Health Department

Preparing Your Family for Emergencies

September 2012 marks the ninth annual National Preparedness Month. Emergencies can strike at any time and without warning. Whether the disaster is a tornado, flood, house fire, or terrorist attack, we must be ready. You are responsible for the safety of your family. Being prepared for an emergency can protect yourself and your family.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services have developed a program called Ready in 3. The program includes three steps that can help you and your family prepare for emergencies. The three steps include:

1. Create a plan for you, your family, and your business.

2. Prepare a kit for your home, car and work.

3. Listen for information about what to do and where to go during an actual emergency.

Create a Plan

Develop an emergency plan for you and your family. It is important to have several plans in place for different situations that may occur. The entire family should know and understand the plans your family has created.

Since emergencies occur without notification, it is important to talk about how the members of your family will reach each other during an emergency. Communication methods you most commonly use may not be available. Have alternate communication plans in place to reach members of your family.

Your family should be prepared to shelter at home during an emergency or to evacuate depending on the emergency. In some instances, it may not be safe to stay in your home. Plan where family members can meet each other, and know where you will go and how you will get there.

Prepare a Kit

During an emergency, you may be unable to get food or water and your electricity may not be working. It is important to have a three-day supply of food and water for each member of your family. If you have the room available, two weeks’ worth of drinking water should be stored for each person.

Other supplies are also essential to have prepared and ready in case of an emergency. A battery-powered radio, flashlights, prescription medicines, and a first-aid kit are all things you will need during an emergency. It is also important to keep a small emergency supply kit in your car.

Listen for Information

During an emergency, it is important to stay calm and get as much information about the situation as possible. Many of us rely on television, radio, or internet for the news, but in some emergencies electricity may be off. Having a battery powered radio on hand with extra batteries will ensure you access to the latest news about the emergency.

The purpose of emergency preparedness is to do as much as possible before an emergency happens. By following these three steps, you will be well on your way to preparing yourself and your family for an emergency. If you would like a copy of Ready in 3 to use for your family please call the Independence Health Department at 325-7006.