Family Emergency Preparedness

  • Our nation is extremely unprepared for a medical disaster, and lacks a coherent plan for taking charge of mass casualties.  
  • Family emergency preparation will provide peace of mind and the ability to minimize the damages when a disaster strikes.   (Homeland Security Department, September 2005)  
What You Can Do
  • Make an emergency kit.  Emergency kits can put your mind at ease and help you handle an urgent situation. To help citizens prepare for and respond to potential emergencies (including natural disasters and terrorist attacks),
  • Homeland Security recommends every family do 3 things:
1)  Make a family emergency plan

2)  Be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.

3)  Make an emergency kit for each member of the family.   Stock a container that is easy to carry with some basic supplies to survive for at least 3 days if an emergency occurs.  Each kit should contain the following:
    • Food.  3- day supply of non-perishable food (plus can opener for canned food)
    • Water.  3- day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) for drinking and sanitation.  This can be bottled water, or tablets to purify other stored water.
    • Change of clothing
    • Blanket
    • First aid kit.  To treat burns, cuts and wounds and to prevent infection, stock a first aid kit with the following:  bandages, sterile dressings, soap or antibiotic towelettes, burn ointment and antibiotic ointment, 2 pairs of latex or other sterile gloves, eye wash solution, a thermometer, and any prescribed medications or medical equipment, such as blood glucose or blood pressure monitoring supplies.  
    • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air
    • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
    • Sanitation supplies.  Store moist towelettes, garbage/plastic bags and plastic ties.  Keep your supplies dry with plastic sheeting.  Use dust masks for air filtration.  
    • Cell phone with a solar or car charger to communicate with family members and rescuers. 
    • Hand-crank or battery-operated radio with extra batteries will let you receive weather alerts and local emergency broadcasting messages. 
    • Flashlight with extra batteries to help your family move about in the dark or signal rescuers.  
    • Extra car keys
    • Cash/credit card/traveler’s checks/change
    • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities  
    • Whistle to signal for help
  • Additional items to consider adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:
    • Prescription medications and glasses
    • Infant supplies - formula and diapers
    • Pet food and extra water for your pet
    • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records placed in a waterproof, portable container
    • Emergency reference material such as a first-aid book or information from www.ready.gov.
    • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.  Consider additional bedding since we live in a cold-weather climate.
    • Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.  Consider additional clothing since we live in a cold-weather climate.
    • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper.  When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant; or, in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water.  Do not use scented, color-safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Matches in a waterproof container
    • Personal hygiene and feminine supplies
    • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
    • Paper and pencil
    • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
U.S. Department of Homeland Security   
http://ready.gov 
  • Obtain the free Emergency Resource Guide prepared by the Washington Military Department and the Washington State Department of Health.  This book contains instructions on preparing for personal, home and community preparedness, terrorism, biological agents, natural and weather emergencies.   This book should be in every home and business in Spokane County.  Call (800) 525-0127, (360) 236-4027.   http://doh.wa.gov
  • Obtain the free FEMA emergency preparedness book to prepare your family for various types of emergencies and disasters.  Each household can get one free copy of “Are You Ready?” by calling 1-800-480-2520.  http://ready.gov
  • Review emergency response plans for people living in your area.

  • Give your family or loved ones the gift of a 72-hour kit for emergencies.

  • Prepare your family and neighborhood for emergencies.  Professional responders may be unavailable to help people in neighborhoods right after major disasters.  Individuals and families should prepare to deal with local emergencies in their own homes.  Get to know your neighbors and their special skills.  Are there children, elderly people, or people with disabilities living in your neighborhood?  
  • Volunteer to be trained to help during times of disaster.  Take classes to become knowledgeable about First Aid and CPR to help save lives.    Become part of a solid core group that can be counted on to do whatever is needed.  
  • Train for Search and Rescue, training for response in an emergency situation.  
  • Become an amateur (“Ham”) radio operator so you can help provide emergency communication for agencies and individuals when normal channels are down.  http://ARRL.com 
  • Organize Emergency Preparedness Fairs inside our malls.  Invite agencies (Fire Dept., Police Dept., Sheriff’s Dept., American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, etc.) to present information on topics such as,
Water storage
Emergency food
First-Aid
Washington State’s preparedness program
72-hour Emergency Kits
Blood donations
Generators
Communications – Ham and CB radios
Family Wills
Preparedness Merit Badge certification, Boy Scouts of America (encourage Scouts to complete this requirement)  
Give away prizes (from store donations)
Advertise via radio, posters and flyers in local businesses, etc. 
Local Organizations
Additional Resources

Emergency Preparedness & Response
1101 W College Ave. #360
Spokane, WA
(509) 323-2847  324-1500
http://www.srhd.org/services/emergency.asp