The first step in being prepared is to be informed about emergencies that can affect your community. It is important to have a source of information you can rely on to get information about emergencies. For example, having a NOAA Weather Radio inside your home increases your chances of surviving a tornado. Also, having a way of getting information when an emergency is in progress will keep you abreast of the situation. Choose a local media outlet on which you can rely. This will become your way of getting information when an emergency occurs. Also, the EMA offers three different ways of being informed. They are:
Make a Plan
When an emergency occurs, your family may not be together. Therefore, it is important for all family members to know what to do, and how to contact one another in an emergency. Here are three things you can do to get started.
Identify an out-of-town contact for your family. When an emergency occurs, it may be difficult to make calls to one another within your area. However, people are often able to make out-of-town calls. Therefore, identify an out-of-town contact that everyone in your family can call when an emergency happens. This person will become the point-of-contact if your family is not together in an emergency. Make sure that everyone not only has the number programmed in their phone, but knows it as well.
Program your emergency contact into your cell phone with "ICE" beside their name. "ICE" stands for in case of emergency and indicates to emergency personnel that this person is designated to be your emergency contact.
Use text messaging. It is often difficult to make a call during an emergency. However, people are often able to send text messages.
Understanding how to respond when an emergency occurs is crucial for your family. For Etowah County, the most prominent emergencies are:
- Severe Thunderstorms
- Heat Waves
- Winter Storms
- Chemical Emergencies
Click here to get information on planning for these emergencies. Make sure that you plan with your family. It is important that everyone know how to respond.
Make an Emergency Supply Kit
An emergency supply kit, also known as a disaster supply kit, is simply a stock of basic supplies that you may need in an emergency. If the power is out or travel is impossible, these items will help you survive and be comfortable. We recommend stockpiling enough of these items to last for at least three days. These items include:
- Water-One gallon per person, per day.
- Non-perishable food-Examples include ready to eat canned food, nuts, granola bars, peanut butter, dried fruit, comfort food, and baby food.
- Manual Can Opener
- Medications-Non-prescriptions such as pain relievers, antacids, and stomach medicine. Ask your doctor about stockpiling an extra supply of prescription medications for your emergency preparedness kit. Rotate these periodically to avoid medications from expiring.
- First Aid Kit-Sterile gloves, bandages, antibiotic ointments, burn creams, thermometer, and eye solution.
- Flashlight and Batteries
- Battery Powered Radio
- Extra Clothes
- Personal Care Items-Soap, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, and feminine products.
- Important Documents-Copy of driver's licenses, social security cards, birth certificates, deeds, titles, mortgage papers, insurance policies, bank account numbers and credit cards. Keep these items backed up on a flash drive for backup.
For more ideas on items for your emergency supply kit, click here.