Citizen's Guide for Emergencies

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In a major emergency or disaster, it may be several days before vital services are restored. Are you prepared?

Disasters can happen anywhere, anytime.  By having an emergency kit, food rations, and a family emergency plan at your disposal, you and your family will be better prepared to handle the effects of a disaster.  There are several resources available to help create a plan for your family.  For example, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has information and tools for developing a family plan on their website:  Additional information can be found at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website:

If an emergency occurs, it could be hours or days without power, water and gas. First responders may be tied up with responding to the emergency at hand. Many businesses may be closed and you may not have access to services you need. What can you do to keep your family safe?

Here are some of the items that you should have at your residence for anything from a power outage to something more severe:
  • Non-perishable food and water for 72 hours
  • NOAA Weather radio (battery powered or hand-crank)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries, matches and a lighter
  • First aid kit
  • A mask that covers nose and mouth, along with plastic sheeting and duct tape in the event of a shelter in place event
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags with plastic ties for sanitation purposes
  • Manual can opener for food, wrench/pliers to turn off utilities
  • Cell phone with charger
This is not an exhaustive list but a good starting point.  Other areas that are addressed in FEMA’s family plan is to talk with your children and other family members on where the emergency kits will be located, and where to go if you need to shelter in place.  For example, in the event of serious weather, staging in the lowest level or basement is ideal.  In the case of a fire, do your children know where all the exits are to the outside?  Once outside, does your family have a meeting place? 
It is also important to have occasional drills with your family so you are better prepared when an emergency requires your family to act.

Click on the links at the left to learn more about how you can prepare yourself and your family for an emergency situation.
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