Emergency Preparedness
The first 72 hours after a natural disaster (earthquake, flood, fire, storm) are critical.  Electricity, gas, water and telephones may not be working.  in addition, public safety services such as police and fire departments will be busy handling serious crises.  You should be prepared to be self-sufficient (able to live without running water, electricity and /or gas, and telephones) for at least three days following a natural disaster.  To do so, keep on hand in a central location the following:

Food: Enough for 72 hours, preferably one week.

Water: Enough so each person has a gallon a day for 72 hours, preferably one week.  Store in airtight containers and replace it every six months.  Store disinfectants such as iodine tablets or chlorine bleach (eight drops per gallon) to purify if necessary.

First Aid Kit: Make sure it is well-stocked, especially with bandages and disinfectants.

Fire Extinguisher: Your fire extinguisher should be suitable for all types of fires.

Flashlights with extra batteries: Keep flashlights beside your bed and in several other locations.  DO NOT use matches or candles after an earthquake until you are certain there are no gas leaks.

Portable radio with extra batteries: Most telephones will be out of order or limited to emergency use.  The radio will be your best source of information.

Store extra blankets, clothing, shoes and money:  You may not have access to your bank or ATM for several days.  You should also make sure you have enough blankets, clothing and shoes to keep warm if your home's heater becomes non-functional.

Alternative cooking source: Store a barbecue or camping stove for outdoor camping.  CAUTION: Ensure there are no gas leaks before you use any kind of fire as a cooking source and do not use charcoal indoors.

Special items: Have at least a week's supply of medications and food for infants and those with special needs.  Don't forget pet food.

Tools: Have an adjustable or pipe wrench for turning off gas and water.

Be Red Cross Ready Checklist and Family Disaster Plan


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