Saturday, November 3, 2012

Emergency Preparedness Tips

When I was a Boy Scout, one of the motto's learned was to “Be Prepared”.  This motto should be ingrained in every one’s mind. In today’s world there are so many occasions where following this motto can be business or even life saving. In business, the term is more like having a “Plan B” – when the initial plan goes awry, have a fall back plan to insure that you can still meet the bulk of your objectives. In life, with continuous looming threats from natural disasters and even possible terrorist attacks, one can never be prepared enough.

So, obviously prompted by being without electricity for over 60 hours, I want to share with all, information  about emergency preparedness. The goal is certainly not to be alarmist; I hope you'll never need to use this emergency preparedness information.
However, it's not difficult to be prepared -- and since many of these steps are useful for many situations, I thought it appropriate to share these tips with you.  This is not an exhaustive list -- it's simply aimed at getting you thinking in the right direction.

So here are 10 Emergency Preparedness Tips to Help You and Your Family Prepare for Natural Disasters and Even Terrorist Attacks. Most important it is essential that you keep a level head, a calm approach. By definition, many natural disasters and terrorist attack are unpredictable. They occur around the world.

Nonetheless, there are lots of things average citizens can do to protect themselves and their families -- and maybe save lives should something happen. Having some basic information and tools can go a long way toward making you more confident in the event of a disaster in your neighborhood. Here are ten tips to help you and your family prepare for a natural disaster or terrorist attack.


TALK ABOUT IT. A 'head in the sand' attitude is not a good thing if you want to successfully prepare for a natural disaster or terrorist attack. Some natural disasters have warnings -- including evacuation procedures. Many others occur without warning. And we know, now more than ever, that a terrorist attack could happen anywhere, at any time -- so pretending that it only happens in the movies just won't cut it.
You don't need to be morbid. However, if you can talk about the possibility of a natural disaster or terrorist attack as a family or group, you can brainstorm ideas and get everyone thinking of solutions to potential problems. Focus on the types of natural disasters that are most likely to occur where you live. For example, if you live in Florida, be sure to plan for hurricanes and flooding. If you're in California, earthquakes are more likely. However, also plan for unexpected disasters and terrorist attacks.

2. HAVE A PLAN. Create a basic plan as a family with regard to what you will do if a natural disaster or terrorist attack occurs. A basic plan to prepare for terror should include:

- A communication plan
- An agreed-upon meeting place away from your home or work place
- A family member or friend who will act as a neutral contact for all of you, in some other city
- A list of all the important phone numbers you might need for each member of the family
- If you have children in school, you should know what the school emergency preparedness plan is, as well, and they should know yours.

3. PREPARE AN EMERGENCY KIT. You should have an easily accessible 'kit' with emergency supplies in it. Everyone in the family needs to know where it is located.

The kit should include, at the very least:
- A battery-powered radio
- A notebook and pen
- Extra prescription medications, if possible
- A first aid kit
- Dehydrated or canned foods (and don't forget the can opener!)
- A week's water supply for everyone
- A flashlight, with extra batteries
- A solar blanket or two for each family member
- Duct tape, scissors, soap and bleach

4. TAKE COURSES. If your community offers any kind of emergency preparedness courses at any time, TAKE THEM. At the very least, take a first aid course when you can.

5. MEMORIZE EMERGENCY EXITS. In any buildings that you frequent, learn and memorize where all the emergency exits are located. When you go into unfamiliar buildings, make a point of noticing where the marked exits are.

Plan in advance -- by mentally 'practicing' -- how to get out of a subway or congested public area. This is an important aspect of emergency preparedness.

6. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. To prepare for terror or a natural disaster at any time, practice paying attention to your surroundings, and think about where you could seek shelter or protection, or hide if you needed to, in the event of an emergency.

This will help you become more aware of your environment wherever you go, and this will serve you well if you need it.

7. FIRE EXTINGUISHERS. Become familiar with different kinds of fire extinguishers and how they work. Practice using them (without pulling the pin) in a hurry.


8. NOTICE YOUR SURROUNDINGS. Should you be caught in a unexpected natural disaster or terror attack, take immediate notice of your surroundings. BREATHE -- and don't panic. (We know that's easier said than done, but we also know you could save your own life with just this one way to prepare for an emergency.)

9. PAY ATTENTION. If you are in any situation, with strangers, and something makes you uneasy -- pay attention. Start moving and leave the situation immediately if you can safely do so.


10. DOING WITHOUT. Be prepared to 'do without' amenities you are familiar with and used to accessing. Be patient.

And here's one more tip for you...

11. HELP WHERE YOU CAN. If your help is needed, offer it. It will take your mind off what's going on around you, help you feel like you're contributing -- and you may even save a life.

Hopefully, these emergency preparedness tips help you be prepared -- and that you never need to use them.

Based in info from 10/31/12