Basic Emergency Preparedness

BASIC EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Fire, Flood, Tornado or other natural disaster, no one is immune to these life threatening events.  As we have seen this mild winter many location in Ohio have flooded and many locations across the United Stated have had winter tornados.  With the Kentucky Tornado season almost upon us it is time for all amateurs to be prepared to assist at a moment’s notice.  If you can get to a Skywarn training session I would advise you to do so.  Weather classes help you a lot.

Now is the time to make and/or review your Family’s and your own

Personal Safety Plans.  You do have a Family Safety Plan, right?
You will do a much better job helping when your family is safe.

Things that you can and should do now before it is too late are:

1. Make a written Family Disaster Plan and make sure your family is familiar with it.  More information is available at these websites and more:
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/pdf/family_disaster_plan.pdf
http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=18210

2. This is also a good time to plan and practice you family fire drill, to make and use your safety location during you drill where you and you family will meet after the fire evacuation.  This should be away from you own house and away from the possible path of the responding emergency vehicles.

3. This goes along with making sure you have working smoke detectors on every floor of your home.  Test them often keep good batteries in them.

4. Making and maintain a Family Disaster Supply Kit to sustain your family for at least three days.  This should be separate from you normal food supply and be dated and packed in such a way that you can easily take it with you if you have to evacuate.  This can save many hours by not having to wait for the shopping lines at the local grocery store.

5. Always, Always have you vehicle gasoline tank at least half full. This allows you to remove your family from a disaster area which may not have electricity or working gasoline pumps.  Once out of the area you can get more gasoline.  It is worth the expense and could save your lives.

6. Buy a weather radio with back-up battery to receive the National Weather Service warnings.  This can save lives by giving you time to prepare before the storm hits.

7. Keep batteries charged and if you have a generator test it.  It is also a good idea to have spare alkaline flashlight batteries on hand for flashlights and radios.

8. Have appropriate equipment, antenna and interchangeable emergency power sources for you HT.  This was covered several months ago.

9. Keep your HT with you during heightened alert times and make sure you have you spare battery and charger with you.

10. Join you local ARES group, learn their plans including your county Skywarn, ARES alert frequencies and your pre-arranged alert assignment. Know your county ARES Emergency Coordinator.

Remember, being prepared is not just for the Scouts.  Your life and your family’s life may depend on you willingness to do the work required to be prepared.  In large scale disasters it is not uncommon for it to take 48 hours or even 72 hours before help will arrive. Thanks for reading this and being a member of the KY ARES program.
73,
Fred Jones WA4SWF
Region 4 Assist. Kentucky Section Emergency Coordinator

WA4SWF@arrl.net

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