Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Emergency Preparation For Families

By Brian K. Newhouse, Director of Emergency Management, Hendry County, Fl.

This is the first in a series of articles to follow that will help you, the residents of Hendry County and the surrounding areas, to prepare yourself and your families to survive before, during and after a disaster strikes. Each week we will discuss a different topic related to the five main areas of Emergency Management: Prevention, Preparedness, Mitigation, Response and Recovery.

With last year’s hurricane season behind us as of November 30th, we now have had a chance to catch our breaths and enjoy the holidays with friends and family without the threat of a major storm or other disaster affecting our area. Just because it hasn’t happened in a while doesn’t mean it can’t. We cannot afford to let our guard down. There is only six months until the June 1st start of the next hurricane season and other disasters can happen anytime. Why not start planning now? Avoid the stress associated with rushing around trying to get ready because you procrastinated until an event was approaching.

This week, we are going to talk about disaster kits. Gathering all the needed supplies for a well stocked disaster kit can be expensive and time consuming but it does not have to be a hit to your wallet all at once. Using this 20 week plan, you can gather a handful of items during your weekly shopping trips that will help you build your disaster kit in no time, thereby giving you piece of mind knowing that you and your family are prepared for anything. Hendry County Emergency Management recommends your disaster kit contain water (3 gallons per person per day), food and supplies for a minimum of 72 hours, but, ideally for seven days. Additionally, you should store your kit in an inexpensive plastic tote to keep it mobile, organized, and dry.

Every family and situation is different, so you will need to personalize your kit to your family’s specific needs. Remember to consider special dietary needs, medications and your pets.

If you would like more information about preparedness or how you can get involved as an Emergency Management Reservist (volunteer), please contact the Emergency Operations Center at 863-674-5400 or 5404 or email me at brian.newhouse@hendryfla.net. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hendrycountyemergencymanagement or on Twitter @HendryCountyEM. On behalf of the entire team at Hendry County Emergency Management, I would like to wish each and every one of you a happy, health, prosperous and safe 2016! Here’s the shopping list for the week 1:

Week 1 – January 3rd - 9th, 2016

Things to do:

 If you haven’t already, make a Family Plan and a Pet Plan.
 If you have a current disaster kit, rotate out soon to be expired foods and medicines.

Items to Purchase

 1 gallon of water*
 1 can of meat*
 1 canned fruit*
 1 can of vegetables*
 Portable AM/FM radio with batteries or hand crank

* Per person

Note: Always check expiration dates. Make the item last as long as possible (at least through November 30). Shopping lists are just a guide. Please adjust to your family’s needs.

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