Overwhelmed by emergency preparedness? Here’s a simple checklist to help you get started!
Preparing to Prepare
Have you ever wondered how to prepare for an emergency? Here is a checklist of basic emergency preparedness questions that need answers if you are to be safe in an emergency.
If you answer NO to any of them, take time to work on getting them completed.
If you are to evacuate your home, do you and your family have an identified common meeting place?
Have you established an out-of-state contact? Does each family member know the name, phone number and address of this contact?
Do you have a working emergency radio to receive emergency instructions?
Do you have a functional flashlight in every occupied bedroom? (Candles are not recommended unless you are sure there is not a natural gas leak nearby.)
Do you have a first-aid kit in your home and each vehicle? If you have a motor home, be sure to put one in there too.
Do you have work gloves and basic tools for minor rescue and clean up?
Do you have emergency cash on hand? (Small bills and coins. During emergencies or loss of power, banks and ATM machines are closed.)
Have you stored/rotated a month’s supply of needed medications?
If you wear glasses/contacts, do you have an extra pair in case of breakage?
Do you keep shoes (not sandals) near your bed to protect your feet against broken glass and other objects that may be on the floor?
Does your family know what to do before, during and after an earthquake or other emergency situation?
Do you have heavy unsecured objects hanging over beds that can fall during an earthquake?
If water lines are ruptured, do you know how to shut off the main water line?
Can the main water valve be turned off by hand without using a special tool?
If a special tool is needed to shut off the water main, do you have one near the turn off or know where to find one in an emergency?
Do you know where the main gas shut-off valve to your house is located?
Natural gas valves need a special tool to turn off. Do you have one nearby?
Without electricity and gas, do you have the means to heat at least part of the house?
Do you have means to cover broken windows and doors?
Do you have a plan for toilet facilities if there is an extended water shortage?
Has your family rehearsed fire escape routes from your home?
In case of a minor fire, do you have a fire extinguisher? Do you know how to operate it? Is it charged?
Do you have working smoke alarms in the proper locations in your home?
Do you have duplicate keys and copies of important documents stored outside of your home or in your evacuation kit?
Do you have a copy of your will, trust and insurance papers that can be taken with you?
Do you have a copy of your household inventory (CD or photos with serial numbers, etc.) for insurance purposes?
Do you have a supply of food, clothing and fuel (where appropriate) for 1 month, 6 months or 1 year?
Do you have sufficient food?
Do you have means to cook food without gas or electricity?
Do you have sufficient water for drinking, cooking and sanitary needs?
Do you have a 72-hour evacuation kit? Could you or someone in your family carry it?
This article was written by Christine Jensen