumping disaster preparedness up to the top of your to-do list.

These basic disaster preparedness tips can put you on the right track for any hazard…

  • Build an emergency kit.
    Assemble it in advance, including enough basic disaster supplies to last 72 hours:
    • Water
      A gallon per person, per day – for drinking and sanitation.
    • Food
      Canned food (as well as a manual can opener, bowls, utensils, and bottles), dried fruit, peanut butter, crackers, cereal, energy bars, juice boxes, non-perishable pasteurized milk. Avoid salty snacks that increase thirst.
    • Medications
      Include at least a 3-day supply of all prescription medications, as well as a first aid kit and book with essential such as hand sanitizer, band-aids/gauze, antibiotic ointment, petroleum jelly, adhesive tape, cold-packs, aspirin/acetaminophen/ibuprofen, antacids, antihistamines/anti-allergens, calamine/anti-itch, anti-diarrheals, cough/mucus control meds, laxatives, sleep aids, sunscreen, burn ointment, saline, scissors, tweezers, a sewing kit and vitamins.
    • Supplies
      Including a battery-powered flashlight and radio, extra batteries, candles, whistle (for help), soap/towelettes/wipes, unopened REGULAR bleach, toilet paper, wrenches/pliers to turn off utilities (learn how in advance), plastic sheeting/contractor bags, duct tape, filter masks (or towels/handkerchiefs) for airborne contaminants, warm/dry clothes, blankets/sleeping bags, and specialty supplies as needed by your family (diapers/formula, kids activities, sanitary napkins, pet supplies, etc.).
    • Essential documents/copies
      Driver licenses, passports, social/birth certificates, credit cards, bank account info, insurance cards, immunization records, spare keys, maps, phone list, and extra cash.
  • Pay attention.
    Listen to area TV and radio for official disaster preparedness instructions as they become available.
  • Know where to go.
    Make yourself and family members aware of established community evacuation routes and shelters for safe, efficient travel in the event of dangerous situations.  Become knowledgeable regarding alternate routes/modes of transportation.
  • Have a communication plan in place in case of separation.
    When emergencies occur, your family may be scattered around the area at school, daycare, home, and work. Establish a family communication plan in advance to prevent panic. Choose several locations in different directions. Will you all call a single out-of-town family member? Email/text? Memorize essential phone numbers, covering how you will get in touch in different situations to ensure a safe and rapid reunion.
  • Share.
    Discuss your disaster preparedness plan with all involved parties, including neighbors, schools, caregivers, and employers.

Prepare for all possibilities

Assemble your kit in advance, keeping abreast of expiration days of supplies. Keep items easily accessible in the event evacuation is necessary. You may only have a moment’s notice. Understand officials and relief workers will be working their fastest, but may not be able to reach you for hours or days. Realize the consequences of the loss of basic services for days or weeks, including electricity, telephones, gas, water, and sewage treatment, stocking yourself with items to help you manage these trying times.

Don’t settle for “good enough”

You will be far better prepared with the help of detailed, advanced knowledge for each event. For specific disaster-related itineraries, take advantage of free resources and expert advice from the Department of Homeland Security, the Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Weather the storm with these essential tips and the professional restoration services of Rainbow International®. Get the help you need in any situation. Contact us today.