Tips to keep your family safe for National Preparedness Month

Which Americans Are Most (and Least) Prepared For Disasters?
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WASHINGTON – Are you prepared for an emergency? If the answer is no, September is National Preparedness Month, and it’s the perfect time to start building an emergency plan.

If you’re unsure of where to start, the Washington State Department of Health has some emergency preparedness tips to help address and maintain the safety of Washingtonians.

The department says to keep important documents nearby in a safe location, that way they’re easy to access. According to the department, there are a few extra items people with disabilities should keep in a secure location. For example, store hearing devices nearby, and prepare extra batteries for a wheelchair. If you use a can or walker, the department says to keep an emergency kit with an extra or keep the cane in an easily accessible location.

Your full emergency supply kit should include some of the following:

  • Dry or canned food and drinking water for each person
  • Can opener
  • First aid supplies and first aid book
  • A change of clothing
  • Sleeping bag or blanket
  • Battery powered radio or television
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Whistle
  • Waterproof matches
  • Toys, books, puzzles, games
  • Extra house keys and car keys
  • List of contact names and phone numbers

Additionally, some of these items can be stored in your car as well. A few emergency supplies to practice vehicle preparedness include a gallon of water per person in your family, a small shovel, jumper cables, tow chain, and a road flare. You should also include some non-perishable foods that won’t make you thirsty, like whole grain cereals and foods with high liquid content.

The department also suggests to make a plan that includes an “out-of-area” contact. This person should live at least 100 miles away from you. It may be difficult to make local calls because large numbers of people may be using the phone lines at the same time. However, you should be able to make long distance calls.

For more on how to prepare your family in the case of an emergency or disaster, including how to secure water heaters or what to do if your home loses power, visit here.