While we have heard a lot recently regarding emergency planning for your home due to concerns about homeland security, there is also a significant risk of a natural disaster that could cut us off from outside services.  For example, an ice storm or a tornado could cut power to your home and make roadways impassable.  Therefore, it's is important that you and your family have a plan to deal with an emergency.

For many years, Champaign County EMA has been suggesting that everyone should have emergency plan in place BEFORE an emergency strikes and to have a disaster kit in your home.  You need to be ready to stay in your home, without outside services or assistance, for a minimum period of three days.  You should consider putting the following items in your disaster kit:

Water
  • One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Children, nursing mothers, and sick people may need more water.
  • If you live in a warm weather climate more water may be necessary.
  • Store water tightly in clean plastic containers such as soft drink bottles.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person.
     
Food
  • Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water.
  • Pack a manual can opener and eating utensils.
  • Choose foods your family will eat.
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods

 

     
FIRST AID KIT In any emergency a family member or you yourself may be cut, burned or suffer other injuries. If you have these basic supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones when they are hurt. Remember, many injuries are not life threatening and do not require immediate medical attention. Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. Consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.
    Things you should have:
   
  • Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex).
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  • Burn ointment to prevent infection.
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
  • Thermometer (Read more: Biological Threat)
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies.
    Things it may be good to have:
   
  • Cell Phone
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
    Non-prescription drugs:
   
  • Potassium Iodide (Read more: Nuclear Blast)
  • Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid (for upset stomach)
  • Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
  • Laxative
  • Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)
SPECIAL NEEDS ITEMS Remember the special needs of your family members. Infants, the elderly and persons with disabilities need the same planning as everyone else, and sometimes a little more, to be prepared for a terrorist attack.
    For Baby:
   
  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications
  • Moist towelettes
  • Diaper rash ointment
    For Adults:
   
  • Ask your doctor about storing prescription medications such as heart and high blood pressure medication, insulin and other prescription drugs.
  • Denture needs
  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Extra eye glasses
SUPPLY CHECKLISTS Emergency Supplies
The basics of survival: water, food and clean air are essential, but some of the following items may make a time of crisis more comfortable.
    Basic Supplies
   
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery powered radio and extra batteries
  • Plastic garbage bags, ties and toilet paper for personal sanitation
  • First aid kit
  • Map of the area for evacuation or for locating shelters
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes

 

    Clothing and Bedding
    If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies once a year to account for growing children and other family changes.
   
  • Have at least one complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person including:
  • A jacket or coat
  • Long pants
  • A long sleeve shirt
  • Sturdy shoes
  • A hat and gloves
  • A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
    Tools
   
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or a print out of this information
  • Mess kits, or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • Cash or traveler's checks, change
  • Non-electric can opener, utility knife
  • Paper towels
  • Fire extinguisher: small canister, ABC type
  • Tube tent
  • Pliers
  • Compass
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Signal flare
  • Paper, pencil
  • Medicine dropper
  • Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
    Sanitation
   
  • Toilet paper, towelettes
  • Feminine supplies
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Disinfectant
  • Household chlorine bleach

    You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
    Important Family Documents
    Keep copies of important family records such as insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.

The Federal Government operates a website dedicated to emergency planning for families, www. ready.gov.  In addition, the American Red Cross has lots of excellent information on how you and your family can be prepared.  Finally, if you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact our offices at 217/384-3826.

 

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