Do not wait until the last minute to get ready. Weather disasters may allow for early warning, sometimes even days in advance. Better a wasted trip than leaving when it is not safe to leave or being unable to leave. Make plans in advance and leave early if at all possible.
Five steps for planning ahead for emergencies:
1 – Make a Plan
Planning ahead is the first step to a calmer and more assured disaster response. You never know where you’ll be during a disaster so it’s important that your family have a Family Communication Plan. Your plan should be quick and simple to execute, easy for the whole family to understand, and updated with family members often. Try picking a specific annual holiday or family event as the time for updating your plan. Your plan should include:
- An out-of-state contact name, with phone number, and email address;
- Names, date of birth, social security # and important medical information for each member of your household;
- Where you will meet if you’re unable to reach your home (a school, place of business, or other place you frequent).
- Names and numbers of family doctors, pharmacists, caregivers, veterinarians or kennels (for pet owners).
- Medical insurance information and policy numbers, homeowner and rental insurance information.
NOTE: Often long-distance calling works better than local calls in an emergency (local lines get overwhelmed); and in a localized emergency, a local contact may be affected as well.
2 – Build a Kit
What you have on hand when a disaster happens can make a difference. Plan to store enough supplies for everyone in your household for at least three days! Your disaster supply kit should be checked at least twice a year! Your kit should include:
- WATER – for drinking and household use(at least 1 gallon per person per day)
- MATCHES – in a waterproof container
- PORTABLE, BATTERY-POWERED RADIO-and extra batteries
- FLASHLIGHT – with extra batteries
- FOOD – ready to eat, non-perishable food to last at least 3 days
- Manuel Can Opener
- Supply of any needed prescription medications
- Personal hygiene items
- Baby supplies: disposable diapers, prepared baby foods, formula
- Toilet paper
- Bleach for disinfecting
- Plastic bags with ties for sanitation
- Cash and credit card
- Personal identification
- Extra set of keys
- Copies of Important documents, such as insurance policies, birth certificate
- For Special needs items check out the FEMA link below:
4 – Volunteer
Few Americans are untouched by Red Cross services, all made possible by volunteers – people like you.
Our ServNY volunteers are one of our biggest assets for maintaining trained personnel to assist during emergencies. Anyone can join! We have a variety of roles for medical and non-medical personnel. We utilize YOUR skills to place you in a role that will best assist our community. We also provide training’s to keep you up to date on emergency terminology, policies and protocols so that you are safe, and well trained. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer visit our ServNY site by clicking on the link below. If you need assistance with registering to become a ServNY Volunteer please call Christine Bilynski at 315-946-5749 or email firstname.lastname@example.org