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General Tips for Disaster Preparedness


The steps you take prior to and during an emergency situation can help to save lives and possibly protect your home and belongings. Unfortunately, many people do not think about emergencies until they are facing one. Preparing for and knowing what to do during an emergency is extremely important. Here are a few general tips to help you with general disaster preparedness. 

Make An Emergency Disaster Supply Kit

One of the best ways to prepare for an emergency is to create an emergency disaster supply kit. There are pre-made kits you can purchase online or you can make your own. Take some time to browse the internet and read over different suggestions for things you should include in your kit. Most kits should include all the supplies you will need in the event of an emergency, including clean drinking water, canned food, a can opener, a flashlight, a portable cell phone charger that doesn't require energy, a handheld radio, enough medication to last for 7 to 10 days, clean clothes and a first aid kit. 

Prepare For an Incoming EmergencyBe Prepared sign with sky background

In some cases, you know that a disaster may be heading your way, such as a hurricane heading your way. If you know a disaster is heading your way, take the time to prepare for the incoming emergency. This may include filling up your car's gas tank, ensuring you have gas on hand for gas-powered generators, charging up your electronics, filling a bathtub with clean water, and boarding up your windows and doors. When possible, take the time to prepare as much as possible. 

Turn Off Your Electricity, Gas and Main Water Valve

If you are evacuating your home, preparing for a possible fire or a possible flood, it is wise to turn off your electricity, gas and main water valve to your home. Shutting off these items before you leave can help to prevent these items from causing further problems to your home or for emergency responders in the event of a disaster. It is suggested that you take the time to learn where your shut-off valves or boxes are, so you know exactly where they are in the event of an emergency. 

Follow the Directions of Your Local Officials

During a disaster, your local or state officials may issue directives to you. You may see these directives on the TV, hear them on the radio, receive text messages, or even have police and other responders in your neighborhood communicating these directives to you. These directives may tell you to evacuate the area, to hunker down and remain in the area, or may include a curfew for your city. During and immediately after a disaster, it is important that you follow the directives. Public officials issue these directives to help keep you and the community safe, while also making it easier for first responders to do their job as well. 

Sign Up With Smart911

Smart911 is an app that you can download on your phone. Many people do not realize that if they have an emergency and need to make a 911 phone call from their cell phone, emergency dispatchers may not immediately have the same information that they do when you are calling from a landline. Smart911 allows you to enter in your name and age, as well as the name and age of all the people in your household, your address, and other vital information, such as any medical conditions you may have. When you call 911 from a cell phone, the 911 dispatch center receives the information from the Smart911 app, so that they can better serve you. 

Emergencies can strike at any time, with or without warning. Taking steps prior to a disaster occurring and knowing what to do in the event of a disaster can help to ensure you have the best chances of staying safe and unharmed during a disaster.