Family Emergency Preparedness
In the event of an earthquake or fire is your family prepared and will they know what to do? The next time disaster strikes, you may not have much time to act. You and your family should take the time NOW to prepare for an emergency. Use the following tips to help design an emergency plan to prepare you and your family for any emergency.
First, meet with your family members to discuss the dangers of fire, earthquake or severe weather. Each member of your household should know how to react to each type of disaster. Take time to identify safety spots in your home in the event of an earthquake. Since a home fire escape plan dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire, no family should be without one A fire escape plan should include two ways out of each sleeping room, a safe meeting place outside and a plan to inspect and maintain smoke detectors.
Everyone in the home should know what to do in the event of power failure. Family members should know how to turn off the electricity, gas and water in the event of an emergency. Family members should know all your family's emergency phone numbers. Post emergency phone numbers near telephones in your home. Children should be taught when and how to call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. You should pick one out-of-state and one local friend or relative for family members to call if separated during a disaster. It is often easier to call out of state during an emergency, than it is to call within the affected area. Children should be taught all the important phone numbers so that they will be able to use them.
All adults in the family should have a basic understanding of first aid and be certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Every home should have a first aid kit and an Emergency Disaster Supply Kit.
One of the most important steps involved in preparing for a disaster is assembling an Emergency Disaster Supply Kit. The kit should have an adequate inventory to last 72 hours. The following items should be included in every Emergency Disaster Supply Kit:
- A supply of water for your family; one gallon per person per day. Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers and replace every six months
- A supply of nonperishable or canned food (also include a non-electric
- A camp stove. If you have a portable barbecue, it may be used to cook food during an emergency
- Food preparation and eating utensils, including pots and pans, cups, plates, bowls, forks, spoons and knives
- For each family member, a change of clothing, rain gear, sturdy shoes and work gloves
- Blankets and sleeping bags
- Medical supplies including complete first aid kit, a first aid manual, a list of prescription drugs required by your family, and a list of your family doctors
- Hygiene supplies including a bar of soap, liquid detergent, shampoo, tooth paste, toothbrushes, tissues, toilet paper and a portable toilet
- Flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs
- Portable radio with extra batteries
- Small hand tools including crow bar, hammer, screw drivers and wrenches that may be used to shut off the gas and water
- A fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A:10B:C
- Duct tape
- Plastic garbage bags
- A tent for potential shelter
- Cash, in small bills, since during a disaster the availability of cash may be limited
This is only a brief description of what you should do to prepare you and your family for a disaster. The Santa Clara Fire Department offers Home Emergency Assistance Training (H.E.A.T.). The H.E.A.T. program is intended to provide you with training that would allow you to assist yourself, your neighbors, business, church, etc. in the event of a regional disaster.