Yesterday’s earthquake near Shelton and the number of recent large-scale disasters such as the tsunami which hit the Samoan islands and the earthquakes in Indonesia and Samoa serve as a reminder to local families that disasters often happen with little or no warning. The American Red Cross Mount Rainier Chapter urges everyone to be “Red Cross Ready” and take the steps to be better prepared for any emergencies which may happen here locally.
“This is an important reminder to take the time now to develop a family emergency plan, create an evacuation plan, choose out-of-state emergency contacts, and build a disaster supplies kit,” said Steve Finley, Director of Emergency Services for the American Red Cross Mount Rainier Chapter. “You never know when a disaster will strike and any preparedness you do now will help you during an emergency.”
Making a plan is the first and perhaps the most important part of a family’s emergency preparedness plans. As a family, determine what disasters may occur in your community and how you may be impacted. Use the information to plan how you would contact each other if at home, work or school. Identify an out-of-town relative or friend to serve as the family’s emergency contact.
“After a disaster, local telephone lines may be busy and overloaded. It’s often easier to call out of the affected area,” Finley explained. “The role of the family’s out-of-state contact is to collect and communicate the safety and status of an individual to friends and family. Then, when conditions allow,” he added, “they help everyone reconnect. Everyone, including children, should know the family’s out-of-state emergency contact information and keep the phone numbers handy.”
Identify two meeting locations — right outside the home and outside the neighborhood — in case you cannot return home to meet after a disaster. Find time to gather the necessary emergency supplies which will help you both follow the plan and stay safe during and after a disaster or other emergency. For more information about emergency preparedness, please contact your local Red Cross office or visit www.rainier-redcross.org.
Be Red Cross Ready
Make a Plan: Create an evacuation plan for your family and pets. Together plan how you are going to evacuate your home in case of an emergency, where you are going to meet outside of the household, and who your emergency contacts are going to be. Develop
a check list with all this information. This is a great step to becoming prepared for an emergency.
Get a Kit: The Red Cross has pre-assembled kits available for purchase to the public, but you also can assemble your own kit that will be personalized to your family and their needs. If you are going to create your own emergency preparedness kit, remember to include enough water, food, medicine, clothing and other miscellaneous items to last for a minimum of three to seven days.
Be Informed: Being informed about what type of natural disasters affect your geographical area will help prepare your family for any emergencies that come your way. Also, listening to the radio or watching the local news stations to see what local authorities are telling you to do in case of an emergency will help keep your family safe and calm. The more clear-headed you are, the easier it will be for you to focus and get the help you need.