Be Aware — Be Prepared — Stay Safe
Our last article covered the warning signs of an approaching tornado. But what can you do to prepare and protect your family in the event of earthquake, tornado, severe storm, flooding, or other disaster? Specific planning and practice of emergency procedures may save your life.
Stay informed – be aware. Although not all areas included in a weather warning will experience the same severity, don’t let a false sense of security keep you from taking immediate action. Weather sirens serve as an outdoor warning, but may be difficult to hear indoors. For timely information, monitor local weather reports using television, radio, internet, and social media. Consider purchasing a NOAA Weather Radio. Prepare for a power outage by having a fully charged cell phone, battery-operated radio (with extra batteries), or a hand-cranked radio on hand.
Make a communication plan for your family. If you are not together when a warning is issued, know how to maintain communications. Keep family numbers handy in your wallet or on your phone. During a local emergency it may be easier to reach someone out of town. Pre-determine a person for everyone to contact. Designate a place for nearby family to meet after an emergency.
Identify and prepare a safe location. Learn how to select a refuge area. You may encounter no power, no water, extensive damage and blocked roads. Keep a disaster supplies kit (a backpack is recommended) in your home where you can grab it if you have to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
Store important documents you will need to start the recovery process in a fireproof and waterproof box. At a minimum store current insurance policies, updated home contents photos, health issues and prescription information. The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit can help you identify documents you may need to keep safe and available.
Get first aid training. Someone’s life may depend on your ability to render assistance until professional help arrives. Practice first aid and emergency response actions. Contact the HVL POA about the local Red Cross classes we sponsor. You can also download the Red Cross First Aid App.
Share your emergency plan. Make sure family and friends are aware of the plan. Discussing it with friends, neighbors and colleagues will help you think it through. For additional emergency preparedness information, see: https://community.fema.gov/.
Your Safety, Security, and Elections Committee