Are You Ready?
Emergency preparedness is not the sole concern of Californians for earthquakes, those who live in "Tornado Alley"; or Gulf Coast residents because of hurricanes. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
Let Bamboo Partners guide you, your family and your community so that Yes, You Are Ready!
Bamboo Partners™ will be glad to provide instruction on Disaster Preparedness for you or your organization. Give us a call to get a quote for your presentation.
Tips to Plan and Prepare for Any Disaster
Assemble emergency kits. (See Household Disaster Kits and Go-Bags.)
Keep copies of important documents (passport, driver license, social security card, marriage license, will, deeds,
financial statements, etc.) in an offsite location such as a safety deposit box. To facilitate insurance recovery, include
an inventory of your valuables with photographs or video.
Learn how and when to shut off your utilities.
Discuss all possible exit routes from each room, building and neighborhood. Ensure that your family has at least two exits
Decide where you will reunite after a disaster. Choose two places, one outside your home and another outside your neighborhood, like a park or other open area.
Conduct emergency drills and practice “DROP, COVER and HOLD” at least once every six months.
Always keep your car’s gas tank at least half full.
Steps to Make Your Home Safe
Be sure your home’s street number is visible from the street, so emergency vehicles can find you.
In your home, install at least one smoke alarm outside of each sleeping area and one additional alarm on each additional living level, including the basement. If hallways are longer than 40 feet between the sleeping and living areas, use two smoke alarms. Test every six months and replace batteries once each year.
Keep at least one ABC type fire extinguisher on each level of your home. Learn how and when to use them. Check the pressure gauges annually to ensure they are fully charged.
Keep hallways and exits clear for easy evacuation. Ensure that all window safety bars have emergency releases.
Ensure that valuable electronics and tall, large or heavy furnishings in your home are equipped with earthquake straps, available at most hardware stores. Move heavy objects to lower shelves and install cabinet door latches.
If your water heater isn’t equipped with a flexible supply line, contact a licensed plumber to install one.
Store hazardous chemicals (e.g. gasoline, bleach, paint thinners) away from open flames and secure them to prevent spills.
Basic Emergency Supplies
You can buy pre-made disaster kits from a range of sources, or you can assemble one yourself using items you already own. Either way, make sure to familiarize yourself with your kit’s contents and to replace any perishable items before they expire.
Divide your emergency supplies into a Household Disaster Kit to share at home and personal Go-bags for individual family members in case of evacuation.
Store your Household Disaster Kit in a place that will still be accessible if your home is damaged and unsafe to enter (e.g. a backyard shed). If this is not an option, put it in an easily accessible location inside your home.
Store your household’s Go-bags in a location that is easily accessible in the event you must evacuate your home.
Household Disaster Kit Checklist:
If your home is structurally sound following a disaster, your Household Disaster Kit will allow you to remain in place, even without utilities. Put contents in a watertight container that you can move easily (e.g. a large plastic garbage can with wheels).
- Sanitation supplies (e.g. towels, washcloths, unscented bleach with eyedropper and heavy duty garbage bags)
- Flashlights and battery-operated lanterns (with extra batteries & bulbs)
- Plates, utensils and paper towels, etc.
- Cooking supplies (manual can opener, camp stove, fuel, lighter, pots, etc.)
- Items to protect you from the elements, (e.g. warm clothing, raincoats, sleeping bags, mats, blankets, sturdy shoes and a tent or heavy-duty sheet plastic)
- Work gloves, goggles, crowbar, hammer, staple gun, adjustable wrench
Each household member should have his or her own Go-bag as a part of the Household Disaster Kit. Go-bags are designed for use:
- At home, so you can remain in place even without utilities;
- If you must evacuate your home; or
- If you cannot return home.
Because you may be away from home when disaster strikes, you are advised to keep a Go-bag at work and in your vehicle.
Every Go-bag should include:
- Food and water (as much as you can practically carry)
- Portable radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit and handbook
- 5-day supply of any medications you take regularly and a copy of your prescriptions
- Whistle (to alert rescuers to your location)
- Personal hygiene supplies (including toilet paper)
- Emergency lighting (e.g. glow sticks, flashlight, headlamp) and extra batteries
- Large garbage bags and paper towels
- Change of clothing and a hat
- Sturdy shoes, in case an evacuation requires walking long distances
- Dust mask
- Pen, paper and tape
- Cash in small denominations
- Copy of health insurance card and driver license or identification card
- Photos of family members for reunification purposes
- List of emergency contact phone numbers
In children’s Go-bags, include medical consent forms, a family photo for reunification purposes and a favorite toy, cards or book.
Include flares and jumper cables in your vehicle’s Go-bag.
Remember to make a Go-bag for your pet!
Prepare to Communicate Post-Disaster
Designate an out-of-area contact person who is unlikely to be affected by the same disaster. Instruct family members inside the affected area to contact this person with their status following a disaster. This person will act as a liaison between the family members affected by the disaster and others who need to be informed of your family’s status.
Keep at least one standard fixed telephone in your home; portable phones rely on electrical power and will not work during a power outage.
Display emergency numbers beside each telephone.
Learn how to use your mobile phone’s text messaging feature. Text messaging uses a different part of the cell network and it might be possible to send and receive text messages when voice channels for mobile phones and land lines are jammed.
Register your email addresses and wireless devices (mobile phones, pagers and PDAs) with your local municipality. When possible, they will send text alerts about potential hazards and / or post-disaster information. Examples include severe weather warnings and local disaster shelter locations.
Store enough food for everyone in your family to last for at least 3 days.
Store food items that are familiar, rather than buying special “emergency” food. Consider any dietary restrictions you may have.
Ideal foods do not require refrigeration or cooking (e.g. canned fruit, vegetables, peanut butter, jam, low-salt crackers, cookies, cereals, dried fruit, canned soup or meats, juices and non-fat dry milk).
Mark a rotation date on any food container that does not already have a manufacturer’s expiration date on the package.
Include baby food, formula or other special diet items for infants and seniors. Store the food in airtight, pest-resistant containers in a cool, dark place.
Most canned foods can safely be stored for at least 18 months. Low acid foods like meat products, fruits or vegetables will normally last at least 2 years. Use dry products, like boxed cereal, crackers, cookies, dried milk or dried fruit within six months.
Do not consume food from cans that show any signs of deterioration (rust or bulging).
After a power outage, refrigerated food will stay cold longer if you keep the door closed. Food should generally be consumed within 4 hours. Food in the freezer will normally remain safe for 2 days.