Where will your family be when disaster strikes? They could be anywhere–at work, at school or in the car.
How will you find each other? Will you know if your children are safe?
Contact your local Emergency Management Office and the American Red Cross chapter nearest you and be prepared to take notes:
Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather and earthquakes to children. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.
Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least three days. Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit (Click here for more information) with items you may need in an evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as backpacks, duffle bags or covered trash containers.
Locate the main electric fuse box, water service main and natural gas main. Learn how and when to turn these utilities off. Teach all responsible family members. Keep necessary tools near gas and water shut-off valves.
Remember, turn off the utilities only if you suspect the lines are damaged or if you are instructed to do so. If you turn the gas off, you will need a professional to turn it back on.
Working with neighbors can save lives and property. Meet with your neighbors to plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster until help arrives. If you’re a member of a neighborhood organization, such as a home association or crime watch group, introduce disaster preparedness as a new activity. Know your neighbors’ special skills (e.g., medical, technical) and consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as disabled and elderly persons. Make plans for child care in case parents can’t get home.
During a disaster, ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage. Anything that can move, fall, break or cause a fire is a home hazard. For example, a hot water heater or a bookshelf can fall. Inspect your home at least once a year and fix potential hazards.
Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards.
Please visit the Web Links provided on this page for additional information. You may also request free family protection publications by visiting www.Ready.gov or writing to:
FEMA Distribution Center
PO Box 430
Buckeystown, MD 21717
Telephone: (800) 480-2520
Fax: (240) 699-0525
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