Living in Idaho, it’s easy to think that we don’t have to worry as much about big disasters as residents in other states do. But earthquakes, wildfires, and flooding are real possibilities here, and with September being National Preparedness Month, it’s a great time to think about putting together a go-kit, making a family emergency plan and making sure you’re informed when disaster strikes our state.
What might a disaster plan include?
Your family will probably not all be together when a disaster strikes, so you should create a plan for how you will contact each other and where you will meet if something happens. FEMA has a great template for a family emergency communication plan. And at ready.gov, you can find help with planning for emergency shelter, an agreed-upon evacuation route and understanding emergency alerts and warnings. Once you have your plan, practice it with your family to make sure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.
What about food and water?
Ideally, you should have two weeks’ worth of food and water on-hand. The food in your kit shouldn’t need refrigeration or cooking because of the potential for power outages during emergencies. Your kit also should include first aid supplies, a flashlight with extra batteries, spare cell phone battery or solar-powered charger, a battery-powered or crank radio, and any prescription medications you or your family needs. If you have infants or pets in your family, think about adding diapers and formula, or pet food and proof of vaccinations for your dog or cat. Customize your kit so your family has what it needs during an emergency.
Is there anything else we should be thinking about now before an emergency happens?
It’s a good idea to get training in first aid and emergency response. If you’re interested in volunteering to support local first responders, Volunteer Idaho is a great resource! More information can be found at www.volunteeridaho.org It’s also a good idea to talk to your neighbors about their emergency response plans, especially if they might need your help.
Just that we can all take steps now at home, work, business, and schools to help ourselves and others if disaster strikes.
(Note: A Closer Look At Your Health airs most Tuesday mornings on KBOI News Radio 670. This is an edited transcript of the segment from Sept. 3.)