Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Emergency Preparedness

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Catastrophies can happen, are you prepared?  Pierce County Emergency Management and Preparedness website has an array of resources available to the public!   Follow this link to view helpful information, communication and emergency planning tips:

http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/index.aspx?NID=945

 

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Making Your Emergency Kit "To Go"

Water, food, and clean air are basic needs. You should tailor your family’s emergency "to go" kit to meet the needs of each individual family member. Include important family documents in a waterproof container. These may include copies of your identification, insurance policies, and bank records.

 Basic Items for Your Portable Emergency Kit:

  1. Water (1 gallon per person per day for 3 days minimum) for drinking and personal care
  2. Food: A 3-7 day supply of non-perishable food
  3. Radio (hand crank or battery-powered)
  4. Weather Radio (NOAA version with tone alert)
  5. Whistle to signal for help
  6. Flashlight and extra batteries
  7. Dust mask to filter contaminated air
  8. Moist towelettes (wipes), garbage bags and plastic ties for personal care
  9. Wrench and/or pliers to turn off utilities
  10. Can opener (manual or battery-powered) for food
  11. Local maps
  12. Unique family needs (medications, infant formula, diapers, important documents, etc.) Know Your Water and Food Needs

Your family needs water and food to survive. Knowing how much you'll need and the proper use in advance will help you manage your emergency.

Water Tips

  • Allow for 1 gallon of water, per person, per day for drinking and personal care. If you have pets, include their water needs in your estimates.
  • Keep at least a 3-day supply of water per person.
  • Children, nursing mothers, and sick individuals may need more water.
  • People in warm weather areas need more water.
  • Store water in clean plastic containers such as soft drink bottles.
  • If you know an emergency situation is eminent and you have time, fill as many containers as you can with water, including bathtubs.
  • As a last resort, the water contained in your water heater can be filtered through several layers of cotton (a tee-shirt will do the trick) and used.
  • If water supplies run low, never ration water. Drink the amount you need today, and try to find more for tomorrow.

Food Tips

  • Store at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Choose foods that do not require refrigeration, preparation, and cook with little or no water.
  • Pack a manual can opener and eating utensils, like forks, knives, and spoons.
  •  Choose foods your family will eat:

    • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
    • Protein or fruit bars
    • Dry cereal or granola
    • Peanut butter
    • Dried fruit
    • Nuts
    • Crackers
    • Canned juices
    • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
    • High-energy foods
    • Vitamins
    • Food for infants
    • Comfort/stress foods
    • Try to avoid salty foods as this will increase your thirst.

    Individuals with special diets and allergies will need special attention, as will babies, toddlers and the elderly. Be sure to take their needs into consideration.

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    A First Aid Kit Can Be a Lifesaver!

     In an emergency, you or a family member could be injured. Burns, cuts, and scrapes are common minor injuries that can be treated properly if you have the right supplies available. Consider taking a first aid class. Have a first aid kit as part of your supplies to stop bleeding, prevent infection, and assist in decontamination.

    Creating an Emergency First Aid Kit

  • Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves if you are allergic to Latex
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection
  • Burn ointment to prevent infection
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant
  • Thermometer
  • Medical supplies like those required for glucose and blood pressure monitoring, if needed
  • Daily medications such as insulin, heart medicine, and asthma inhalers (You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates)
  • Cell phone
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Antacid (for upset stomach)
  • Laxatives (for constipation)
  • Anti-diarrheal Special Needs Remember the special needs of your family. Infants, seniors, and those with disabilities need additional planning. Here are a few helpful things to think about when planning for your family. For Babies:
  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Powdered milk
  • Baby wipes
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Vaccination records
  • List of allergic reactions

    For Children:

    Emergency plans can be a scary thing for kids. One way to involve your children is to make your plan a fun family project. FEMA offers a great web site for kids to help you teach them about emergencies in a way that's fun for the whole family. For more information, visit www.fema.gov/

    For Adults:

     Pack all your medical and health management supplies. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the storing of your prescription medicines like heart and high blood pressure medicine and diabetes management medications.

  • Prescriptions
  • Dentures and supplies
  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Spare eyeglasses

    For Seniors:

    Seniors may have health conditions that need special attention. Make sure you plan for them.

  • Make an evacuation plan or decide how to signal for help.
  • Plan emergency procedures with caregivers like healthcare agencies or private nurses.
  • Tell others where you keep your emergency supplies.
  • Make a list of prescription medications (with your dosage) for your supply kit.
  • Have a list of your allergies in your supply kit.
  • Pack an extra pair of eyeglasses and hearing aid batteries.
  • Have extra special equipment (like wheelchair batteries, etc.) in your kit.
  • Make a list of serial numbers for any medical devices for your kit.
  • Make copies of all medical insurance and Medicare cards.
  • Keep a list of doctors and emergency contacts.

    For Disabled Persons:

    People with disabilities may need special planning. Here are some tips to help plan for their safety.

  • Create a support network to help in case of an emergency.
  • Give one member of your support network a key to your house or apartment.
  • Wear any medical alert tags or bracelets to help identify your disability.
  • Dialysis patients should know the location and availability of multiple facilities.
  • Teach others how to work your wheelchair.
  • Know the size and weight of your wheelchair and if/how it collapses for travel.
  • Label any equipment (wheelchairs, canes, and walkers) with your name and contact information.
  • Make a list of prescription medications including your dosage for your supply kit.
  • Have a list of your allergies in your supply kit.
  • Pack an extra pair of eyeglasses and additional hearing aid batteries.
  • Have extra special equipment (like wheelchair batteries, etc.) in your kit.
  • Make a list of serial numbers for any medical devices for your kit.
  • Keep a list of doctors and emergency contacts.
  • Register with your city or county emergency information management office so they may quickly locate you in an emergency situation.

    Stay Warm in Cold Weather

    Depending on your location and the time of year, you may need to think about how you and your family will stay warm. The power may be out and you may not have heat. Have plenty of warm clothing for each family member in your supply kit, including items like:

  • Jacket or coat
  • Long pants
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Sturdy shoes or boots
  • Hat and gloves
  • Blankets or a warm sleeping bag
  • Pack Your Financial First Aid Kit

    In an emergency, it may be important for you and your family to have documents like identification, insurance policies, or financial information. The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) should go with you in a waterproof container wherever you go. Having this information ready in advance can help you in an emergency.

    This kit should have a variety of personal and financial information, including:

  • Personal household information
  • Professional advisors and health care providers
  • Private security and access information

    Note: be extra careful about safeguarding your Financial First Aid Kit. The information in it can make identity theft easy.

    Preparing a Kit for Pets 

    Your pets are important members of your family. They each have special needs. They need you to plan for them. Planning to care for your pets is simple if you take the time to work out a few details. The results can bring warmth and companionship to your family for years to come.

    Pack the Basics

    Just like humans, pets need some basic survival needs. You can build your kit from the basics and tailor it based on the special needs of your pet.

    Pet To-Go Bag

  • A current color photograph of you and your pet together (in case you are separated).
  • Copies of medical records that indicate dates of vaccinations and a list of medications your pet takes and why he or she takes them.
  • Proof of identification and ownership, including copies of registration information, adoption papers, proof of purchase, and microchip information.
  • Physical description of your pet, including his/her species, breed, age, sex, color, distinguishing traits, and any other vital information about characteristics and behavior.
  • Animal first-aid kit, including flea and tick treatment and other items recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Food and water for at least three days.
  • Food and water dishes.
  • Collapsible cage or carrier.
  • Muzzle and sturdy leash.
  • Cotton sheet to place over the carrier to help keep your pet calm.
  • Comforting toys or treats.
  • Litter, litter pan, litter scoop.
  • Plastic bags for clean-up.

    For more information, see "Animal Safety – Pets and Disaster: Safety Checklist" from the American Red Cross at: www.redcross.org

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