Home Disaster Preparedness
The first 72 hours after a natural disaster (earthquake, flood,
fire, storm) Are critical. Electricity, gas, water and telephones
may not be working. In addition, public safety services such as
police and fire departments will be busy handling serious crises.
Be prepared to be self-sufficient (able to live without running
water, electricity and/or gas, and telephones) for at least three
days following a natural disaster. To do so, keep on hand in a central
location the following:
Food: Enough for 72 hours - preferably a week - consisting
of packaged, canned, no-cooking-required types.
Water: Enough so each person has a gallon a day for 72 hours,
preferably one week. Store in airtight containers and replace it
every six months. Store disinfectants such as iodine tablets or
chlorine bleach (eight drops per gallon) to purify water if necessary.
First Aid Kit: Make sure it is well stocked, especially
with bandages and disinfectants.
Fire extinguishers: A fire extinguisher should be suitable
for all types of fires. Teach all family members how to use it.
Flashlights with extra batteries: Keep flashlights beside
beds and in several other locations. DO NOT use matches or candles
after an earthquake until you are certain there are no gas leaks.
Portable Radio with extra batteries: Most telephones will
be out of order or limited to emergency use. The radio will be the
best source of information.
Store extra blankets, clothing, shoes and money: Access
to a bank or ATM may not be available for several days. Make sure
to have enough blankets, clothing and shoes to keep warm if the
home's heater becomes non-functional.
Alternative cooking sources: Store a barbeque or camping
stove for outdoor camping. CAUTION: Ensure there are no gas leaks
before using any kind of fire as a cooking source and do not use
Special Items: Have at least a week's supply of medications
and food for infants and those with special needs. Include essential
medications and spare eyeglasses. Don't forget pet food and water.
Tools: Have an adjustable or pipe wrench for turning off
gas and water. Screwdrivers, pliers, hammer, shovel and axe would
cover a wide range of needs.
Sanitation Supplies: Large plastic trash bags for trash,
waste and water protection; bar soap, liquid detergent and bleach;
toothpaste and brushes, feminine and infant supplies; Toilet paper;
newspaper to wrap garbage and waste.
For more information on disaster preparedness see: The
Red Cross | The Federal Emergency