Six Tips to Help Prepare for an Emergency
During an emergency, what are the first things that comes to mind? Where is my family? What do I have prepared? Where do I go for safety? It is hard to know exactly what needs to happen at the breaking moments of an emergency.
Unfortunately, Utah is not exempt from facing a variety of natural disasters or tragic events. Severe weather conditions, human errors or even poor planning can spearhead an emergency situation.
However, being prepared for these difficult occasions can provide clarity, security and safety for you and your family during a crisis. The following precautions and tips will help stabilize you during the state of an emergency.
- Establish Meeting Area and Communication
When an emergency hits, knowing where your family is located becomes priority number one. Before a disaster occurs, talk with your family and establish how each member will communicate if he or she is safe.
Talk to city officials and understand where citywide safe zones will be stationed during emergencies. Map out traveling routes showing how family can get to the safe zones from places like home, schools and offices.
- Stock Up
Waiting to get food, water, clothing and supplies until an emergency actually unfolds can results in added stress and sometimes little success. Keep your family’s emergency preparedness kit accessible and stocked with fresh, usable supplies. It may be worthwhile to purchase extra seasonal clothing items to use in an emergency kit in case your daily clothing is inaccessible. Consider placing emergency kits at home, at work and/or in a car.
You also might consider ways to help prepare for those around you. Neighbors or family friends may seek your help during an emergency. Being overly prepared can help provide necessities for those who are under prepared.
Assuming travel is safe after an emergency, having a working vehicle with ample gasoline could be critical. Ensure that your car’s gasoline tank is normally half full, or have a full gasoline canister available. Consider keeping basic necessities like first aid kits, fruit snacks and water in your car. A disaster could hit while traveling on the road, so having these items in the car will be worthwhile.
- Personal Belongings
Depending on the nature of the emergency, homes and possessions may not withstand the elements of disaster. Upload important documentation, pictures and files to your computer and store them on a hard drive. There are also fireproof and waterproof safes you can purchase for protecting important documentation and valued items.
Also consider creating an inventory list of all your personal belongings. Include any applicable serial numbers, model numbers or costs associated with belongings.
- Help Identify
Search parties will be working around the clock to find those who are missing during an emergency. Provide as much detail about a missing individual as possible, including: clothing, his or her phone case, and any other personal items he or she may have had on hand. It’s also helpful to keep printed copies of current photos on hand for all family members.
- Stay Calm and Know What’s Next
Though much easier said than done, staying calm will help an emergency situation become easier to navigate. Remember there is help available and offer to help when necessary. Keep in mind that everyone around you is experiencing similar fears and frustrations.
Understand what steps come after a crisis. Be familiar with who you need to contact and what actions need to be done so you can start to build your life back to its normal routine.