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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Hurricane (and Other Disasters) Preparation- Have A Plan

Yes, the National Hurricane Center held "Hurricane Preparedness Week a couple of months ago, but most of us in the hurricane zone know that the real hurricane season is just beginning - the season when every tropical depression gets tracked and you ought to be looking to see how well you match your readiness with what the NHC says at Hurricane Preparedness - Be Ready. But some of the advice fits for earthquake areas and places where transportation links could disappear due to - well - stuff. Here's a portion of the advice:
Plan and Take Action
Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected. Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children or parents are safe? You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water, gas, electricity or phone services are shut off?

Supplies Kit
Put together a basic disaster supplies kit and consider storage locations for different situations. Help community members do the same.

Emergency Plans
  • Develop and document plans for your specific risks.Protect yourself and family with a Family Emergency Plan
  • Be sure to plan for locations away from home
Well, there's more, but let me suggest that the most important thing in an emergency - is that family plan that may ease your mind about where your family will go if all the power in the world goes off or there's a freak ice storm or a tornado or there's a hurricane that somehow manages to sneak up on you while you were being abducted by space aliens. Or, heck, even if it's an space alien invasion.

What should be in your plan? The government version suggests cards for all family members with important information on phone numbers (including numbers for an out-of-town contact who probably will not be affected by your local issues)  - that person becomes the conduit through which family members can report in and let other family members where they are and how they are doing.

Other good stuff - one or two adult family members should have info on insurance, credit cards, bank info, social security number, prescriptions, and all that  stuff. In fact, send a copy off to your sister in Omaha - just in case.

Another communication option is to work through the American Red Cross Safe and Well program.

Get a few radios that are not battery dependent. Having access to information being broadcast about the disaster you are in and getting directions and advice is priceless. An adequate crank radio is not very expensive.

Finally, don't be stupid. If the word is to evacuate, then get the heck out of town and away from the threat. There is not a single possession in the world that is worth trying to ride out a hurricane.

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