Time to Prepare

Over the past few weeks there have been multiple natural disasters including hurricanes, earthquakes, and most recently wildfires across California. Many news reports included scenes of empty grocery store aisles and long lines at gas stations. While we cannot know when and where a natural disaster will be, there are a few things we can do ahead of time to prepare.

The first step is to make a plan. As you plan think about the needs of your household. If you have pets, young children, or elderly family, keep their specific needs in mind. Have enough medicine, diapers, formula etc. to last a few days.

Have emergency supplies on hand now. Depending on the type of emergency, you may have a few days to gather items or you may have to leave on short notice. It is not uncommon for there to be long lines for water and food right before a hurricane or storm. Don’t forget about filling up your gas tank. A good rule of thumb is to have a half tank of gas at all times and a full tank if you believe you will evacuated soon.

Emergency kits are a great way to assemble everything you need in one convenient place. Include a spare set of clothes, water, non-perishable food, first aid kit, flashlight, blanket, cash, and personal hygiene items. Also include a paper list of phone numbers for family members, doctors, schools, and any other important contacts. Consider making copies of important documents that you want to take with you. This may include birth certificates, marriage license, insurance policies, and other medical, financial, and legal documents.

Once you have made your plan, talk about it with your children. If possible practice where you will meet as a family if you are not together when a disaster occurs. Ready.gov is a great resource for creating an emergency plan for both adults and children.

Emergency Checklist:

  • Sign up for emergency alerts.
  • Make a Plan. Establish family meeting places and where you will go in case you are evacuated.
  • Assemble or buy emergency kits. Ready.gov has a list of what your kit should include.
  • Practice your plan with your children. Help kids know what to expect.
  • Don’t forget to plan for your pets. Make a plan that includes a place for your pet.

Sources: Ready.gov. Lifework Strategies, Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.