Now that you have realized that a disaster could happen, and you need to take responsibility for yourself and your loved ones, it’s time to…
Identify what emergencies, and natural or other disasters are most likely to occur in your home or community
Include those that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play. These can range from emergencies only affecting you or your family such as a home fire or medical emergency, to those affecting your entire community, like a tornado or flood.
As a Lake County resident, the Lake County Emergency Management Agency recommends having a plan for:
- Power Outage
- Winter Storm
Depending on where you live or work, you could also be at higher risk of hazardous materials spills, explosions, or other such emergencies. After the entire country experienced the terror of September 11, 2001, we also know this type of disaster is also possible.
Meet with your family and household members
Discuss preparation for and response to emergencies identified in step one. This includes assigning specific responsibilities for each member of your household, and stressing the need to plan and work together as a team.
In case you get separated
It is also important to plan and discuss what to do in case members of your family are separated during an emergency. Select TWO places for your family members to meet – one being outside your home and the second being outside your neighborhood, in the case of a broader emergency.
Out-of-town emergency contact
It is possible that phone lines, internet and/or cell phones could be ineffective during an emergency. So consider identifying an emergency contact out-of-town, who may be easier for separated family members to contact.
First aid and CPR
When a major disaster occurs, your entire community can change in an instant. There simply are not enough trained safety or medical professionals to individually help every person, and they will be assisting the most vulnerable, such as our seniors or those with disabilities.
Loved ones or your neighbors could be hurt and emergency response is likely to be delayed. It is therefore recommended that at least one person in your household is trained in first aid and CPR, including how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Training is useful in many emergency situations. Contact your local fire department for information on where and how you could receive this potentially life-saving training – which could even save your own life.
Adopt a neighbor
If you don’t have a large family to be concerned with, or once you are confident that your preparedness plan will keep them safe, can you think about others in your community who may need your assistance in an emergency? Especially consider the elderly, those with physical or mental disabilities, or families with young children who may not have adequate adults available to guide them through an emergency. Your local fire department and the county 2-1-1 would also like to know the street addresses of these more vulnerable people in your neighborhood.
Periodically review your plan
Once your plan is created, at least once every year:
- Review its relevance based on the age and maneuverability of people in your household
- Discuss the entire revised plan with all members of your family and household
- Practice executing the plan, especially if you have youngsters, elderly, and/or at-risk family or household members