Preparing for Natural Disasters: What Can You Do?

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 10:45am
Tami L. Johnson

You may not be aware that September happens to be National Preparedness month. However, with all the recent natural disasters of hurricanes in the East, wildfires all around us, and earthquakes to the north and south you might ask if you are prepared for such a disaster?

Be Ready Utah is partnering with the Disaster Discovery Center, a non-profit emergency preparedness company to establish a permanent location to help Utahns be ready for a natural disaster.

You may also check out their website at www.bereadyutah.gov to research excellent information as to how to prepare yourself or your family in an emergency. 

Be Ready Utah recommends:

1.    Make a plan

2.    Get a kit

3.    Be informed

4.    Get involved

Make a Plan

Water will keep you alive.  If you have enough water you can live on half of your normal food intake.  Make sure to store at least one gallon of water per person per day.  Try to store enough to last 2 weeks

Food can be rationed, unlike water.  Store at least a 3-5-day supply of non-perishable food in a dry place where the temperature isn’t above 70 degrees.  Choose foods that require very little preparation, water or refrigeration.  Also select foods that are high in calories, nutritious, compact and light-weight.

Of course, choose foods you know your family will eat.

Pets

Consider the special needs of your pets.  Know of safe places to keep your pets should you need to evacuated them.  Are there any hotels or motels outside of your area that allow pets? Or even a friend/family member who could keep them for you?

Special Needs

Those family members with special needs or functional needs need to take extra precaution in the event of a disaster.  Plan ahead to have a buddy for your special needs family member.

Get a Kit

If you have to leave your home you will do so quickly—leaving behind your car, money, toys, games, clothing and food to save your life and that of your family.  However, many of these items could be very useful in an emergency.  Building the right kind of kit will help your family in a disaster.

Please refer to the checklist from the photograph for the 72-hour kit or go to www.bereadyutah.gov to see in full detail the essential items for the kit.

Be Informed

Consider getting involved with CERT in your local city.  CERT is a training program consisting of 24 hours of instruction that prepares you to help yourself, your family and your neighbors in the event of a disaster. During an incident, emergency service personnel may not be able to reach you quickly.  By being trained in CERT you will have the skill necessary to be of aide to others and emergency responders to save lives.

Also, be informed of a fire escape plan for your family and practice it.  Test smoke alarms monthly.  Have two escape paths from your home in the event of a fire. Pick an outdoor meeting place. Hold fire drills with your family regularly. Listen to the radio or TV for emergency instructions for disasters outside your home.

Get Involved

Become a CERT member and be able to respond to disasters.

See if you are able to volunteer with your local law enforcement agency or fire department.

Fire Corps is a great way to get involved. This allows local Fire and EMS departments build more capacity by connecting them to community volunteers who can assist in several non-emergency roles.  If you’re interested in volunteering for Utah Fire Corps, please contact the State of Utah Fire Marshal’s Office at 801-284-6350

Above all do your homework and gather your family together to create a plan to BE PREPARED!

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