It’s devastated Boston and Oklahoma City. It’s destroyed parts of Indiana, the East Coast, and New Orleans. It’s annihilated an entire community in West, Texas. And it has ravaged the forests and homes of the Colorado Rockies.
Terrorist attacks. Tornados. Hurricanes. Floods. Fires. Earthquakes. Nuclear disasters. Whether it’s a natural or nuclear disaster, the question that comes to mind is, would any one of us be prepared in the event of a red-alert emergency?
As nature and terrorists have proven to us time and again, no single state is immune from disaster, and it can strike at any time and in any locale. Disasters leave behind many victims including children that oftentimes lose their parents or whom are left severely traumatized.
It is important for every family to be prepared for an emergency. Being prepared can make a difference in those who survive and those who do not. Emergency personnel and rescuers may not be able to access people for days.
Use the following checklist, taken from Kidproof Colorado and FEMA’s Ready website, to ensure that you and your family are prepared should disaster strike:
- Download and fill out the personal emergency plan.
- Communicate the plan along with an evacuation procedure to all household members. Run through the plan to make sure the plan is workable.
- Designate a place to meet outside the home that everyone is familiar with.
- Keep an emergency kit handy with the following supplies: non-perishable food items, baby supplies, pet supplies, gallons of water, first-aid kits, clothing and shoes, eyeglasses, blankets, tools, tape, fire extinguisher, matches, flashlights, can opener, eating utensils, battery-operated radio, cell phone and charger, extra batteries, trash bags, whistle, dust mask, address book, pencils, emergency cash, area maps, important document copies, medications, and regular chlorine bleach for disinfecting water.
- Pack activity bags for children with favorite toys, blankets, and books.
- Check your local news channel to find out how to sign up for emergency text alerts.
- Safely turn off utilities before disaster strikes, if possible.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website, FEMA, also offers a vast array of resources to help people prepare and recover from disasters.
Tompkins, Kristen. (2011). Essential steps and supplies for any emergency. Kidproof Colorado, p.30.