It’s no secret that we live in earthquake country and the recent earthquakes in southern California are a reminder that we all need to be prepared for emergencies. Earthquakes strike without warning and often impact our access to water, electricity, phone service and emergency personnel for days if not weeks and months. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends people be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days following an earthquake. This is even more critical for us as health care providers. Being personally prepared and having a family disaster plan at home ensures we are able to come in to help our community respond and recover.
Steps to prepare for a disaster.
- Create a family disaster plan. Your plan should include information on how to connect with family and loved ones in an event of a disaster and where you can meet up if you are separated.
- Prepare a disaster kit. Kits should include supplies like food, water and medicine for all members of your family including pets for at least three days.
- Consider the needs of all family members. Do you have family members with limited mobility and functionality? An extended disruption in basic services like electricity may be inconvenient for most, but it can be a matter of life or death for a person who relies on supplied oxygen or a ventilator.
There are many other steps you can take to prepare for emergencies. Know the risks in your community, stay informed and get involved. Remember our community will be counting on us for aide. The better prepared we are at home the better we can help our community during a disaster.
For information on how you can prepare today visit www.acgov.org/ready.