Personal Emergency Preparedness Guidelines
Emergencies and natural or man-made disasters occur daily in our world, often without warning. Emergencies can strike anywhere at anytime. This UR Prepared webpage is intended to provide our community with general planning tips and suggestions on how to prepare for an emergency along with suggestions to help get through the crisis. When planning for a disaster you should anticipate being self sufficient for 4 days. It is recommended that you designate two places for family members to meet, one in your neighborhood and one outside your community. Also, identify an out-of-state friend or relative where all family members can call if separated. You are encouraged to know your child's school or daycare emergency plans. You should assemble a readily accessible and portable emergency supply kit so if authorities order an evacuation you will be ready to go.
Basic Supply Kit Content Recommendations
- Battery-powered Radio — Radio reports will give you the information about the event and directions from the authorities
- Cash, travelers' checks, change and copies of credit and ATM cards
- Copies of important documents such as insurance, wills, birth and marriage certificates, passports, deeds, phone numbers, etc, and place them in a waterproof container.
- Extra clothing and blankets
- Extra set of car and house keys
- First Aid Supply — A standard prepackage first aid kit should be fine. Go to the Red Cross web site if you are looking for specific supplies. http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/0,1082,0_217_,00.html
- Flashlight and Extra Batteries— Never use candles or other open flames for emergency lighting
- Food — Enough non-perishable food to sustain you and your family members for 4 days. Select foods that do not require refrigeration, preparation, cooking or water. Suggestions include (Canned juices, granola bars, energy bars, etc). Food from your freezer that still has ice crystals in their centers is safe to eat.
- Local and regional road maps — Don't count on your GPS working
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Medications — Include prescription (with dosing and prescribing physicians name) and non-prescription
- Water — Figure 1 gallon per person per day
- Additional Supplies
- Paper plates, cups and utensils
- Non-electric can opener
- Personal hygiene items, including toothbrush, toothpaste, denture needs, comb, brush, soap, contact lens supplies, extra eyeglasses, feminine supplies, and household chlorine bleach
- Plastic garbage bags with ties
- One complete change of clothes
- Games, cards, books, portable music devices
- Any family members special needs
- Baby Care Supplies if needed (Bottles, Diapers, Formula, Pacifiers)
It may become necessary to leave your home. The government will issue an evacuation order and will use TV, radio or emergency services personal to get the message out. It's import to preplan with family and friends who live outside the area to make arrangements should you ever have to evacuate. For those who have no alternative place to stay, the Red Cross will make disaster shelters available. If you do have to evacuate follow these simple steps.
- Close and lock all doors and windows
- Unplug appliances
- Wear sturdy comfortable shoes and clothing
- Take your Basic Supply Kit
Our pets enrich our lives. They depend on us for their safety and well-being. The best way to protect your family pets from the effects of a disaster is to have a plan for their welfare. Being prepared can save their lives. The most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to take them with you in any kind of emergency situation. Pets left behind can become lost, injured or worse.
Make a Portable Pet Supplies Kit:
- Keep items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy waterproof containers that can easily be carried. Your pets supply kit should include:
- Medications, including medical records (keep extra medications for your pet)
- Food (at least enough for 3-7 days) should rotate every 2 months
- Water (at least enough for 3-7 days)
- First aid kit which should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape, scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol, and saline solution. Consult with your veterinarian about what is appropriate for your pets' emergency needs. Include a pet first aid reference book.
- Pet beds and toys should be packed if possible to reduce as much stress as you can.
- Other items you could include such as: newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items and household bleach.
Your pet should wear collar with ID tags including a rabies tag at all times. Having an ID microchip placed in your pet and including your pet on the national registry is another way to find your pet in case your pet is lost without his collar or tags. Include an extra leash and collar, as well as photos of your pets, copies of your pet's registration records, adoption papers, vaccination records and medical records.
Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to place them in foster care.
Have a Safe Place to Take Your Pets in an Emergency:
Because of states' health and safety regulations, service animals that assist people with disabilities are the only animals allowed in human evacuation shelters. Do not wait until a disaster strikes before you make a plan. You can do the following to ensure the safety of your pets in an emergency.
Contact area hotels and motels outside of the immediate area. Check on their policies for accepting pets and restrictions on number, size, and species. Find out if the "no pet" policy will be waived in a disaster. If you know about an impending disaster, call the hotels and motels ahead of time and make reservations.
Contact friends, relatives or others outside of the affected area that could care for and shelter your pets. Prepare a list of veterinarians and boarding facilities that could shelter your animals in an emergency.
Contact local area animal shelters to see if they may provide emergency shelter or foster care in a disaster. This should be used as a last resort, animal shelters often become overwhelmed with abandoned animals in disasters.
Small mammals (gerbils, hamsters, Guinea pigs, etc.) should be transported in a secure carrier suitable for maintaining the animals while being sheltered. Supplies needed to maintain the animal should be packed, such as bedding, food bowls, water bowls and food. Small pocket pets overheat quickly, be prepared to offer fresh air at temperatures greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Label the transport carrier with the type of pocket pet and your name, address and all phone numbers.
Reptiles and Amphibians:
For lizards and amphibians, follow the same instructions as for birds. Snakes can be transported in a pillowcase; they will need to be transferred into secure housing when you reach your destination. If they require frequent feedings, you will need to pack whatever food is necessary. A bowl large enough to soak the reptile and a heating pad is also necessary. Label the carrier or transport bag with the type of reptile or amphibian with your name, address and all phone numbers.
Caring for a Bird in an Emergency:
Birds need to be transported in a transport carrier. Label the carrier with your name, address and all phone numbers. If it is cold you need to wrap the carrier with a blanket, and warm up the car before you put the bird in it. In warm weather carry a spray bottle with you and periodically mist the bird's feathers. Do not place water in the carrier during transport. Line the carrier with paper towels and change them frequently. Provide some fruit and vegetables as a water source. Keep the carrier in a quiet area if possible. Keep the doors to the carrier closed so the bird cannot get out.
This information was obtained from the following sources:
American Red Cross
International Code Council
US Department of Homeland Security
Monroe County Office of Public Safety
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry