The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist

The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist
The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist

WHAT IS EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS?

Emergency preparedness refers to the steps that will help reduce the effect of a disaster on your property, family, and life.

Creating a plan is our mission – a plan that will minimize the negative effects on your life, allows organizations to easily provide aid and essentials to the affected people, maximizes the use of resources, and ensures that everyone stays safe.

Quick Navigation

Who Can Help When Disaster Strikes?
STEPS ON HOW TO PREPARE FOR HURRICANES
Stay Safe During a Hurricane
Returning Home After a Hurricane
5 Steps Towards Emergency/Disaster Preparedness
1. Know your risks
2. Build a team
3. Make critical information quickly accessible
4. Update your alert and response procedures
5. Test the plan
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST FOR HOME
Household plan
Safe idea

Safe home instructions
Emergency instructions
Evacuation orders
Basic emergency kit
Emergency vehicle kit
Top tips for creating a home emergency plan
Six essential supplies that you must include in your emergency preparedness kit
1. EMERGENCY WATER
2. EMERGENCY FOOD
3. FIRST AID KIT & MEDICAL SUPPLIES
4. TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
5. CLOTHING AND BEDDING
6. SPECIALTY & PERSONAL ITEMS
10 TIPS FOR STOCKING YOUR EMERGENCY FOOD KIT
FINAL WORDS

Preparedness will help you save your property; it will also help the entire population to get back to normal more quickly (compared to being unprepared).

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Disaster preparedness saves lives. Although planning ahead takes time, it is beneficial for you and your family.

In essence, “disaster preparedness” means preparing to be safe before, during, and after a natural disaster or emergency.

These plans and preparations are essential for your safety in both natural disasters and man-made ones. Examples of natural disasters are floods, blizzards, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Some man-made disasters include explosions, fires, and chemical and biological attacks.

Americans have become more aware of emergencies due to Hurricane Katrina and the events of September 11, 2001.

According to a 2004 Harris Poll, 96 percent of Americans feel that they should prepare for emergencies, but only less than 20 percent describe themselves as completely prepared. Even with guidance from government organizations and community-based services like the American Red Cross, only 42 percent of Americans have prepared a personal emergency kit.

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Those with disabilities may be particularly vulnerable during and after emergencies. In an emergency, many systems that you usually rely on may not operate as well as they normally do.

The familiar landmarks and usual travel routes you and your service animal know may change. Utilities like electricity, water, gas, and other services such as telecommunications may be interrupted.

When the need arises to temporarily evacuate to a shelter, which may not be fully equipped with the amenities you need, this site contains tips and strategies to help you be prepared, especially if you need to evacuate and stay in a temporary shelter (which may not be fully equipped with the amenities you need).

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Who Can Help When Disaster Strikes?

Natural disasters can strike anywhere in the world, at any time of the year, and in many different ways. The Red Cross is an example of a nonprofit organization that provides aid during disasters.

When a disaster strikes, you can also use the following resources:

  • Hospitals
  • Food banks
  • Disaster shelters
  • Animal shelters
  • Local government agencies

While there might be situations where you don’t have enough time or advance notice to prepare, preparing now can be beneficial. Even if you feel you don’t need any of the resources you prepare, it’s better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.

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STEPS ON HOW TO PREPARE FOR HURRICANES

Know your Hurricane Risk

The threat of hurricanes is not just limited to coastal areas. Rain, wind, water, and even tornadoes can happen even further inland, away from where hurricanes and tropical storms make landfall. Prepare now!

Make an Emergency Plan

Ensure that everyone in your household is familiar with your hurricane plan, which should cover the office, kids’ daycare, and other frequently visited areas. Establish a continuity plan so that your business will continue to operate.

Study and discuss the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may affect hurricane preparedness.

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Know your Evacuation Zone

If you live in an evacuation zone, you may have to evacuate quickly. Learn your evacuation routes, practice with family and pets, and plan where you will stay. 

Follow the instructions from local emergency managers, who work closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies and partners. They will provide the latest recommendations and appropriate safety measures based on the threat to your community.

Recognize Warnings and Alerts

Receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations using the FEMA app. Familiarize yourself with the community alerts in your area and the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) – which do not require registration.

Individuals with Disabilities

When an emergency occurs, identify whether you or someone in your household needs additional assistance.

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Review Important Documents

Always keep copies of your insurance policies and other personal documents (like your ID) in a secure, password-protected digital storage space.

Strengthen your Home

Clean gutters and drains, bring in the outdoor furniture, and consider adding hurricane shutters.

Get Tech Ready

When a hurricane is predicted, keep your cell phone charged; purchase backup charging devices.

Help your Neighborhood

To determine how you can be of assistance, check with your neighbors, senior citizens, and others who may need help in creating hurricane plans.

Gather Supplies

Make sure you have enough supplies for your household in your go bag or trunk, including medications, disinfectant supplies, masks, and pet supplies. After a hurricane, you might not have access to these supplies for days (or even weeks).

You need to keep in mind that not everyone can afford to stock up on necessities in advance. However, those who can afford to do so will be able to spend longer periods between shopping trips if they purchase essentials and slowly build up supplies. Only take the items that you and your family need so that others who depend on these items will still have access. This helps protect those who are unable to procure essentials beforehand and need to shop more frequently.

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Stay Safe During a Hurricane

Pay attention to emergency information and alerts.

  • When local authorities tell you to evacuate an area, do so immediately.

Dealing with the Weather

  • Determine the best way to protect yourself from strong winds and flooding.
  • You may need to seek shelter in a storm shelter or an interior room during strong winds.
  • If you are trapped in a building with flood water, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic, you can get trapped.
  • It is dangerous to walk, swim, or drive in flood waters. Turn around and leave the area. One foot of fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
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Personal Safety

  • Remember to follow the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 (if you need to evacuate to a community or group shelter). You should review your previous evacuation plan and consider alternatives to maintain physical distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Update your plan accordingly. 
  • If you must evacuate, bring items that can help combat COVID-19, such as hand sanitizers, cleaning materials, and two clean, well-fitted masks with two or more layers (for each person).

Returning Home After a Hurricane

  • Check if there are special instructions and information provided by local officials.
  • Wear protective clothing. Wear a mask to avoid exposure to mold or other microbes. Maintain at least a six-foot distance from others while cleaning. It is not recommended that individuals with asthma, other lung conditions, and/or immune suppression enter buildings with visible or odorous water leaks or mold growth. Children should not be involved in disaster cleanup.
  • Take steps to protect yourself from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, such as washing your hands often and cleaning commonly touched surfaces.
  • Avoid touching electrical equipment with wet hands (or if you are standing in water). If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to avoid electric shock.
  • It is highly recommended that individuals avoid wading in flood water, which may contain nasty pathogens, waste, chemicals, and wildlife. Also, underground or downed power lines can electrically charge the water.
  • You should save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems can be down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage by taking photographs. If you need assistance, contact your insurance provider.
  • Engage with your community virtually through video and phone calls. Know that it’s normal to feel anxious or stressed. Take care of your body and talk to someone if you are feeling upset. Many people may already feel fear and anxiety about the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), thus the threat of a hurricane can add additional stress. Manage stress during a traumatic event by following CDC guidelines.

For detailed information on how to remain safe in the event of a natural disaster, please visit the official website of the  United States government, ready.gov

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5 Steps Towards Emergency/Disaster Preparedness

Whether it’s a fire, flood, shooting, power outage, or any other unexpected crisis, emergencies have become prevalent that security professionals are no longer the only ones who pay attention to preparedness. In the event that top management asks what technology, training, or manpower the company needs to be prepared for an emergency, it should be used as an opportunity to discuss backup data regarding the requirements of each type of emergency.

A discussion like that is yet another reason to think about the activities involved in the development of an emergency response plan There is no one-size-fits-all solution to creating a plan, although there are some common elements that should be addressed. Security and facility managers can guide emergency planning by following these five steps. 

1. Know your risks

Prioritizing potential emergencies based on importance and likelihood is essential to knowing what to do and what resources to devote. If you don’t have a facility near a coastal area or in an area that is normally susceptible to earthquakes, then there is no need to invest in hurricane planning or earthquake planning (since your area does not have an earthquake history). You don’t completely ignore these risks, it’s just that you don’t dwell too much on the details of responding to them.

A risk matrix can help identify the areas where an investment is most needed. The risk assessment should be based on an all-hazards approach for risks affecting the facility. Facility or security managers can categorize risks based on the impact they will have if they are to occur and the likelihood it will happen in your area by utilizing this type of matrix. An earthquake in San Francisco, for instance, has  a high likelihood of occurring and also have a high impact on the area. On the other hand, the probability of a traffic backup at the entrance to your facility is low if the traffic light malfunctions. Despite the fact that the latter event will require manpower and other resources, resolving the situation is not that difficult. 

By completing a risk matrix that determines all the potential emergencies your facility may face, you will give yourself a head start on many things, including being prepared to meet with management to support any funding requests for emergency preparedness.

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2. Build a team

The wrong approach is to create emergency response plans in a vacuum, without involving the end users. In today’s environment, every employee has a role as a first responder who is expected to follow the rule, “if you see something, say something.” Emergency plans should be developed by an inclusive team rather than by a single individual. 

An emergency management plan needs to include a cycle of the four phases of emergency management, and the participation of experts from different systems helps to decide the plan’s overall scope:

• Mitigation. Preventing emergencies and minimizing their effects.

• Preparedness. Identified preparations for the event.

• Response. Plans and efforts to respond safely to the event.

• Recovery. Actions needed to resume normal operations.

Subject matter experts and other representatives from the following departments should be involved in the planning process: safety, security, human resources, public relations or communications, facilities, operations, and upper management. Those plans would be reviewed by a committee if they are already in place to ensure that everybody is covered. 

Any response plans that will impact a sizable group of building occupants – such as employees, students, or faculty – should be reviewed by a representative of that group. A person who is ultimately affected by an evacuation or shelter-in order will tell you that it would be better if all involved were told what to do, what procedure would be used to communicate those orders, and what to expect from security or law enforcement.  During an active shooter event, law enforcement personnel will move toward the sounds of the shots to mitigate and end the shooting and will not stop to help others who are injured or in need of assistance. A building occupant who does not know that the police are following the correct protocol may have a negative perception of the response.

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3. Make critical information quickly accessible

If you ask someone to show you an emergency plan, they will often pull out a three-ring binder, at least two inches thick, and hand it to you. The plan indeed involves a lot of work, but do we know what’s in it and does it describe how the emergency will be handled? 

Writing a plan can be seen as a matter of going big or going home. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Plans need to be concise about the threat, the risk, and then what needs to be done. If you need to include long, drawn-out supporting documentation in the plan as an appendix or supplement to explain something, it is fine. However, if users want to understand what the emergency is and how to deal with it, they need easy-to-read information. Most facilities create a full-length emergency plan on paper, and then use small “flipcharts” or spiral-bound handbooks or inserts that outline each possible risk or emergency, and then give contact information and what occupants should do for their own safety and safety of others. 

Delta Air Lines Technical Operations Center (TOC) in Atlanta has  flipcharts for many types of emergencies (including fires and explosions, spills, severe weather, injury response, emergency disconnections, bomb threats, and active shooter incidents); these are placed on the walls of every department for easy access. Obviously, all employees are encouraged to read these in advance to ensure quick responses, but in case of actual events, the flipcharts are available for reference. 

It depends on the type and size of organization – if the safety department, security department, or in some cases the facilities department is in charge of writing the plan, updating it, and overseeing operations as a whole. 

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 4. Update your alert and response procedures

Prior to the days of active shooters, terrorism, and lone offenders, and the advent of social media in our everyday lives, an emergency plan usually consisted of calling 911, evacuating, and waiting for the police or fire department to arrive. This is no longer the case. The best course to follow when confronting an active shooter is to take shelter in an office or another secure area if you are unaware of where the shooter(s) are. Pulling a fire alarm and escaping might actually pose a safety risk.  

We also live in a world of second-guessing when it comes to what we do or don’t do in emergencies. Plans are created to ensure everyone knows exactly what to do when a crisis occurs. Management used to subscribe to the notion that if it wasn’t written down, it couldn’t be held accountable. This idea vanished with the advent of more diverse emergencies and sharing or broadcast of the emergency through social media (thus emergency details are already available even before the first responders arrive). Plans must be precise and present information on what may happen and what should be done. This does not mean putting into your action plan the specifics of what the responders will do; rather, it means that each person should know what to do to protect themselves and others.  

College campuses and corporations now use notification tools such as email, voice, and text blasts. However, please remember that no one will receive an alert notification unless someone initiates it, not only by calling 911, but also by contacting the group responsible for sending out the message. Most times, the event (shooting or stabbing) is over before the police arrive, with social media reporting inaccurate information.

A good active shooter alert should be simple and easy to understand. Just recently, a Campus Security alert stated, “Run, Hide, Fight.” The video produced by the Department of Homeland Security shows people how to react in case of an active shooter incident. In order for this alert language to have been well known among all on campus as an indicator of action, training was needed to ensure that everyone knew exactly what to do. 

A member of the public relations or communications team should be involved in the planning phase to ensure that the notifications are written in a concise and authorized manner. This alert would be accepted as workable, based on past and recurring training of all personnel, if the “Run, Hide, Fight” phrase was a code phrase to start evacuating or sheltering.

After any event, an after-action report will provide information about how and whether the notification was effective. Although it may seem redundant to add one more thing to your day after an incident, it can serve as an important evaluation tool. If you document all responding actions during an event and follow up with an after-action report, you will benefit as much from this as any rehearsed drill you undergo.

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5. Test the plan

How will you know that the plan will work once it has been developed? You will perform tests, drills, and exercises to go through the procedures in order to save your life and the lives of others.   

The security or facility manager should already be able to test the plans to determine if they work, if they need to be improved, or to provide continuous tweaking of the plans to make sure that any changes to the company, facility, or personnel are reflected. Two methods are most effective: the first is lecture and response sessions, and the second is tabletop exercises. Segmented drills, exercises, and full-fledged drills that incorporate many first responder agencies are then performed after you are comfortable with the results of lecture and tabletop exercises. 

There are lectures and response sessions designed to educate the personnel on what the risks are and what their responsibilities are in an emergency; a lively discussion between the lecturer and the participants should provide a good answer to many questions during the session. 

Not only are tabletop presentations the most accepted way of presenting information and responding to an emergency, they also allow participants to rehearse and discuss their roles in an emergency. Tabletops allow participants to simulate response without having to perform the actions physically. 

During an active shooter tabletop, for example, the members of the company responsible for sending out the alert would send out a test message to a few of the participants’ cell phones. In addition to showing that the system works and how quickly, it also eliminates the need to send out pre-warnings of the content of the message to everyone in the system.  

A tabletop shows who is responsible and what they do. The key is to identify any weak links or action items. This method uncovers what really needs to be done and by whom; it’s a far better review method than relying on someone who’s not in the loop to look over the plan and offer an opinion.

The purpose of drills (apart from ordinary fire drills) and full response and other exercises goes far beyond tabletop exercises and lectures and can be fairly costly. A full year is normally needed to coordinate with law enforcement agencies, fire departments, ambulance services, etc. Participation costs them money, not to mention your own personnel’s time. Major drills and full-scale exercises are great, but lectures and tabletops are a cost-effective way to train your personnel on what to do.

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EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST FOR HOME

Are You and Your Family Prepared for 72 Hours?

During an emergency, it may take some time for emergency workers to reach you. Thus, you need to be prepared to care for yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours.

The information in this guide will help you prepare for a range of emergencies, no matter where you are. Use the checklists to construct a 72-hr emergency kit. You can take care of yourself and your loved ones during an emergency by following these simple steps.

Household plan

Emergency exits

Plan all possible exits from each room in your home. Select a main exit route and an alternate exit route. If you live in an apartment, use the stairs instead of the elevator. As a precaution, notify emergency personnel if you are unable to use the stairs. Also, plan an escape route from your neighborhood in case you need to leave quickly (and think of other alternative routes).

Meeting places

If you cannot go home or need to evacuate, identify a safe location where everyone can meet.

This can be printed and distributed to your family members. 

Safe meeting place near home:

___________________________________

Safe meeting place outside immediate neighbourhood:

___________________________________

Evacuation routes from neighbourhood:

___________________________________

Safe idea

Make copies of important documents

Take photos of family members in case a lost person’s record is created. Make copies of birth and marriage certificates, passports, licenses, wills, land deeds and insurance policies. Put them in a safe place inside and outside your home. You may want to keep them in a safe deposit box or give them to friends and family who live out of town.

Workplace

You may want to have some basic supplies at your workplace, such as water and food that won’t spoil, in case you have to stay put.

You should ask your employer about emergency plans at work, such as fire alarms, emergency exits, meeting points, and designated safety personnel.

Children

Find out how your children’s school or daycare will contact you in case of an emergency.

If you cannot pick up your children, find out what kind of authorization the school or daycare requires.

Make sure the school or daycare has a current list of parents, caregivers, and other designated people.

Designated person 1: ______________________ Phone: __________________

Designated person 2: ______________________ Phone: __________________

School contact information: __________________________________________

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Plan for pets

Prepare your pets to go to a relative or friend’s home during an evacuation, or find pet-friendly hotels and boarding facilities near your home because some public shelters and hotels do not allow pets.

Location and contact information:___________________________________

Special health needs

Your support network should include friends, relatives, health-care providers, coworkers, and neighbours who understand your special needs.

Write down details about:

  • Accommodation needs
  • Insurance information
  • Allergies
  • Medical conditions
  • Emergency contacts
  • Medication
  • Family medical history
  • Recent vaccinations
  • Health screenings
  • Surgeries

Keep a copy of this information in your emergency kit, and give a copy to your personal support network.

If possible, prepare a grab-and-go bag with two weeks’ worth of medication and medical supplies. Include prescriptions and medical records. Remember that pharmacies may be closed for a time after an emergency.

Have this printed and include it in your go bag.

Health information:

___________________________________

Medication and medical equipment:

___________________________________

Grab-and-go bag location:

___________________________________

Emergency numbers

Fire, police, ambulance: 9-1-1 (where available)

Other: ______________________________

Non-emergency numbers

Police:______________________________

Fire: _______________________________

Health clinic: _________________________

Poison control: ________________________

Other contact numbers:__________________

Out-of-town contact

Name: _______________________________

Home phone: __________________________

Work phone: __________________________

Cell phone: ___________________________

E-mail: ______________________________

Home address:_________________________

Family

Name:_______________________________

Home phone: _________________________

Work phone: __________________________

Cell phone: ___________________________

E-mail: ______________________________

Home address:_________________________

Friend/neighbour

Name: _______________________________

Home phone: __________________________

Work phone: __________________________

Cell phone: ____________________________

E-mail: _______________________________

Home address:__________________________

Each family member should contact the same out-of-town contact person in case of an emergency.

Make arrangements through friends, cultural associations, or community groups if you are unfamiliar with the area or have recently moved there. If you are out-of-town, choose someone who lives far away and will not be affected by the same event.

Family doctors

Patients’ names: _____________________________________________________

Doctors’ names and phone numbers: _________________________________

Insurance agent/company

Agent’s/company’s name: ___________________________________________

Phone: __________________________________________

Home and Car Policy numbers: ______________________________________________________

Home security system

Company’s name:____________________________________________________

Phone: __________________________________________

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Safe home instructions

Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector, smoke alarm, fire extinguisher, and well-stocked first aid kit. If you live in an apartment, or if you are staying in a hotel, determine the locations of the fire alarms and at least two emergency exits.

Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on every level of your home, including one in your kitchen. Everyone in your home should know where to find the fire extinguishers. All capable adults and older children should know how to use it. See instructions regarding the lifetime of your fire extinguisher and check with your local fire department for more information.

Older children and adults should know how to turn off your home’s water, electricity, and gas. Make large, easy-to-see signs for water and gas shut-offs, as well as for the electrical panel.

Teach children how and when to dial 9-1-1 as well as how to call the designated out-of-town contact.

Limit phone calls to urgent messages only. Keep calls short to free up the lines for others.

Fire extinguisher location: ___________________________________

Water valve location: _______________________________________

Utility company phone number:_______________________________

Electrical panel location: ____________________________________

Utility company phone number:_______________________________

Gas valve location: _________________________________________

Utility company phone number: _______________________________

(Shut off gas only when authorities tell you to do so.)

Floor drain location: ________________________________________

(Always make sure it is clear of boxes, furniture, etc., in case of flooding.)

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Emergency instructions

Report a fire, crime, or save a life by calling 9-1-1 (where available).

For non-emergency calls, use the ten-digit numbers listed in your local phone book, or use this emergency plan.

In notifying emergency services of your location, provide the exact street address and nearest intersection.

Keep shut-off instructions for the gas and water valves close by and read them carefully.

In an emergency

  • Follow your emergency plan.
  • Get your emergency kit.
  • Make sure you are safe before assisting others.
  • You may be advised to stay where you are by local officials on the radio or television. Follow their instructions.
  • Stay put until all is safe or until you are ordered to evacuate.
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Evacuation orders

If you are in danger, authorities will not ask you to leave your home.

If you are ordered to evacuate, carry your emergency kit, wallet, identification cards for every family member, and copies of essential family documents with you. If you have a cellular phone, bring a spare battery or charger. Use the routes specified by local authorities.

When you have time, talk to or email your out-of-town contact. Let them know where you are going and when you expect to arrive. Once you are safe, let them know. Tell them if any family members have become separated.

Be sure to leave a note indicating your departure time and location. Shut off the water and electricity if authorities order you to do so.

Keep the gas on unless officials tell you to turn it off. If you turn the gas off, the gas company will have to reconnect it. In a major emergency, it could take weeks for the authorities to respond.

Keep pets with you. Lock your home. Follow instructions from authorities.

You should register your personal information at the registration desk at an evacuation centre, and do not leave until the authorities say it is safe to do so.

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Step 3. Get an emergency kit

In the event of an emergency, you will need some basic supplies. You may have to survive without power or water. Be prepared to survive for at least 72 hours.

Food, water, and a battery-operated or crank flashlight are some of the items you may already have.  The key is to make sure they are organized and easy to find. Would you be able to find your flashlight in the dark?

Keep your kit in an accessible place, such as your front-hall closet, and ensure it is easy to carry. Keep it in a backpack, duffle bag, or suitcase with wheels. You should separate some of these supplies into backpacks if you have several people living in your house because your emergency kit may get heavy if you have many people in your household. In this way, your kit will be more portable, and each person can customize his or her own grab-and-go emergency kit.

Basic emergency kit

  • Water – you should have at least two litres of water per person per day; include small bottles that can be carried easily if you evacuate
  • Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace food and water once a year)
  • Manual can-opener
  • Crank or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries). Replace batteries once a year.
  • Crank, battery-powered radio (and extra batteries) or Weatheradio
  • First aid kit
  • Extra keys to your car and house
  • Some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones
  • A copy of your emergency plan and contact information
  • Additionally, you may need prescription medications, infant formula, equipment for people with disabilities, or food, water, and medication for your pets or service animals (as needed)

Recommended additional items

  • Additional two litres of water per person per day for cooking and cleaning
  •  Water purifying tablets
  • Candles and matches or lighter (place candles in deep, sturdy containers and do not burn unattended)
  • Change of clothing and footwear for each household member
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each household member
  • Toiletries
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Utensils
  • Garbage bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, work gloves, dust mask, pocket knife)
  • A whistle (in case you need to attract attention)
  • Duct tape (to tape up windows, doors, air vents, etc.)

To determine if your water is contaminated, contact your municipality or local authorities. If in doubt, avoid drinking water you believe may be contaminated.

It may be difficult to use debit or credit cards in an emergency, so keep some cash on hand. Automated bank machines may not work during an emergency.

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Emergency vehicle kit

Prepare a small kit and keep it in your vehicle.

The basic kit should include:

  • Blanket
  • Water
  • Radio (crank or battery-powered). Replace batteries once a year.
  • List of contact numbers
  • Candle in a deep can and matches
  • Extra clothing and shoes
  • First aid kit with seatbelt cutter
  • Flashlight (crank or battery-powered). Replace batteries once a year.
  • Food that won’t spoil (such as energy bars)
  • Small shovel, scraper, and snowbrush
  • Warning light or road flares
  • Whistle

Recommended additional items to keep in your vehicle

  • Antifreeze, windshield washer fluid
  • Sand, salt, or cat litter (non-clumping)
  • Tow rope and jumper cables
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Road maps
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Emergency Kit Basic Items

  • Water – at least two litres of water per person per day; include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order
  • Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace food and water once a year)
  • Manual can-opener
  • Crank or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries)
  • Crank or battery-powered radio (and extra batteries)
  • First aid kit
  • Extra keys to your car and house
  • Some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones
  • A copy of your emergency plan and contact information

You should keep a corded phone in your home during a power outage, because most cordless phones won’t work.

Additional items, such as prescription medication, infant formula, equipment for people with disabilities, or food, water, and medication for pets or service animals (personalize according to your  needs).

ALWAYS REMEMBER THESE 7 TIPS FOR CREATING YOUR OWN EMERGENCY HOME PLAN

Because we can’t always predict when or where an emergency will occur, you and your family need to be prepared.

FEMA reported that nearly 60% of American adults have never practiced what to do in a disaster, and only 39% have made an emergency plan.

The family needs to know how to respond in any situation, and a home emergency plan is a great way to keep everyone on the same page, in order to reach safety and minimize chaos.

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Here are our top tips for creating a home emergency plan:

1. Consider your unique needs.

Knowing what natural disasters could strike your area and how to prepare for emergencies like hurricanes, severe flooding, volcanoes, and tornadoes should be part of your home emergency plan.

Consider making special provisions for particular family members, such as senior citizens, disabled family members, infants, young children, and those with medical requirements. Be aware of medical and nutritional requirements for each member of your household as well.

2. Make a disaster supplies kit.

It makes sense to prepare a disaster supplies kit to ensure that you have everything you need in one place so you can evacuate quickly. The kit should fit in one or two easy-to-carry bags and should contain items to help you survive on your own for at least 72 hours. 

Review your emergency kit once a year. Replace expired items and update what you bring along as the needs of your family change.

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3. Know where to go.

Since every emergency is unique, find a safe place in your home for every situation in which you might need to seek shelter, such as an earthquake or tornado. Plan a meeting spot outside your home just in case of a fire or other sudden emergency. Third, decide where you would go if you were evacuated or could not return home, and plan the route to get there.

4. Stay connected.

Create a family communication plan. The plan should include information on how you will receive local emergency alerts (radio, TV, text, etc.), as well as information on how to keep in contact with each other.

Provide each family member with emergency contact information on their cell phone and write it down on a contact card. Include the police station, the hospital nearby, as well as a number to call in the case of an emergency. 

In case of an emergency affecting your neighborhood, it may be easier to reach someone out of town, so we recommend designating an emergency contact who lives outside of your area. Instruct all family members to keep in touch with this person to let them know that they are okay.

In addition, if there is a disaster in your area, you can mark yourself safe on Facebook or register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website to let your loved ones know you are safe.

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5. Protect your pets.

Make sure to include items for your pets in your disaster kit when planning for an emergency. Make a list of pet-friendly hotels and animal shelters along your evacuation route.

6. Write it down and practice.

Prepare an emergency plan with detailed instructions for every situation. Your reaction to a tornado will be very different from your reaction to an evacuation, so make sure you have a plan for every scenario. Also, there are many online resources you can use to document your plan, like this form from the American Red Cross.

Plan to practice your plans at least twice a year. You can even drive to your evacuation route on an evacuation drill.

7. Review your insurance.

It’s a good idea to review your insurance policy with your agent before a disaster strikes to ensure you have the right coverage for the risks in your area. For example, a standard home policy typically does not cover flood insurance or earthquake coverage. Make sure you know how to file a claim if necessary, whether through your carrier’s loss reporting phone line or website or through your agent.

While you might not know when disasters might strike, you can rest easy knowing that your family is prepared for whatever comes your way if you have an emergency plan in place.

The information in this article is for informational purposes only. To learn more about the auto, home, life, and business insurance from Grange, contact your local independent agent today. In the event that this article conflicts with a policy’s coverage descriptions, the policy will apply.

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THINGS TO CONSIDER IN MAKING YOUR OWN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST 

Are you and your loved ones prepared for disasters and emergencies that can strike anywhere, at any time, when you least expect it?

Would you be able to survive if you were caught in the middle of a natural disaster today, such as a tornado, wildfire, snowstorm, winter freeze, hurricane, or flood?

Would you have the right gear with you if you were out on an adventure and an accident happened?

These are just a few of the reasons why you should review our emergency preparedness checklist, and ensure that you have the supplies to keep you and your loved ones prepared. 

The best time to prepare for a disaster is before it strikes. Being prepared in advance is the best way to ensure your own safety and also that of your loved ones.

A well-stocked emergency kit in your home, car, and workplace is a crucial part of your preparations.

It is possible to build your own emergency kit or to purchase a comprehensive kit and add personal items to it.

You would rather have an emergency kit on hand than not have one and have to deal with a life-threatening emergency situation.

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There are six essential supplies that you must include in your emergency preparedness kit.

You should stock six basic supplies in your home and your business: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items.

You should keep the items you would most likely need in the event of an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container.

1. EMERGENCY WATER

A backup supply of water can truly save your life in an emergency, especially if your regular water supply is interrupted by a natural disaster or contaminated. You should keep bottles of water in your home or car. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, like milk cartons and glass bottles.

It is recommended that a normally active person drink two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity will easily double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and elderly people need more water.

Keep one gallon of water per person per day (2 quarts for drinking and 2 quarts for food preparation and sanitation). Keep a 3-day supply of emergency water for each household member. When you are on the road or on an adventure, many emergency kits include small packets of water. However, it is a good idea to have extra water just in case.

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2. EMERGENCY FOOD

Ensure you have a three-day supply of non-perishable emergency food items. Choose foods that require no refrigeration, preparation, or cooking, and don’t require much water.

Pack a can of Sterno (found in most camping stores) if you need to heat food. Choose food items that are compact and lightweight. Carefully consider how much food you and your family will need.

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered store extra water)
  • Staples such as sugar, salt, and pepper
  • High energy foods like peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, and trail mix
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants, elderly persons, or persons with special diet requirements
  • Stress-relieving foods include cookies, candy, sweet cereal, lollipops, and coffee and tea
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3. FIRST AID KIT & MEDICAL SUPPLIES  

One of the best ways to prepare for an emergency is to have a first aid kit in your home and one in each of your vehicles. First aid kits should have the essential medical supplies that can help you deal with minor injuries and even save your life. Here is a list of the essential items to have in your first aid kit:

  • Moistened towelettes
  • Antiseptic
  • Thermometer
  • Petroleum jelly, cleansing soap, sunscreen
  • Latex gloves (2 pair)
  • Variety of non-prescription medicine such as aspirin and antacid
  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • Triangle bandages (3)
  • 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
  • 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
  • Scissors, tweezers, needle, safety pins 

4. TOOLS AND SUPPLIES 

Emergency situations can throw a lot of surprises at you and test you in ways you won’t expect. A safety kit filled with essential tools and supplies can help you prepare for such challenges. You will be surprised at how many things you can fix with a utility knife and a roll of duct tape!

  • Toilet paper, towelettes, soap, liquid detergent
  • Feminine supplies, personal hygiene items
  • Plastic bucket with a tight lid
  • Pliers, tape, compass, matches in a waterproof container
  • Aluminum foil, plastic storage containers, plastic garbage bags, and ties
  • Signal flare, whistle, paper, pencil
  • Needles and thread  
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5. CLOTHING AND BEDDING 

You should prepare at least one complete change of clothing and footwear for each person. Also, consider the time of year and the weather conditions.

If the weather is hot during the summer months, you may want to include clothing and accessories that can help protect you from the sun. However, when the temperatures fall in winter, you’ll want to include warmer clothing and accessories, such as gloves and hats. 

  • Hats and gloves
  • Thermal underwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sturdy shoes or work boots
  • Rain gear
  • Blankets or sleeping bags 
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6. SPECIALTY & PERSONAL ITEMS

Take special care of family members with special needs, such as infants, the elderly,

and those with specific medical needs. The importance of meeting their needs cannot be overstated.

A personal emergency kit is crucial to your preparedness. Include the following items: 

  • Infant formula, diapers, bottles, sippy cups
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses and supplies
  • Entertainment – board games, books, crosswords
  • Important family documents – copies of anything pertinent in a portable waterproof container
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10 TIPS FOR STOCKING YOUR EMERGENCY FOOD KIT

There have been several serious natural disasters in recent years in the United States, from tornadoes to hurricanes to wildfires and floods. These disasters left people without power or clean drinking water, sometimes for days or weeks at a time.

What if you experienced a natural disaster that knocked out the electricity? Would you be prepared with enough food and water to weather the storm? And when your emergency food kit contains these 10 essential healthy foods, waiting for the disaster to pass will be much easier (and much tastier).

1. CLEAN DRINKING WATER

Drinking water should always be included in an emergency kit. Avoid single-use plastic water bottles and buy larger water containers, such as this 4-gallon rigid water container from Amazon, which is also convenient for stacking and storing. 

2. JERKY AND OTHER DEHYDRATED MEATS

Jerky is a great source of protein, and you can find flavors ranging from traditional beef to more unique options such as ostrich and lamb. However, it should be stored in an airtight container to keep its freshness. 

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3. CANNED FRUITS, VEGGIES, AND LEGUMES

In an emergency, it’s important to keep your diet full of vitamins and nutrients. Grocery stores often have sales on canned food, so be on the lookout for low prices on emergency essentials. 

4. CANNED SOUPS AND STEWS

Even though canned soups and stews are high in sodium, they still deserve a place in your survival kit. Look for soups that are ready to heat and serve, like Three Sisters Stew.

5. CANNED MEATS

The choice for long-lasting canned meat doesn’t stop with tuna. Other meats, such as salmon, sardines, and freeze-dried chicken, can also be purchased. You can create a great-tasting meal in no time with a bit of creativity using Camp Master Spice Blend.

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6. DRIED FRUIT

Dried fruits are similar to jerky in that they can last for a long time when properly sealed. 

Make your own at home using a dehydrator or buy some at the grocery store. If you can access a Trader Joe’s, you can purchase delicious pre-made fruit mixes. 

7. CRACKERS

You can eat crackers with canned meat as a quick, filling, and easy meal or snack. Because crackers last longer than bread, they are ideal for emergency food kits. Check the expiration dates regularly since most crackers stay fresh for several months. 

8. SHELF-STABLE BEVERAGES

Shelf-stable drinks do not require refrigeration until they have been opened. Canned and boxed milk, almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, and juice are all good choices. Electrolyte drinks, such as Gatorade, can also be useful.

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9. GRANOLA AND PROTEIN BARS

You can’t go wrong with protein bars or granola, like Granola with Bananas, Almonds & Milk. Keep a package or two of your favorites – these are handy for an extra energy boost while you wait for the power to return.

10. FREEZE-DRIED MEALS & DESSERTS

If you keep freeze-dried meals on hand, you can enjoy gourmet-tasting meals anywhere. Try Chana Masala and Fettuccini Alfredo. Moreover, Backpacker’s Pantry Emergency & Survival Freeze-Dried Meals and Emergency Meal Kits are full of everything you’d need to stay healthy and satisfied. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try adding freeze-dried desserts as well. Choose meals that have a long shelf life. 

REMEMBER TO CHECK EXPIRATION DATES ANNUALLY

The shelf life of certain grocery items, like crackers, jerky, and shelf-stable drinks, is typically 18 months (at best). This is why it’s so important to check expiration dates at least once a year. Food that’s close to the expiration date should be eaten, composted, or thrown out.

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FINAL WORDS

Now that you have a broad knowledge on emergency preparedness, I bet that you are now encouraged to make your own emergency preparedness plan and emergency kit. Just use this article as your guide to make your emergency preparedness more efficient, cost-effective, and doable.

Leave a comment in the comment section if you have additional suggestions!

Happy prepping!

The post The Complete, No Nonsense Emergency Preparedness Checklist appeared first on The Prepping Guide.

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