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Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness

Throughout human history there have been many threats to the security of nations. These threats have brought about large-scale losses of life, destruction of property, widespread illness and injury, the displacement of large numbers of people, and devastating economic loss. Over the past few years, our Country has been faced with an ever increasing risk to our national security.

Improving our national preparedness is not just a job for the professionals - law enforcement, firefighters, medical personnel - all Americans should be aware of potential threats so that we are all better prepared to react to any type of disaster, whether human- or nature-caused.

Every family should have the following in place:

  • Emergency Disaster Kit
  • Family Communications Plan

Emergency Disaster Kit

An Emergency Disaster Kit should be filled with items needed to sustain your family for at least three (3) days. Every kit, at minimum, should contain the following:

  • Bottled water - one gallon per person per day
    Change-out your water supply every six (6) months.
  • Prescription medications for all family members
    Replace as recommended by your physician.
  • Battery powered radio
    Check and/or replace batteries every 3-4 months.
  • Identification for all family members (copies are acceptable)
  • Cash (ATMs may not be operational)
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Change of clothing for all family members - update regularly
  • Extra batteries - replace annually
  • Flashlight
  • Non-perishable food items
    Rotate stored food items every six (6) months.
  • Manual can opener
  • Blankets
  • Personal hygiene items - toilet paper, soap, disinfectant, etc.
  • Assortment of miscellaneous tools
  • Special needs items for any family member
  • Entertainment items - books, games, etc.

Emergency Disaster Kit items should be placed in individual air-tight plastic bags and then all assembled in a waterproof container. The kit should be stored in a convenient place and all family members should know the location. It is a good idea to store a mini-Emergency Disaster Kit in the trunk of all vehicles. You may not be home when a disaster hits.

Family Communications Plan

Before an emergency situation occurs, families should discuss what each person should do in that type of situation. Families may be apart when disaster strikes - how will you find your family members? Where will the family meet or go if home is not an option? These types of questions should be addressed now so that your family can exert a measure of control in the face of a crisis.

  • Choose an out-of-town friend as a "check-in contact"
    Provide all family members with the contact person's telephone numbers and e-mail address.
  • Establish two (2) pre-determined meeting places
    • A location near your home, but a safe distance away in case of fire.
    • An alternate site, in case the first is inaccessible.
  • Know your children's school emergency plan
  • Know how to shut off water, gas, and electricity at your home
  • Learn C.P.R.
  • Designate who is responsible for the Emergency Disaster Kit

With a little planning and common sense, we can all be better prepared for the unexpected.

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