Bioterrorism and Disaster Education and Awareness: Are You Prepared?• Water—one gallon per person, per day
• Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare
• Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
• Extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Multi-purpose tool
• Copies of personal documents
• Cell phone (with charger)
• Family and emergency contact
• Extra cash
• Map of the area
• Emergency blanket
The next step in preparing yourself for disaster is to make a plan. You should identify the responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team. In case you are separated during an emergency, you should have two pre-designated places outside your home where you could meet. You should also choose an out-of-area emergency contact to inform them of your well-being during a disaster. During your planning, you should also map out evacuation routes, as well as potential alternate routes in case of impassable roads. Lastly if you have pets, consider researching pet-friendly hotels/motels or a family friend they could stay with in case of an emergency.
Finally, one of the most important aspects of disaster preparedness is remaining informed about the situation. You should identify in advance how local authorities will notify you during a disaster and how you will get information—whether it is through local radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio station/channel. If during a disaster someone in your community is injured or becomes unresponsive, it would be critical to their survival to have knowledge of CPR and First Aid procedures. Courses in both CPR and First Aid are offered by your local chapter of the American Red Cross. So be proactive and take a class—you could save a life!
Returning home from a day of endless frantic phone calls and media rumors buzzing around command center, the young volunteer turns on to her street—thinking of all the questions her family has waiting for her. She drives past her neighbors’ homes and sees families gathered around the televisions, hoping for answers. Another elderly neighbor sits on his porch swing, rocking back and forth to the hum of news updates coming across his radio. Seeing the members of her community listening and watching for information brings her a sense of comfort. Her friends had taken her advice and prepared themselves for when a disaster would strike. Instead of entering into a state of confusion and panic, these people had taken the appropriate steps to becoming disaster-ready and preparing themselves physically and mentally for the aftermath of a disaster event. The only question that remains is, are you prepared?Don’t be a victim. Be Aware. Be Prepared.