- Our nation is extremely unprepared for a medical disaster, and lacks a coherent plan for taking charge of mass casualties.
- Family emergency preparation will provide peace of mind and the ability to minimize the damages when a disaster strikes. (Homeland Security Department, September 2005)
- Make an emergency kit. Emergency
kits can put your mind at ease and help you handle an urgent situation.
To help citizens prepare for and respond to potential emergencies
(including natural disasters and terrorist attacks),
- Homeland Security recommends every family do 3 things:
1) Make a family emergency plan
2) Be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.
3) Make an emergency kit for each member of the family.
Stock a container that is easy to carry with some basic supplies to
survive for at least 3 days if an emergency occurs. Each kit should
contain the following:
- Food. 3- day supply of non-perishable food (plus can opener for canned food)
3- day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) for drinking and
sanitation. This can be bottled water, or tablets to purify other
- Change of clothing
- First aid kit. To
treat burns, cuts and wounds and to prevent infection, stock a first
aid kit with the following: bandages, sterile dressings, soap or
antibiotic towelettes, burn ointment and antibiotic ointment, 2 pairs of
latex or other sterile gloves, eye wash solution, a thermometer, and
any prescribed medications or medical equipment, such as blood glucose
or blood pressure monitoring supplies.
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Sanitation supplies.
Store moist towelettes, garbage/plastic bags and plastic ties. Keep
your supplies dry with plastic sheeting. Use dust masks for air
- Cell phone with a solar or car charger to communicate with family members and rescuers.
- Hand-crank or battery-operated radio with extra batteries will let you receive weather alerts and local emergency broadcasting messages.
- Flashlight with extra batteries to help your family move about in the dark or signal rescuers.
- Extra car keys
- Cash/credit card/traveler’s checks/change
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Whistle to signal for help
- Additional items to consider adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant supplies - formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records placed in a waterproof, portable container
- Emergency reference material such as a first-aid book or information from www.ready.gov.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding since we live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing
including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider
additional clothing since we live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach
and medicine dropper. When diluted nine parts water to one part
bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant; or, in an emergency, you
can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid
bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color-safe or bleaches
with added cleaners.
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Personal hygiene and feminine supplies
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
- Obtain the free Emergency Resource Guide
prepared by the Washington Military Department and the Washington State
Department of Health. This book contains instructions on preparing for
personal, home and community preparedness, terrorism, biological
agents, natural and weather emergencies. This book should be in every
home and business in Spokane County. Call (800) 525-0127, (360)
- Obtain the free FEMA emergency preparedness book
to prepare your family for various types of emergencies and disasters.
Each household can get one free copy of “Are You Ready?” by calling
- Review emergency response plans for people living in your area.
- Give your family or loved ones the gift of a 72-hour kit for emergencies.
- Prepare your family and neighborhood for emergencies.
Professional responders may be unavailable to help people in
neighborhoods right after major disasters. Individuals and families
should prepare to deal with local emergencies in their own homes. Get
to know your neighbors and their special skills. Are there children,
elderly people, or people with disabilities living in your neighborhood?
- Volunteer to be trained to help during times of disaster.
Take classes to become knowledgeable about First Aid and CPR to help
save lives. Become part of a solid core group that can be counted on
to do whatever is needed.
- Train for Search and Rescue, training for response in an emergency situation.
- Become an amateur (“Ham”) radio operator so you can help provide emergency communication for agencies and individuals when normal channels are down. http://ARRL.com
- Organize Emergency Preparedness Fairs
inside our malls. Invite agencies (Fire Dept., Police Dept., Sheriff’s
Dept., American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, etc.) to present
information on topics such as,
Washington State’s preparedness program
72-hour Emergency Kits
Communications – Ham and CB radios
Preparedness Merit Badge certification, Boy Scouts of America (encourage Scouts to complete this requirement)
Give away prizes (from store donations)
Advertise via radio, posters and flyers in local businesses, etc.