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Emergency Planning and Disaster Supplies


Surviving an emergency begins by being prepared and having the tools and plans in place to deal with an unexpected event. This involves three important steps: Build an emergency supply kit, develop a plan for what you will do in case of emergency, and finally, be informed about the potential disasters that may occur in your area.


STEP 1 – Build an Emergency Supply Kit
Being flexible and resourceful are very important qualities to demonstrate during a disaster because the situation typically changes very rapidly, and you may have to survive on your own for a long period of time without the day-to-day comforts that we are used too. Specifically, you want to plan for at least three days. Think more in terms of survival versus what may make you comfortable.

Consider the possibility of having two kits. A stay-in-place kit that has everything to need to stay where you are and make it on your own, and a go-kit, which should be a smaller version that is lightweight and packable so you can leave in a hurry if necessary.

You will need a gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation purposes. Consider buying a water purification filter or purifying tablets to use with a water source that may be contaminated. Include a three day supply of non-perishable foods that are easy to store, are high energy (calories), and taste good. Take clothing appropriate for your environment, especially if you will be outside in the elements.

Other recommended supplies to have in your survival kit include:
  • Battery- or manual crank-powered radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Can opener
  • Garbage bags and ties
  • Prescription medication (if necessary)
  • Identification and other important documents
  • Infant supplies such as formula or diapers
So what are you waiting for? Pick up a few items each time you go to the grocery store and you will have an emergency supply kit in no time. The time is now to start preparing. Visit www.Ready.gov or www.TexasPrepares.org for more information.


STEP 2 - Develop a Plan
Plan in advance of what you will do in an emergency. Be prepared to assess the situation and use whatever is at your disposal to take care of yourself and your loved ones. The most important part of the plan should include how you will communicate with others when a disaster strikes.

Most likely your family will not be together when disaster strikes, so plan on how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different situations. Consider a plan where each family member calls, or emails, the same friend or relative in the event of an emergency. Because there will most likely be a high call volume locally, it may be easier to contact someone out-of-town who may be in a better position to communicate with the rest of the family. It is also important to have multiple means of communication such as cell phones, calling cards, or two-way radios.

Depending on the type of disaster and your current situation, the initial decision generally involves whether or not you should stay where you are or try to get away. This also called shelter-in-place or evacuation. For more information on these measures, visit www.Ready.gov.

It is important to know the emergency plans at work and school since there is a possibility that a disaster can occur during this time when people are away from their home.

STEP 3 – Be informed
Some of the protective measures that you take for a tornado may be different from that of a hurricane, earthquake, or hazardous materials incident. By learning about specific threats you begin to prepare yourself to react in an emergency. Specific information on potential disasters, including biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological incidents, can be found at www.Ready.gov. Make sure to utilize this information according to your personal circumstances, and follow instructions received from local authorities on the scene. With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected.

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