As we mentioned in our previous post Protecting Yourself and Your Business from Spring Storms, in addition to protecting your personal and business assets, it is even more important to protect yourself and other people in the event of a severe storm or other dangerous weather event.
Three key actions you can take now to be prepared for severe weather at home and at work include keeping a Go Bag handy, having adequate survival supplies available at your home and place of business, and creating a communication plan for your family and employees.
A Go Bag is a collection of items that you pack in an easily accessible knapsack, duffel bag, or small suitcase to take with you in case you need to be evacuated from your home or business. According to the U.S. government’s www.ready.gov website, your Go Bag should include:
- Copies of important documents in a waterproof and portable container (insurance cards, birth certificates, deeds, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.)
- An extra set of keys for your car, house, and business facilities
- Credit and ATM cards and $100 cash in small denominations
- Bottled water and nonperishable food, such as energy or granola bars
- A light emitting diode (LED) flashlight which lasts up to 10 times longer than a traditional flashlight.
- A Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries
- At home, a list of any medications that the members of your household takes, why they take them, and their dosages. If you store extra medication in your Go Bag, be sure to refill it before it expires.
- A first aid kit, lightweight rain gear and a Mylar blanket
Emergency Supply Kit
In addition to your Go Bag, preparing an emergency supply kit with items you need in case you have to shelter for several days in your house or place of work, is also important. Experts advise keeping enough supplies in your home to survive on your own, or shelter in place, for at least three days including:
- One gallon of drinking water per person per day
- Nonperishable, ready-to-eat canned foods and a manual can opener
- A first aid kit, an LED flashlight, and a battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries similar to what is in your Go Bag
- A whistle and a phone that does not rely on electricity
- Iodine tablets or one quart of unscented bleach (for disinfecting water ONLY if directed to do so by health officials) and an eyedropper (for adding bleach to water)
- Personal hygiene items: soap, feminine hygiene products, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc.
In addition to the supplies noted above, another critical element of storm preparation is creating a communications plan for your family and, if you own a business, your employees. You should also inquire about emergency plans at other places where your family spends time such as daycare and school, faith organizations, sports events, and commuting.
Your plan should be reviewed with each person included in it before an emergency or severe weather event happens. The goal of having a communication plan is to create an understanding of how you and your family members (or employees) will contact each other in the event of severe weather if you are not together and where you should meet away from your home or business — both in the neighborhood and within your town. Your plan should also include a plan for when you travel between your home, work, and other commonly visited locations, in case of an emergency. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides a communication plan template that you can use to create your own plan.
While preparing for severe storms or other emergency weather events by assembling a Go Bag, supplies, and a communication plan does take a little time and effort, it is one of the best preventative measures you can take to protect yourself and the people that you care about.
Let’s talk about any questions you may have about preparing for potential spring storms. Contact us, we are here to help.
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