Over the past few months, we’ve seen a tropical storm take aim at Southern Nevada and wildfires spreading from the California border. Nationally, deadly tornadoes, damaging floods and hurricanes seem to be in the headlines every day. Whether it is natural disaster or a man-made situation, you should have a plan.
September is National Preparedness Month, which is an excellent time to create (or update) an emergency plan for you and your loved ones. Where should your family meet if disaster strikes? What should you take if you need to evacuate your home? What about any medications or special needs? Answering these questions in advance can save time and anxiety during an emergency.
Suggestions from the Boulder City Fire Department include:
- Select an out-of-town contact in case local phone lines are out and you need to let family know where you are.
- Talk to friends and family so that, if you need to evacuate your home, you have a temporary place to stay (and vice versa).
- Keep a list of all of your medications in case you need to leave home in a hurry, and make sure you are up-to-date on vaccinations.
- Check on your neighbors and friends, especially those people with special needs and who are elderly.
- Rotate your basic home emergency kit every six to 12 months. Your kit should contain what you would need for camping at a site where there is no electricity.
- Keep up to 14 days of water (one gallon per person per day) and non-perishable food for your household and pets.
“You should also keep a first aid kit, an all-weather radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, a one-week supply of medications and personal hygiene items in your emergency kit at all times,” said Chief Will Gray. “Update your vehicle emergency kit and keep water, a blanket, a flashlight and a cell phone charger in your car.”
Pets should also be a part of your emergency plan; be sure to keep dog and cat licenses updated and microchip all pets. Back up important documents and files, and keep them where they can be accessed immediately if needed.
Several apps are available for weather alerts or to help build an emergency plan. For more information on preparedness, visit www.ready.gov.