Personal Preparation for Emergencies
The following information has been adapted from several sources, including the American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Web sites. Every household should evaluate their tolerance for risk and consider their unique personal situation when deciding how to prepare for emergencies.
Food, Water & Supplies
Have water available for sanitation needs as well as for drinking.
Keep additional food and non-perishable basics, like toilet paper, tissue, dry goods, and canned goods on hand. Non-electric can openers could come in handy during any type of emergency.
A first aid kit and manual are essential for every home.
Keep your automobile's gas tank at least half full.
Assemble an Emergency Readiness Kit. The items needed for an Emergency Readiness Kit can also be used in any type of emergency.
Add low cost power surge protection to critical equipment or unplug equipment if there appears to be problems with electrical power. Don't forget to plug equipment back in after the problem has been resolved.
Keep a battery-operated radio around to receive emergency information. Have extra supplies of batteries and flashlights around the house. Don't use candles for emergency lighting.
Check your security system(s). Many have battery back-ups that kick in if the power goes out. Check with the manufacturer to make sure that your backup system will function.
Every household should have a working Fire Extinguisher for emergencies
Examine your smoke alarms and smoke detection systems now. If you have smoke alarms that are hard-wired into your home's electrical system (most newer ones are), check to see if they have working battery back-ups. Every fall, replace all batteries in all smoke alarms as a general fire safety precaution.
Have extra blankets, coats, hats, gloves, and sleeping bags to keep warm.
If you have or purchase alternative heating or cooking devices, make sure that the equipment has been approved for indoor use and is listed with Underwriters Laboratories. Use only in well-ventilated areas.
Locate the family board games, crafts, or a few good books in case there is a problem with television. The Dallas Public Library is a great source for low-tech fun year round.
Make sure that back-up power supply systems for in home medical devices are in proper working condition.
If you take prescription medications, make sure that you have up to a weeks's supply on hand.
Don't forget your pets; they need food and water too.
Identify special needs for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.
Have printed copies of important phone numbers. If you have a non-emergency problem, do not call 9-1-1. Use the 3-1-1 phone number for City of Dallas non-emergencies.
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