Disaster Preparation at Home

With the upcoming storm season, it’s a great time to review your personal and/or family disaster preparedness plans. And don’t forget that fury or feathered family member that is going to need to practice how to respond to an emergency also. So let’s get started with taking care of #1….YOU! If you are not prepared to handle a disaster or emergency, then it’s going to be harder for you to help others that may be affected. So here are few helpful tips to start with:

- Have a weather radio that has programmable alerts to let you know if severe weather is approaching your area.

- Pre-identify the “safe area” in your house where everyone can gather in the event of severe weather.

- Have some basic supplies in your “safe area” in case they are needed (first aid kit, flashlights, whistle, purse or wallet, hardhats or helmets, pet carrier, important lists of phone numbers, your address if you have small children or visitors that may not know the home address, etc.)

- Ensure important documents are in your “safe area” or secured in the house with a fire proof safe that is bolted down.

- If you need to evacuate your area, pre-plan an outside contact where you can go (family, friends, pet-friendly hotel, etc.) Take your pets with you!

- Let someone outside the disaster area know what you are doing if possible. If you are taking shelter, or if you are evacuating…let someone know so you have at least one lifeline to check on you when it’s all over.

- Practice your plan with your family and your pets. Animals may display unpredictable behavior in a high stress situation like running downstairs to take cover in a tornado. If you practice your plan, your pets are more likely to react in a more normal manner so things go smoothly.

For additional pre-planning tips for yourself and your pets, check out the following links:

Planning From Home PDF
http://www.ready.gov/caring-animals

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