Friday, February 6, 2015

15 Ways to be Prepared for 2015

With the New Year now under way, we're working on keeping our resolutions. If you still haven't settled on what goals to achieve in 2015, it's not too late! A great idea is to plan to be more prepared and here are just a few ways to do so!

1. Get an emergency kit together for your car (energy bars, water, blanket, jumper cables, funnel, and first aid kit). This past year we heard of many incidents of people being trapped in their car during winter storms. These occurrences can happen anywhere at any time, having a kit in your car can be lifesaving.

2. Learn how to turn off power and gas to house. What may seem like a simple task can be daunting under pressure. Make sure multiple household members are aware of where turn offs are and when to switch them off.

3. Practice home fire drills. Is your household able to evacuate in under 2 minutes? Time yourselves to find out!

4. Test smoke alarms. Mark your calendar every month.

5. Change batteries in smoke alarms. Twice a year we change our clocks, why not change our smoke alarm batteries while we are at it?

6. Build supply of water. Having a sufficient supply of water is incredibly important. It is recommended to have, one gallon per person for a minimum of 3 days. Three gallons for each household member could fill up several carts at the grocery store. Consider adding one gallon to your grocery list each week and in no time your supply will be fully stocked!

7. Fill out an emergency contact list. It is great to have an out of area contact, phone lines can get tied up if too many people in an area try getting in contact with people nearby. You will have better luck of your call connecting if you call someone further from the disaster area.

8. Take a class. Become certified in First Aid, CPR & AED or another specialty certification. These skills are lifesaving!

9. Secure book shelves and remove items that could injure individuals if an earthquake were to happen.

10. Build an emergency kit. Have supplies gathered together to grab and go if your neighborhood is set to evacuate. Some items you may want to include: flashlights, batteries, food, water, change of clothes, blankets, toiletries, cash, coins, etc.

11. Samples of medication. Talk to your doctor about getting a sample of prescribed medication. Having a sample of your medication ready in your emergency kit will help you to evacuate quicker. Or consider storing a sample at a family or friends house.

12. Pet supplies. We must not forget about our furry friends and reptile roomies. Be sure to include them in your plans. Packing an emergency kit with food and water for them as well.

13. Make a plan. Draw out a map of your home, identifying two exits from each room to escape a home fire. Be sure everyone in the household knows the plan and where everyone will meet once outside.

14. Share your plans with neighbors. Let them know meeting locations (both for inside and outside of your neighborhood) as well as a list of emergency contacts. If a fire were to occur they can meet you at you meeting location, cell phone in hand and emergency personnel on their way.

15. Encourage family and friends to build up their kits as well. When an emergency happens we want everyone to be prepared. Help make this happen!

Korri Faria
AmeriCorps NPRC 2014-2015
Preparedness Coordinator
American Red Cross Central California Region

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