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Disaster Preparedness: How to Prepare Yourself in Case of an Emergency

By: Inter Valley Health Plan

In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the variety of wildfires and earthquakes we have been experiencing here in the U.S., in addition to September being National Preparedness Month, it is more important than ever to be prepared in the event of a natural disaster.

Step 1: do you have an emergency kit? If the answer is “no,” this is the first step to take. Planning ahead by creating an emergency kit will ensure you have the necessary supplies to keep you safe – at least until you get more comprehensive help. An effective emergency kit will have supplies for at least three days. Here are important supplies to include (but not limited to):

        2.Canned or ready-made food
        3.Water (one gallon per person, per day)
        5.Food for your pets (if you have any)
        6.First aid kit including an emergency blanket
        7.Sanitation items
        8.A few changes of clothing
        9.Cash and copies of personal documents (medication list/information; deeds to home; social security cards, birth certificates, etc.)

Don’t forget to create a small emergency kit to keep in your car as well. Also, be sure to check all of the contents every six months to ensure medications and food haven’t expired.

Step 2: Next, you will need to create a plan. Planning ahead reduces anxiety, so this is an important step. Meet with your family and friends to assess yourself and your household. Do you have any limitations (e.g. wheelchair) that need to be considered? Do you have pets that will need to be transported or cared for? Be sure to plan out all the details and write it down on paper to share with everyone. Also, it is likely that you won’t be able to make local calls, so designate an out-of-town contact person that everyone can contact to keep tabs of the group and who can help make calls, if needed.

Step 3: Stay informed and up-to-date. Every six months when you are reviewing the contents of your emergency kit, be sure to review your plan with your friends and family. Conduct practice drills to ensure your plans work seamlessly. Sign up for your city community text and emergency alerts as well to stay informed of new community plans or other updates during these difficult times.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to come up with a plan and prepare yourself and your loved ones with the necessary tools and equipment to be safe.

Inter Valley Health Plan hosts classes regularly on health and vitality. For a full list of classes in your area, please visit ivhp.com/forhealthandliving.

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