Build an Emergency Plan 1 Month at a Time
Being prepared for disasters and emergencies can seem like a big job. Many people don't know where to start, so they never start at all. With Do 1 Thing you can take small steps that make a big difference in an emergency.
When our community is prepared, emergency responders can help more people and in turn, when citizens are more prepared, they can help their neighbors.
The concept of Do1Thing entails doing "1thing" each month in order to build an emergency plan. The program breaks emergency planning down into small and easy steps to help alleviate the stress of doing everything at once. Each month a new tab will be added below to share the 1 thing you can do that month to be more prepared.
Sheltering: Know how to respond safely when instructions are given to evacuate or take shelter.
Identify the best storm shelter in your home and practice getting to the shelter with your family.
Use these rules of thumb to find the best tornado shelter possible:
• Stay away from windows and skylights
• Shelter “down and in” - Put as many walls between yourself and the outside as you can (think of the ceiling as a wall)
• Avoid rooms with large ceiling expanses
• Find an area large enough for everyone to stay comfortably for at least 45 minutes
Learn how to safely shelter in place.
In an emergency like a chemical spill, you may be told to “shelter in place”. This means to make the place where you are a safe place to stay until the danger has passed. Shelter in place orders are given when it would be dangerous for you to go outside.
Make a "Go Bag" for emergency sheltering
Emergency shelters will be opened when people are displaced from their homes. In most areas emergency shelters are operated by the American Red Cross.
Water: Have 72 hours (3 days) worth of water stored for your household.
A three-day supply for one person is 3 gallons (12 liters) of water – one gallon (4 liters) per person per day. Also include an extra one gallon (4 liters) for a medium size pet. That one gallon should last three days, but plan for more or less if your pet is very large or very small.
If you get your water from a private well, disinfect your tap water before bottling. Place six drops of bleach for each gallon of water, shake well, then let sit for 30 minutes. If you get your water from a municipal water system, there is no need to disinfect tap water before bottling.
Water Heater - DO NOT use if the tank or fixtures have been submerged in floodwater!
Make a Plan: Understand what puts you at risk from disasters and take steps to lower your risk.
Choose two places for your family to meet. One should be right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire. The other should be outside of your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.
Once you know what disasters could happen in your community, there are things you can do to lower your risk of injury or property damage
It is important to know what types of disasters can happen where you are. Is your home in a floodplain? Are you in an area that has earthquakes? When are tornadoes most likely to happen? Knowing what disasters could happen can help you know how to be prepared and what to do.
First Aid: Be prepared to give first aid while waiting for an ambulance.
Call 911 instead of trying to take an injured or ill person to the hospital yourself. It seems like waiting for an ambulance will make it take longer to get help, but ambulance crews can start providing care as soon as they arrive.
Ready-made first aid kits are available at most department stores or your local Ameri-can Red Cross chapter.
Knowing how to apply a bandage, identify the signs and symptoms of shock, perform CPR or use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) can save a life.
Emergency Supplies: Remember important items that may be overlooked when leaving your home in a disaster.
Have a go bag ready if you have to shelter in place or evacuate your home. Your go bag can be part of your emergency kit, just make sure it is in a bag or easy to carry container and that it is easy to get to.
Disasters can strike when you are away from home. If your office or school does not have an emergency kit, offer to help make one.
Some experts say you should have at minimum $150.00 in cash stashed away. Realizing this may not be possible for everyone, any amount is good to start with.