If there’s one weather-related emergency Indiana natives are familiar with its tornadoes. Other natural disasters can strike depending on your region, and it’s important to be prepared as much as possible to ensure the safety of yourself and your family as well as make it easier to pick up the pieces when one of these events occurs. Here are some important things to consider when making sure you’re ready:
Communication: It’s important to have a plan in place and it’s equally important that all members of your family know the plan. Make sure your emergency plan is periodically updated and that everyone reviews and practices to make sure everyone is prepared. You can find tips on creating an emergency plan for your family at Ready.gov/plan.
At a time when most people carry an electronic telephone book and few numbers are memorized, make it a priority to write down and/or memorize family members’ numbers and other important ones. Also remember to keep your wallet or handbag with you so that any immediate important
Health and Survival: In the event of a serious disaster, it may be difficult to access basic necessities such as food and water. The National Safety Council recommends having at least three days worth of food and water stored at home, making sure to account for all members of your household. Don’t forget your pets! Also, when selecting food make sure to choose high-protein food that can be prepared without electricity. Don’t forget the can opener either!
Having an emergency kit in both your home and car could also prove invaluable. Some supplies to keep in your home kit are a hand-crank or battery powered radio (with extra batteries), flashlight, basic hand tools, garbage bags, and an emergency whistle to signal for help if needed. Make sure to have a first aid kit on hand with gauze, tape, bandages, antibiotic ointment, hand sanitizer, aspirin, gloves, tweezers, and instant cold compress among other supplies. For your car much of the same as the home kit applies, but you will also want to add jumper cables, non-perishable high-energy snacks, water, reflective vest (in case you need to walk for help), rain poncho, and additional items for cold weather. Make sure your spare tire is properly inflated and that you have a tire tool and jack also.
Putting Back the Pieces: Always remember that after a disaster the important thing is that you and your loved ones stay safe. Things can be replaced; people can’t. Up to 50% of all injuries occur after the event during rescue attempts and cleanup activities, so it is imperative to keep safety in mind even after the storm has passed. That being said, life goes on and in order to replace things that may have been damaged or destroyed, it’s much easier if all of your important papers and information are in a single, safe place. Consider a safe deposit box and/or a fireproof safe for your home to keep copies of birth certificates, insurance policies, passports, and more.