Being unprepared for disasters can make a bad situation even worse. As much as we don't like to think about the possibility, taking a little time to educate your family about the kinds of disasters you might encounter and preparing a "just in case" plan can give everyone peace of mind. Drag the kids away from the television long enough to go over the following information. (Then let them get back to the latest reality TV disaster that's caught their attention.)
Create a Family Disaster Plan:
Discuss with the kids what kinds of disasters are likely to occur in your area.
Devise an evacuation plan, and practice it. Pick two meeting spots outside your home—one just outside the home (e.g., the telephone pole across the street from your house) and one outside your neighborhood (e.g., a shopping center parking lot).
Choose an out-of-state friend or relative to be your family contact. It's often easier to make long-distance calls than local calls in a disaster area. Tell other family members the contact person's phone number so they can check on you through that person.
Make a Disaster Kit:
Your family disaster kit should be ready at all times. Be sure to include the following six items and store everything in water-tight containers. Make sure everyone knows where the disaster kit is located.
Water: Enough water for three days. Generally, each person will need a half-gallon of water per day.
Food: Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that don't require cooking and choose non-salty foods that won't make you extra thirsty. Good choices are canned vegetables and meats, granola bars, peanut butter and low-salt crackers. And don't forget to pack a can opener!
First aid: Pack a basic first aid kit, plus non-prescription drugs like over-the-counter pain relievers.
Clothing, bedding, toiletries: If you're away from home, you'll need some basic living supplies. Your kit should include one change of clothing per person and personal items, such as toilet paper and soap.
Tools: Include a basic tool kit.
Extras: Include copies of important documents, books, games and some extra cash.report abuse