Saturday, May 19, 2012

Emergency Preparedness

It's May. Hurricane Season begins June 1st and I've decided it might be a good idea to begin preparing now. I've been watching the weather and the Gulf temperatures and I'm concerned that present conditions and percentages indicate that we have every potential to be in for a rough ride this summer. I think that we, along the Gulf Coast, have been very fortunate these past few years - that we've skirted major hurricanes while all conditions were prime. I, myself, tend to become complacent in times of calm, but I think it is time to begin to prepare for the worst. That way I'll be ready for anything.  My husband and I play "What if."  We enjoy talking out all different scenarios and how we would respond / react to different situations. We believe that the time to decide courses of action is before events take place that may require rash, immediate decisions. We prefer to already have a thought out a plan to put into practice. This is why I'm giving Hurricane Preparedness much thought and research so that we may be prepared were calamity to strike. Throughout the next weeks I hope to post different aspects of hurricane / emergency preparedness and steps to follow to be able to do things in steps rather than become overwhelmed with all the necessary precautions all at once in time of an emergency.

This week I'm going to begin to make a plan. I'm going to decide in the event of  a Category 5 Hurricane or other emergency...

*  Would we stay or would we leave? - Even if we decide to stay, it is a good idea to know area evacuation routes and have a plan as to where we would go if evacuation were absolutely necessary.
*  Household members should know emergency procedures for each other’s work, school, or other places where they regularly spend time.
* Discuss how to reunite if a disaster strikes while household members are away from the home. Make plans for where household members should go and whom they should contact when the home is not habitable, safe or if they cannot return to the home
*  Agree on out-of-state contacts in the event family members cannot immediately communicate locally.
* Make and distribute a hard copy to each family member.
*  Keep the gas tank full - I plan to top off as soon as the tank reaches 1/2 full. It's a wise habit anytime, but during a hurricane/disaster gas lines can be long and prices generally go up. Fuel in the tank increases your range of immediate travel without stopping to compete with everyone else for the same commodity.
* Decide what to do with animals in an emergency situation.

* Make a list of important/emergency phone numbers.

     * Mom                                                   Phone                                Alternate Phone

     * Dad                                                     Phone                                Alternate Phone

     * Child One                                            Phone                                    e-mail

     * Child Two                                           Phone                                     e-mail

     * Child Three                                         Phone                                     e-mail

     * Child Four                                          Phone                                      e-mail


       Name                                                   Phone                                Alternate Phone

       Name                                                   Phone                                Alternate Phone

     * NEXT OF KIN
        Name                                                   Phone                                Alternate Phone

         Name                                                   Phone                               Alternate Phone

        Name                                                   Phone                                Alternate Phone

         Name                                                  Phone                                 Alternate Phone

        Name                                                  Phone                                 Alternate Phone

     *  POLICE                                             Phone

     * AMBULANCE                                    Phone

     *  FIRE DEPARTMENT                       Phone

     *  GAS COMPANY                              Phone
     *  ELECTRIC COMPANY                   Phone

     *  WATER COMPANY                        Phone

     *  TELEPHONE CO.                           Phone

     *  CABLE / INTERNET                        Phone

     *  HOME INSURANCE                       Phone                                      Account Info.

     *AUTO INSURANCE                          Phone                                     Account Info

     * POISON CONTROL                        Phone

I shut down my computer yesterday due to lightening storms and it occurred to me how dependent I've become on this pc. Without it I have no access to information.  No news, no weather, no outside contact  - even things such as this emergency preparedness list, so I've decided to make a hard copy of important items I otherwise keep on the computer. Without power these would be inaccessible.

BEGIN TO GATHER VITAL INFORMATION  - in the event of an emergency it is important to have a copy of these documents available.
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security number
  • Bank account information and stock/bond certificates
  • Will and other legal papers
  • Medical data, allergies, medications/dosages, doctor contacts, and health history
  • Deed or mortgage documents
  • Insurance policies and cards
  • Inventory and photographs of your valuables (prints or on a CD)
  • Any other document that would be difficult to replace (auto pink slips, adoption papers, etc.)
Though this list may seem lengthy and intricate, it's just the basic steps of preparedness for a majority of possible occurrences.  There is much comfort and assurance in being prepared and knowing that you've done what you could do to control uncontrollable outcomes.

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