Take “5” to Survive
If you find it difficult to set aside time to prepare for emergencies, you’re not alone. Public surveys list “lack of time” as a primary reason people give for not taking the steps necessary to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies, even though they know that emergencies have struck and will strike again.
September has been proclaimed National Preparedness Month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Department and the American Red Cross are co-sponsoring a campaign to encourage community readiness. In support of National Preparedness Month and in recognition of busy lifestyles, the Washington County Office of Consolidated Emergency Management (OCEM) encourages the citizens of Washington County to “Take “5” to Survive.”
Rather than viewing “emergency preparedness” as an insurmountable undertaking, consider what you could accomplish in just five-minute increments. During the month of September, set yourself a goal to complete “5” preparedness recommendations from our “5-minute” projects list. Make it a team effort – involve your whole family. Once you meet your goal – celebrate! You’re better prepared for the emergencies ahead.
Five-Minute Projects List:
1. Discuss how your family will re-unite if an emergency separates you.
2. Practice your fire escape plan.
3. Decide how your family will stay warm and safe if you lose power.
4. Choose who will be your family’s “out-of-state” contact person. Instruct family members to call this person to relay information on their welfare if they’re separated from the rest of the family and local phone lines are not working.
5. Test your smoke alarms.
6. Store bottled water – one gallon per person, per day for at least three days.
7. Buy extra canned goods and a manual can opener the next time you’re at the store.
8. Work with your doctor to make sure you and your family members have at least a one-week supply of necessary drugs.
9. Verify that each person in your home has a working flashlight by their bed and extra batteries handy.
10.Make sure all adults in your home know how to use your fire extinguisher(s).
11.Next time you’re at the bank, get some extra cash to have on hand. ATMs may not work following a significant event, such as an earthquake.
12.Place 2-way (FRS/GMRS) radios in your car(s) and home(s). For short distances (up to 3 miles) they are more reliable following a disaster than cell phones.
13.Verify that your dogs and cats have tags or I.D. chips in case an emergency frightens them and they become separated from you.
14.Place a pair of sturdy shoes and socks under the bed – cut feet are a common injury following earthquakes.
15.Teach your adult family members when and how to shut off your utilities.
For more information on these recommendations and others, click on the button above that reads “Prepare for Disaster”.
Tackle emergency preparedness in small bites – Take “5” to Survive!