September is National Preparedness Month! Sponsored by Ready.gov, the goal of this awareness month is to encourage you to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies at home, work, and within your community. Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) will be providing information, resources, and tips to assist you with emergency preparedness.
If you and your family are faced with a family emergency or a regional disaster, the effort you’ve put into family preparedness and disaster planning today will play a large role in how well you "survive" the event. Here are some of the planning tools you need to enhance your family’s preparedness.
IDENTIFY STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO MINIMIZE OR PREVENT THE HAZARD IMPACTS
Determine procedures and practices you can develop/implement to enhance your disaster resistance. Consult with the Red Cross, your local Emergency Manager or FEMA for assistance.
- Plans for home escape, neighborhood evacuation, and family communication.
- Procedures for drop, cover, and hold; shelter in-place; and utility shutoff.
- Training in CPR, basic first aid, and use of a fire extinguisher.
- Hazard-resistant construction materials.
- Flood proofing, landscaping, and site drainage practices.
- Non-structural earthquake hazard mitigation techniques.
- Warning system installation (e.g., smoke detectors).
- Comprehensive hazard insurance for your home and personal property (e.g., fire, flood, and earthquake).
- Neighborhood disaster resource inventory.
IDENTIFY THE HAZARDS
Do you know what hazards could occur in your area? Visit the library, contact the American Red Cross or your local Emergency Manager, and log on to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) web site at http://www.fema.gov to learn about the hazards in your area.
LEARN HOW THE HAZARDS CAN IMPACT YOUR FAMILY
Assess what the consequences might be for your family when disaster strikes. Consider the time of day, the day of the week, and the time of year.
IDENTIFY EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED TO HELP SURVIVE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES
- Food and Water
- First Aid Supplies
- Sanitation Supplies
- Clothing and Bedding
- Prescription and Non-prescription
- Light Sources (flashlights, candles, and/ or light sticks)
- Tools, Equipment, and Supplies (manual can opener, utensils, fire extinguisher, matches, money, batteries, etc.)
- Special Items (baby supplies, pet food, important family documents, etc.)
IDENTIFY THE EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES, PROCEDURES, AND PRACTICES YOU ALREADY HAVE IN PLACE
- Camping Gear (sleeping bags, cooking equipment, utensils, etc.)
- Fire Escape Plan
- Extra Food and Water
- First Aid Kit
IDENTIFY YOUR SHORTFALLS
What equipment, supplies, procedures, and plans do you need to complete your family preparedness effort?
DEVELOP A PLAN TO ELIMINATE THE SHORTFALLS
- Identify short and long term objectives. For the short term, focus on items that are low cost or easy to implement and that have high payoff. Some suggestions include:
- Install hazard warning systems such as smoke detectors.
- Develop fire escape and neighborhood evacuation plans.
- Develop a simple family communications plan such as a wallet card with common numbers to call and important policy numbers.
- Develop drop, cover, and hold; utility shutoff; and shelter in-place procedures.
- Attend CPR, basic first aid, and fire extinguisher training.
- Begin or expand your disaster supplies kit. Start with basic necessities such as food, water, light sources, first aid supplies, clothing, and bedding.
- Host a neighborhood meeting to exchange preparedness information and ideas.
TRAIN AND MAINTAIN
- Conduct fire evacuation drills.
- Test smoke detectors.
- Test/recharge fire extinguishers.
- Test communications plans.
- Practice utility shutoff; drop, cover, and hold; and shelter in-place procedures.
- Replace stored food, water, and medicines before the expiration date.
Remember, the planning and preparation you do now will play a large role in how well you "survive" the event!
Portland Fire & Rescue
We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
September 9, 2011