by Tammie Weyker-Adkins
Public Information Officer
Tulare County HHSA
With all of the natural disasters happening these days that even include a volcano, and the emergencies that we can face due to the summer heat, this seemed like a perfect time to share this article on Emergency Preparedness that comes to us from the Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency.
Do you have an emergency supply kit in your home? In the event of a disaster, an emergency supply kit can help keep you and your loved ones safe and comfortable. Let’s discuss what you should have in your kit and why.
During an emergency, you may be unable to leave your home for several days, or you may need to leave your home very quickly and stay away for several weeks or more. In either scenario, you may not have easy access to food, water, or utilities such as electricity or gas/propane. While you wait for government support, you should be ready to care for yourself, and you may need to help others.
Having both a small, backpack kit and a large kit, such as a wheeled tub or chest, both filled with essential supplies (such as food, water, medications, important identity and travel documents, medical information, credit cards, cash, and personal items) that you can grab at a moment’s notice will increase your success in caring for yourself and your loved ones. If you have enough time, you can grab valuables like laptops, family photos, and other irreplaceable items.
Gathering emergency supplies is relatively easy; you may have most of the items already in your home. The easiest way to build a kit is to buy extra supplies when shopping, which can be spread out over time to fit any budget. You’ll want a seven-day supply of nonperishable food, a manual can opener, and three gallons of water per person, per day. Remember to include prescriptions and other special medications, sanitation supplies, and pet food, plus enough clean clothing, a pair or two of sturdy shoes, a first aid kit, a flashlight, electronics chargers, a battery-powered radio, and plenty of batteries. Don’t forget to rotate supplies so that your kit is always fresh and nothing goes to waste!
If this all seems overwhelming, just remember that in a crisis, you should leave as quickly as possible, and you may need to assist others along the way. If you have to evacuate immediately, keep these six Ps ready:
3. Papers (documents)
4. Phone numbers
6. Payment (i.e., credit cards and cash)
In an emergency, how would your loved ones get in touch with you? Make a plan now and set a meeting location. Consider having a check-in process with an out-of-state contact in case you can’t reach local friends and family. Most importantly, leave a note at your home or online (i.e., email, text, or social media message) as to your whereabouts, turn on your radio to get updates and emergency instructions, and always remain calm in an emergency.
For more information on emergency supplies, visit www.ready.gov.
Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency
5957 S. Mooney Blvd.
Visalia, CA 93277