Preparedness

Preparing Makes Sense
Emergency Supply Kit
Preparing Your Pets

PREPARING MAKES SENSE


Make a Kit of Emergency Supplies


Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer. While there are many things that might make you more comfortable, think first about fresh water, food and clean air.

Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:
  • Water one gallon per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
  • Non-perishable Food at least a three-day supply
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Filter mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener if kit contains canned food
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Important Family Documents
  • Items for unique family needs, such as daily prescription medications, infant formula or diaper

Consider two kits. In one, put everything you will need to stay where you are and make it on your own. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you have to get away.

Make a Plan for What You Will Do in an Emergency


Plan in advance what you will do in an emergency. Be prepared to assess the situation. Use common sense and whatever you have on hand to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Develop a Family Emergency Plan:

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different situations. Consider a plan where each family member calls, or e-mails, the same friend or relative in the event of an emergency. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. Be sure each person knows the phone number and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. You may have trouble getting through, or the phone system may be down altogether, but be patient. Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the attack, the first important decision is whether you stay put or get away. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and the information you are learning here to determine if there is immediate danger. Watch television and listen to the radio for official instructions as they become available.

Create a Plan to Shelter-in-Place:

There are circumstances when staying put and creating a barrier between yourself and potentially contaminated air outside, a process known as sheltering-in-place and sealing the room can be a matter of survival. If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if local authorities say the air is badly contaminated, you may want to shelter-in-place and seal the room. Consider precutting plastic sheeting to seal windows, doors and air vents. Each piece should be several inches larger than the space you want to cover so that you can duct tape it flat against the wall. Label each piece with the location of where it fits. Use all available information to assess the situation. Quickly bring your family and pets inside, lock doors, and close windows, air vents and replace dampers. Immediately turn off air conditioning, forced air heating systems, exhaust fans and clothes dryers. Take your emergency supplies and go into the room you have designated. Seal all windows, doors and vents. Understand that sealing the room is a temporary measure to create a barrier between you and contaminated air. Watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet for instructions from local emergency management officials.

Create a Plan to Get Away:

Plan in advance how you will assemble your family and anticipate where you will go. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency. If you have a car, keep at least a half tank of gas in it at all times. Become familiar with alternate routes as well as other means of transportation out of your area. If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if you have to. Take your emergency supply kit, unless you have reason to believe it is contaminated and lock the door behind you. Take pets with you if you are told to evacuate, however, if you are going to a public shelter, keep in mind they may not be allowed inside. If you believe the air may be contaminated, drive with your windows and vents closed and keep the air conditioning and heater turned off. Listen to the radio for instructions.

Know Emergency Plans at school and work:

Talk to your children’s schools and your employer about emergency plans. Find out how they will communicate with families during an emergency. If you are an employer, be sure you have an emergency preparedness plan. Review and practice it with your employees. A community working together during an emergency also makes sense. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together.

Be Informed About What Might Happen


Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit and developing a family emergency plan, are the same for both a natural or man made emergency. However there are significant differences among potential terrorist threats, such as biological, chemical, explosive, nuclear and radiological, which will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. By beginning a process of learning about these specific threats, you are preparing yourself to react in an emergency. Go to ready.gov to learn more about potential terrorist threats and other emergencies or call 1-800-BE-READY (1-800-237-3239) for a free brochure. Be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances and make every effort to follow instructions received from authorities on the scene. Also learn about your community’s local emergency plan. With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected.

Get Involved in Preparing Your Community.


After preparing yourself and your family for possible emergencies, take the next step and get involved in preparing your community. Learn more about Citizen Corps, which actively involves citizens in making our communities and our nation safer, stronger and better prepared. We all have a role to play in keeping our hometown secure from emergencies of all kinds. Citizen Corps works hard to help people prepare, train and volunteer in their communities. Go to www.citizencorps.gov for more information and to get involved.

EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT
Recommended Items:
  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps

Additional Items to Consider:
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper - When diluted nine part water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant, or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine Supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

PREPARING YOUR PETS


Make a Kit With Pet Emergency Supplies


Just as you do with your family’s emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for survival, particularly food and water.
  • Food:

    Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container.
  • Water:

    Store at least three days of water specifically for your pets, in addition to water you need for yourself and our family.
  • Medicines and medical records:

    Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
  • First aid kit:

    Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs. Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Include a pet first aid reference book.
  • Collar with ID tag, harness or leash:

    Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag in your pet’s emergency supply kit.
  • Important documents:

    Place copies of your pet’s registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container and also add them to your kit.
  • Crate or other pet carrier:

    If you need to evacuate in an emergency situation take your pets and animals with you, provided that it is practical to do so.
  • Sanitation:

    Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs. You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 8 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water, stir well and let it stand for 30 minutes before use. Do not use scented or color safe bleaches or those with added cleaners.
  • A picture of you and your pet together:

    If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. Include detailed information about species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
  • Familiar items:

    Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.

Consider two kits. In one, put everything your pets will need to stay where you are and make it on your own. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you and your pets have to get away.

Make a Plan for What You Will Do in an Emergency


Plan in advance what you will do in an emergency. Be prepared to assess the situation. Use common sense and whatever you have on hand to take care of yourself and ensure your pet’s safety during an emergency.

Evacuate.

Plan how you will assemble your pets and anticipate where you will go. If you must evacuate, take your pets with you, if practical. If you go to a public shelter, keep in mind your pets may not be allowed inside. Secure appropriate lodging in advance depending on the number and type of animals in your care. Consider family or friends outside your immediate area who would be willing to take in you and your pets in an emergency. Other options may include a hotel or motel that takes pets or some sort of boarding facility, such as a kennel or veterinary hospital that is near an evacuation facility or your family’s meeting place. Find out before an emergency happens if any of these facilities in your area might be viable options for you and your pets.

Develop a buddy system.

Plan with neighbors, friends or relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Talk with your pet care buddy about your evacuation plans and show them where you keep your pet’s emergency supply kit. Also, designate specific locations, one in your immediate neighborhood and other farther away, where you will meet in an emergency.

Talk to your pet’s veterinarian about emergency planning.

Discuss the types of things you should include in your pet’s emergency first aid kit. Get the names of vets or veterinary hospitals in other cities where you might need to seek temporary shelter. Also, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. If you and your pet are separated, this permanent implant for your pet and corresponding enrollment in a recovery database can help a veterinarian or shelter identify your animal. If your pet is microchipped, keeping your emergency contact informa­tion up to date and listed with a reliable recovery database is essential to you and your pet being reunited.

Gather contact information for emergency animal treatment.

Make a list of contact information and ad­dresses of area animal control agencies including the Humane Society or ASPCA and emergency veterinary hospitals. Keep one copy of these phone numbers with you, and one in your pet’s emergency supply kit. Obtain “Pets Inside” stickers and place them on your doors or windows, including information on the number and types of pets in your home to alert firefighters and rescue workers. Consider putting a phone number on the sticker where you could be reached in an emergency. And, if time permits, remember to write the words “Evacuated with Pets” across the stickers, should you evacuate your home with your pets.

Be Prepared for What Might Happen


Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an emergency supply kit for yourself, your family and your pets, is the same regardless of the type of emergency. However, it’s important to say informed about what might happen and know what types of emergencies are likely to affect your region.

Be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances and make every effort to follow instruc­tions received from authorities on the scene. With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unex­pected. Those who take the time to prepare themselves and their pets will likely encounter less difficulty, stress and worry. Take the time now to get yourself and your pet ready.