happen anytime and anywhere. And when disaster strikes, you may not have
much time to respond. Help could be hours or even days reaching you. Would
your family be prepared to cope with the emergency until help arrives?
One way to prepare is by assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit.
are six basics you should stock in your home: water, food, first aid
supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies and
items. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation
in an easy-to-carry container, such as a large, covered trash container,
a camping backpack or a duffel bag.
Store in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers
that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. Store
one gallon of water per person per day for drinking, cooking and sanitation
purposes. Keep at least a three-day supply for each person in your household.
Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods
that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no
water. Some examples of good foods: canned fruits and vegetables, canned
juices, staple items (sugar, salt, pepper), high energy foods (peanut butter,
jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix), vitamins, comfort! stress foods
(cookies, hard candy, instant coffee), special diet items (for infants,
elderly or special need individuals.)
Aid Kit: Assemble a first aid kit for
your home and one for each car. The American Red Cross offers ready-to-go
first aid kits that will work in almost any situation, as well as training
in basic first aid for most situations. A first aid kit should include:
sterile bandages and pads, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, needle, antiseptic,
thermometer, lubricant, cleaning agent! soap, latex gloves (2 pairs), sunscreen,
aspirin or non aspirin pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medicine, antacid,
Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control
Center), laxative, activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control
Center), and other items.
& Supplies: Paper cups, plates and
plastic eating utensils, battery operated radio and extra batteries, flashlight
and extra batteries, cash or traveler's check and change, non- electric
can opener, utility knife, toilet paper, soap, feminine supplies, personal
hygiene items, disinfectant and bleach are all good items to have.
& Bedding: Include at least one complete
change of clothing and footwear per person. Include also rain gear and
blankets or sleeping bags.
Items: Remember family members with special
needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled people. Be sure to include
any medications anyone in the family is taking. For a baby, also include
formula, diapers, bottles and powdered milk. For adults include denture
needs, contact lenses and supplies or extra eye glasses. Include entertainment
for the whole family, such as games and books. And don't forger your important
family documents such as your will, insurance policies, deeds, stocks and
bonds, passports, social security cards, immunization records, bank account
and credit card numbers, inventory of valuable household goods, important
telephone numbers (particularly to emergency services such as Poison Control),
and family records (birth, marriage and death certificates.) Keep these
records in a waterproof, portable container.
of these categories, you should personalize your Disaster Supplies Kit
to meet your own needs and interests. Re-think your kit and family needs
at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothing, etc. Keeping
your family safe is your number one priority. And the key to safety is
When a Storm Approaches...
eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light or increasing
wind. Listen for the sound of thunder.
can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning.
to your local radio and TV stations for the latest forecasts.
in a building or car. Keep car windows closed. Telephone lines and metal
pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances and avoid using them or
taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor,
resulting in a costly repair job.
and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind,
the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.
are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.
are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately.
Be a Very Small Target...
a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles or metal objects.
the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between
the smallest target, with as little of you touching the ground, as possible.
lie flat on the ground -- this will make you a larger target.
is Struck By Lightning...
struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely.
help. Get someone to dial 9-1-1.
person has received an electrical shock and may be burned, both where they
were struck and where the electricity left their body. Check for burns
in both places.
aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has
stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. To become trained in
first aid and CPR, check our community courses
or call the Red Cross, (318) 865-9545.
a Tornado Family Disaster Plan.
a place where family members could gather if a tornado is headed your way.
It could be your basement, a central, interior hallway, bathroom or closet
on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered, If you are in a high-rise
building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick
a place in a hallway in the center of the building. If you are in a mobile
home, get out of it and go to the nearest sturdy building.
a Disaster Supplies Kit.
periodic tornado drills so everyone remembers what to do when a tornado
tuned to local radio and TV stations for storm warnings.
what storm WATCHES and WARNINGS mean:
WATCH means a storm is possible in your area.
WARNING means a storm has been sighted and may be headed for your area.
Go to safety immediately.
When a tornado
WARNING is issued...
are inside, go to the safe place you picked to protect yourself from glass
and other flying objects. The tornado may be approaching your area.
are outside, hurry to a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or
are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety (as
Make Your Home Fire
out for fallen power lines and stay out of the damaged areas.
for information and instructions.
flashlight to inspect your home for damage.
use candles at any time.
detectors save lives. Install a battery-powered detector on each level
of your home, as well as in the garage.
each smoke detector at least twice a year. Replace the batteries once a
working fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
for home fire hazards and fix them.
at least two ways to escape from every room in your home.
purchase rope or chain ladders to use to climb out of rooms above the first
floor, and practice using it.
a location where everyone would meet after escaping your home.
what you would do about family pets if you need to escape from a fire.
crawl low under the smoke to escape. Teach small children how to do this
and have everyone practice their escape routes with their eyes closed to
simulate smoke visibility.
the door as you leave a room and feel closed doors before you enter a room.
A hot door probably means the room on the other side is in flames.
the stop-drop-and-roll way to put out flaming clothing.
out quickly. Escape first, then call the fire department.
central area where everyone should meet after escaping the house. This
way, everyone is accounted for and safe.