Disaster can happen anywhere, it can strike at any time, and it leaves countless people unprepared for a survival situation. Our goals in disaster relief involve helping communities recover after a devastating disaster, but our goal is also to give you the tools to help prepare for yourselves and your families.
This blog entry is designed to help you begin planning for your potential risks. The following is a list designed to help you create a written survival plan. You can follow our format or create one of your own, the important thing is to have a plan.
1. Risks: write down your local risks (tornado, hurricane, flood, wildfire, earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, drought, house fire, gas leak, etc)
2.Emergency Alerts: Do some research and write down what local emergency alerts are in place (how you know when you are in danger), and be sure that your home alert systems are up to date (carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms, weather radio etc)
3. Name/Needs List: when making a survival plan, special considerations need to be made for each family member. Ages, dietary needs, medication & medical equipment, people with disabilities, elderly, pets or service animals, nursing mothers, infant care, check with local agencies to determine if your household pet or service animal will be accepted. List names and ages of family members in the home as well as special medications or needs.
Example: Adrian~6 years old, diabetic, insulin
Opal~86 years old, osteoporosis & high blood pressure, needs walker, blood pressure medication, latex allergy
4. Family Emergency Plan: Create a Family Emergency plan detailing what steps you will take if disaster strikes. You can fill one out and print here http://www.ready.gov/emergency-planning-checklists
5. Include your pets in your survival plan: Take some steps ahead of time to prepare for them, don’t leave them behind in an emergency disaster situation. http://www.ready.gov/caring-animals
6. Shut off your utilities: It’s important that you know how to safely shut off your home’s utilities in case of emergency. Contact your local natural gas company to learn how to safely shut off your home’s gas , as each company has different meters and different methods. Locate the shut off valve for the water line that enters the house, if valves are rusted or broken, be sure to replace them. Make sure you do not turn your water back on until authorities have given the ok, as cracked lines can contaminate drinking water. Locate your electrical circuit box, shutting off all small circuits before the large, main circuits. Write down the location of your utilities and shut off instructions, so when you need to access this list you can do it quickly.
7. Plan your escape routes: Draw out a floor plan of your home with 2 escape routes from each room. Make sure you practice drills with your family and that children understand the escape routes and plan. If you need assistance developing an escape plan for the home, contact your local fire department and ask them if they would be willing to assist you in developing a plan.
8. Survival Kit: locate a place in your home to store your survival kit. Write down where that will be, and begin gathering supplies to store there. Make a list of items you have already gathered for your kit so that you can keep track of items that still need to be added.
9. Plan away home: many people find themselves away from home when disaster strikes. Create a similar plan for the office, places of worship, your car, camper, boat, places of recreation, or anywhere you frequent where you could find yourself in an emergency situation.
10. Family/Friends/Neighbors: create a buddy system with your family, friends, and neighbors. Share your emergency contact information with your buddy in the event that your family can’t reach you following a disaster; give your family your buddy’s contact information as well. Make a list of names and phone numbers of potential buddies and contact them about forming the buddy survival system.