Emergency Preparedness

06-01-2018The Well

Article obtained through Emergency Management Preparedness and Recovery

Have you ever considered what your game plan would be in case something severe ever happened where you worked or lived?

You don’t want to be caught in a crises situation like a tornado touching down or severe flooding, even a massive fire that engulfs a neighborhood. There are certain things you should have available to help you and your family in case of an emergency. You should have a basic survival kit that can keep you, your family, even your neighbors safe.

Basic assumptions:

  • There will not be emergency response by Fire Services, Emergency Medical Services or Law Enforcement for an unknown time.
  • Individuals must be self-resilient until services are restored
  • Neighborhoods are the basis for community resilience.

Basic survival kit (home, workplace):

  • First aid kit-standard first aid kit from Target or Meyer
  • Non-perishable food-canned foods plus enough water to last 3 days to a week
  • Plastic cups and spoons
  • Matches-waterproof matches and at least one butane lighter
  • Flashlight and candles if necessary
  • Knife, such as Swiss Army, with saw blade
  • Whistle
  • Gloves, leather is best
  • Hardhat (with reflective band)
  • Reflective vest
  • Prescription medicine
  • Toilet paper
  • Blanket

Vehicle survival kit additions:

  • Always fill the tank when it is half empty
  • Charger for cell phone for car
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Warm waterproof coat
  • Non-perishable food
  • Coloring books/toys for kids
  • Change of clothes
  • Flares
  • Tool kit
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Leather gloves and reflective vest

Home survival kit additions:

  • Propane barbeque
  • Solar cell phone/tablet charger
  • Cooler
  • Fluids (almond/soy milk, water, etc.)
  • Non-perishable food
  • Coloring books/toys for kids
  • Prescription medicine

Know your neighbors: Meet the immediate neighbors to the front, rear, side, up and down (for apartments/condos) and learn their capabilities, needs and expectations. Map your neighborhood. Know who has first aid training, belongs to a Community Emergency Response Team or operates a ham radio.

Think about your kids: Get a copy of, and read, school and college emergency plans. Prepare your children for a disaster occurring when you are not there and know how you will communicate with your kids.

Workplace survival kit additions:

  • Water/fluid stored under desk
  • Non-perishable food
  • Prescription medicine

In any disaster, you can find numerous accounts of neighbors and regular citizens assisting at the scene before response agencies could deploy. After the Joplin, Mo., tornado in 2011, neighbors assisted in digging others out of the rubble. During the 2016 Louisiana floods, instead of waiting for the government to come rescue them, the people of Louisiana used privately owned boats to save their neighbors. This “Cajun Navy” was responsible for saving the lives of thousands of Louisianans.

In case of a disaster, do not find yourself or your family unprepared. Communicate and discuss ways you and your family can reach each other in case of separation. For instance, name a place all family members can go to and wait for help or the rest of the family.

In some instances, with some natural disasters, cell phones would be useless. Have these discussions now before an event occurs for peace of mind and a clear emergency plan.

If you have questions regarding this article or other health concerns, feel free to contact Kathy Ford RN Parish Nurse/Coordinator of Pastoral Care at 630-922-0081 ex 28 or pastoralcare@hscc.us