This is going to wrap up the severe weather awareness week in Iowa. It is something we focus on each year during the first week of April...but we need to remember the safety rules all year long. Those rules apply to all hazardous situations. Mother Nature is not the only source for hazards to our family. The basic elements of a disaster plan can save lives.
Five Step Plan To Save Lives
1) Learn about possible dangers in your area and become familiar with your communities disaster response plan. Common weather disasters in Iowa include flooding, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
2) Talk to your family about what to do in an emergency. Pick two locations where you will meet...one close to your home and another removed from your neighborhood just in case you can't return to your home.
3) Develop a communication plan to make sure your family will be able to stay in contact if you are separated during a disaster. Cell phone towers could be knocked down. Two-way radios could be used.
4) Create emergency preparedness kits for your home, office and car.
5) Practice your plan.
A disaster kit should include enough food,water and other supplies for every person to last at least three days.
Here is a basic list...
- Food and Water
- Battery or hand-crank operated radio
- First aid supplies
- Clothing, shoes and blankets
- Cash and coins
- Photocopies of important documents such as ID's and credit cards
- Baby needs
- Sanitation items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper
- Specialty items such as prescription medications and eyeglasses
- Games to pass the time.
**There should be one gallon of water per person...per day. It's recommended you purchase commercially bottled water. Keep the water in it's original container without opening the bottles. Always observe the expiration date...use the water before it goes beyond the "use by" date and replace it with fresh water.
Prepare Your Home
- IF you live in a flood-prone area... elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home.
- Consider installing sewer back flow valves
- Add waterproof veneer to exterior walls.
- Remove dead or rotting tree branches that could fall and cause injury or property damage.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- Consider an all-home generator.
Stay safe my friends. It is better to over prepare than to have emergencies the overwhelm the safety of your family and home.