Tips on Disaster Preparedness
By Thonie Hevron
General advice on preparing your family and your community for natural and man-made disasters
In light of the disaster in Japan, we could all use a refresher on what to do BEFORE a catastrophic event occurs. As we are also vulnerable to earthquakes and to a lesser degree, tsunamis, a little planning and some follow-through can mean the difference between making it or not-not only for you, but other members of your family.
- Develop a communications plan for your family. Choose someone who does not live with you (preferably an out-of-town relative or friend) with whom you and other family members can contact to check on each other in the event that you are separated during a disaster. Carry that person’s contact information in your purse or wallet.
- Make sure children know their last name, phone number, address, and number for the out-of-town contact person.
- If evacuating from your home designate a meeting place outside so everyone can be accounted for.
- Make sure every member of your family knows an alternate route home.
- If family members can’t get home, designate a meeting place.
- Learn how to shut off utilities such as gas, electricity, and water.
- Assemble an emergency preparedness kit that will allow your family to camp out for three days. Assume you’ll be without electricity and running water. Don’t forget your pets.
- Store your emergency supplies in sealed containers such as plastic tubs – taped shut.
- Keep cash on hand; automated teller machines won’t be working if the power is out.
- Learn CPR and first aid to help with medical emergencies.
- Learn about emergency plans for your children’s school or daycare center.
- If you’re a teen, find out whether your school has a group of student volunteers to help out in emergency situations. If not, offer to help start such a group. Or start a School Crime Watch.
- Learn about your company’s emergency plan. Practice the plan. Learn exit routes.
These and other valuable tips can be found at the non-profit National Crime Prevention Council: www.ncpc.org
Check out upcoming RPDPS events–
April 18, 2011 – Monday – Tip A Cop – Applebee’s – Rohnert Park – 5:30pm – 9pm – Cotati and CHP will join us again this year. One of the most entertaining fundraisers for Special Olympics you’ll ever find!
May 14, 2011 – Saturday – 3rd Annual “Running with the Pack” 5k/10k fun walk/run All proceeds benefit the Special Olympics. Approximate time 7:30 am – 11:30 am. We are adding a 10k run through SSU.
More info to follow in upcoming editions!