National Preparedness Month

ROBERTSVILLE VOLUNTEER FIRE CO WANTS YOU TO “BE DISASTER AWARE, TAKE ACTION TO PREPARE”

September is National Preparedness Month and Robertsville Volunteer Fire Co. wants residents to be ready in the event of a disaster or major emergency. This year’s theme, “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare” focuses on increasing emergency preparedness for everyone including residents, families, neighborhoods, schools and businesses.

By taking simple steps to connect, plan, build and practice, one can establish the foundation for emergency preparedness. By making a communication plan and reviewing it with loved ones you will know how to locate them if separated. “Planning needs may vary for children, seniors, college students as well as those with disabilities and/or animals,” said Fire Chief Keith Badler. ” Emergency kits are more than just food and water. “Think of it as an unexpected camping trip and your gear will need to keep you warm, fed, healthy and allow you to stay in contact with others,” said Chief Keith Badler “You and your family are encouraged to practice your family evacuation plan and reuniting at your chosen meeting site.” Below find information on how to build kits for your family or employees.

http://www.cdc.gov/features/beready/

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/nationalpreparednessmonth

FAMILY SUPPLY LIST

Ready Kids & The Federal Emergency Management Agency present:

Family Supply List

Emergency Supplies:
Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual’s kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.

Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:
– Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
– Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
– Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
– Flashlight and extra batteries
– First Aid kit
– Whistle to signal for help
– Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
– Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
– Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
– Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
– Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
– Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

Clothing and Bedding:
If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:
– A jacket or coat
– Long pants
– A long sleeve shirt
– Sturdy shoes
– A hat and gloves
– A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

Family Supply List (continued)

Below are some other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items, especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.
– Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on www.ready.gov
– Rain gear
– Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
– Cash or traveler’s checks, change
– Paper towels
– Fire Extinguisher
– Tent
– Compass
– Matches in a waterproof container*
– Signal flare*
– Paper, pencil
– Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
– Disinfectant*
– Household chlorine bleach* – You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency, you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
– Medicine dropper
– Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

CAR SAFETY

You can avoid many dangerous weather problems by planning ahead.  Plan long trips carefully, listening to the radio or television for the latest weather forecasts and road conditions. If bad weather is forecast, drive only if absolutely necessary.

Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:

  • Keep your gas tank full – in case evacuation is needed.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area – Six inches of water can cause a vehicle to lose control and possibly stall. A foot of water will float many cars.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded – Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • If a power line falls on your car you are at risk of electrical shock, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.
  • Antifreeze levels – ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
  • Battery and ignition system – should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
  • Brakes – check for wear and fluid levels.
  • Exhaust system – check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
  • Fuel and air filters – replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Heater and defroster – ensure they work properly.
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights – check for serviceability.
  • Oil – check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
  • Thermostat – ensure it works properly.
  • Windshield wiper equipment – repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
  • Install good winter tires – Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

If there is an explosion or other factor that makes it difficult to control the vehicle, pull over, stop the car and set the parking brake.

If the emergency could impact the physical stability of the roadway, avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards.

Make an Emergency Kit for Your Car

In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car including

  • Jumper cables: might want to include flares or reflective triangle
  • Flashlights: with extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit: remember any necessary medications, baby formula and diapers if you have a small child
  • Food: non-perishable food such as canned food, and protein rich foods like nuts and energy bars
  • Manual can opener
  • Water: at least 1 gallon of water per person a day for at least 3 days
  • Basic toolkit: pliers, wrench, screwdriver
  • Pet supplies: food and water  
  • Radio: battery or hand cranked
  • Cat litter or sand: for better tire traction
  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Clothes: warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes for the cold
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Charged Cell Phone: and car charger
Water is an essential element to survival and a necessary item in an emergency supplies kit. Following a disaster, clean drinking water may not be available. Your regular water source could be cut-off or compromised through contamination. Prepare yourself by building a supply of water that will meet your family’s needs during an emergency.

HOW MUCH WATER DO I NEED?

You should store at least one gallon of water per person for three days. A normally active person needs about three quarters of a gallon of fluid daily, from water and other beverages. However, individual needs vary, depending on age, health, physical condition, activity, diet and climate.

To determine your water needs, take the following into account:

  • One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more water.
  • A medical emergency might require additional water.
  • If you live in a warm weather climate more water may be necessary. In very hot temperatures, water needs can double.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person.

HOW SHOULD I STORE WATER?

It is recommended you purchase commercially bottled water, in order to prepare the safest and most reliable emergency water supply. Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open until you need to use it. Observe the expiration or “use by” date. Store in cool, dark place.

PREPARING YOUR OWN CONTAINERS OF WATER

It is recommended you purchase food-grade water storage containers from surplus or camping supplies stores to use for water storage.

Before filling with water, thoroughly clean the containers with dishwashing soap and water and rinse completely so there is no residual soap.

If you chose to use your own storage containers, choose two-liter plastic soft drink bottles – not plastic jugs or cardboard containers that have had milk or fruit juice in them. Milk protein and fruit sugars cannot be adequately removed from these containers and provide an environment for bacterial growth when water is stored in them. Cardboard containers also leak easily and are not designed for long-term storage of liquids. Also, do not use glass containers, because they can break and are heavy.

STORING WATER IN PLASTIC SODA BOTTLES

Follow these steps for storing water in plastic soda bottles.

Thoroughly clean the bottles with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap.

Sanitize the bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Mix the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.

Fill the bottle to the top with regular tap water. If the tap water has been commercially treated from a water utility with chlorine, you do not need to add anything else to the water to keep it clean. If the water you are using comes from a well or water source that is not treated with chlorine, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water. Let the water stand for 30 minutes before using.

A slight chlorine odor should be noticeable in the water, if not, add another dose of bleach and allow the water to stand another 15 minutes.

Tightly close the container using the original cap. Be careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of it with your finger. Place a date on the outside of the container so you can know when you filled it. Store in cool, dark place.

Water can also be treated with water purification tablets that can be purchased at most sporting goods stores.

Water that has not been commercially bottled should be replaced every six months.

More information on water treatment is available at RedCross.org.

FOOD

Consider the following things when putting together your emergency food supplies:

  • Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Choose foods your family will eat.
  • Remember any special dietary needs.
  • Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
  • Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.

Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils.