Quick, answer these questions:
* Does your local government have an emergency or disaster plan for your community?
* Do you know how to find the emergency broadcasting channel on the radio?
* In the past year have you practiced or drilled on what to do in an emergency?
If your answer is "I don't know" or "no" to any of those questions, then you are not prepared for an emergency situation!
To test how ready you are about emergency preparedness, play this interactive game by the American Red Cross called Prepare 4:
A few simple measures can help you and your family stay safer should an emergency situation arise.
* Familiarize yourself with your local government's emergency or disaster plan
* Know how to find the Emergency Broadcast Channel on the radio
* Prepare a disaster kit
* Prepare a "go" supply kit to take with you
* create a family communication and emergency plan
* practice family emergency drills
* learn first aid and CPR
Suggested sites to learn more:
In addition, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends these additional items for your disaster supply kit:
* 1 gallon of water per person for minimum of 3 days (for drinking & sanitation)
* at least 3 day supply of food of non-perishable food
* battery or hand crank radio, NOAA Weather radio with tone alert
* extra batteries
* first aid supplies
* whistle to signal for help
* dust mask or plastic sheeting to help filter contaminated air
* duct tape
* moist towelettes
* garbage bags & plastic ties for sanitation disposal
* wrench or pliars to turn off utilities
* manual can opener
* local maps* cell phone with charger
What should be in a "go" travel kit bag or backpack? Some suggested basic items include:
* work gloves
* plastic work goggles
* dust mask
* rain poncho
* first aid supplies
* cell phone with charger
* sleeping bag
* note: remember these are basic suggestions. Tailor your kits to suit your individual needs by considering your area's climate, items for infants, medications, disabilities, pet supplies etc.
* Consult recommended sites for more detailed lists such as:
The Red Cross reminds us that "you don't have to cross your fingers and hope for the best in an emergency. There are three easy things you can do to be ready:
* create or get a kit
* make a plan
* be informed
Remember disasters can and do happen, often when we least expect it. Don't be caught unprepared! Take a few minutes now to help keep you and your loved ones safer.