With September being National Emergency Preparedness Month, we’ve covered fire safety on public and private lands, farm safety for you and your hired hands, as well as how to prepare for an emergency and what to include in a 72-hour emergency kit. Today we’re going to wrap up emergency prep month with some information on how to plan for an evacuation and how to contact your family when communications are limited.
Creating an Emergency Plan
According to the American Red Cross, it’s important to discuss and create an emergency plan with everyone in your family. Discuss how you will ALL prepare for and respond to an emergency in your area, responsibilities for each member of your family, and how you can work together as a team. Then, practice as much of your plan as possible.
Some possible emergencies that can happen anywhere include chemical spills, fire, drought, flooding, flu epidemic, landslides, power outages, and terrorism. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s important to also plan for the unexpected earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, wildfire, and severe winter storm.
If a certain emergency requires that you shelter in place for several days, be sure you have the resources on hand to feed and protect your family. Ready to make your emergency kit? Check out our article Preparing for an Emergency with a 72-Hour Supply Kit.
Coastal Tip: Air-tight freezers can stay cold for several days. Move any of your perishable food from the refrigerator to the freezer during an emergency to extend freshness and edibility.
Know Your Evacuation Plan
As a family, decide where you will go if forced to evacuate your home, town, county, or state. It’s important everyone knows where to meet just in case you are not together when an emergency occurs.
Narrow the choices down to a local school, a friend’s home, or evacuation center that everyone agrees upon. Then, practice meeting at one or all of the locations. Be sure to bring your 72-hour emergency kit. If the disaster requires you leave your county or state, find a geographic location that everyone knows and can find if necessary.
Traffic never cooperates on the best of days, so you know that during an emergency you will encounter terrible driving conditions. Map out alternative routes to your destination, and be sure to have paper maps on hand to help you navigate, if necessary.
Coastal Tip: Plan ahead for your pets as well. Your four-legged family members will need you to think for them if an emergency occurs.
When Communication Systems Fail
During many natural disasters and other emergencies, wireless services and online connections may not be available. To help families reunite or at least let one another know they are okay, the American Red Cross has created a Safe and Well website and phone number.
If you are separated from your family, call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) using a landline or functioning cell phone to register yourself as “okay” after an emergency in your area. Then others can call the same number or visit the site to see that you are alive and well.
Prepare for Anything at Coastal
Your Northwest owned and operated Coastal Farm & Ranch has the items you need to compile a comprehensive 72-hour emergency kit, including non-perishable Mountain Home freeze-dried food with a shelf life of 20 years. You’ll also find camping stoves and propane, generators, warm work clothing and footwear, as well as your outdoor supplies such as guns, ammunition, and fishing gear.