Storms can destroy more than buildings; learn safety tips and save lives
2011 was the most disastrous year according to the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disaster. In fact, there were ninety-nine "major natural disasters" declared in the U.S. last year, breaking the previous record of eighty-one set in 2010.
Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count. UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a global safety science company, offers insights on how to prepare and implement a disaster preparedness plan.
Preparing for the Unexpected
- Make sure children can spell their name, parents' names and know their phone number and address
- Prepare an emergency kit and include five days' worth of non-perishable food and water, a can opener, flashlight, portable emergency radio (hand-crank, solar-powered or battery-operated), batteries, any prescription medication needed by family members, a first aid kit, list of phone numbers for relatives, neighbors and utility companies, and pictures and descriptions of your family.
- Don't forget about the pets: Include five days' worth of canned pet food and water, sturdy leashes, harnesses or carriers, current photos and descriptions and a litter box
- Identify your family's ‘in case of emergency' (ICE) contact and ensure children have the appropriate contact information should an emergency occur
- Identify an emergency meeting place for your family in case you get separated
Post-Disaster - Don't Take Safety for Granted
- Stay clear of downed wires and power lines and be extremely cautious of floodwater, which is likely to be contaminated
- Keep generators outside in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from the home; as a potential post-storm danger is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, especially if generators are being used as an alternative source of electricity
We may not know when Mother Nature is planning to visit, but can be prepared for her arrival, by adhering to the above safety guidelines. For additional information on disaster preparedness plans, as well as to learn more about a host of other family and home safety topics, please visit http://www.safetyathome.com/.