There are lots of different types of emergencies; from simple power failures to more serious events like chemical spills, earthquakes, and fires. Emergencies can be devastating and can force you to evacuate the area or confine you to your home. Families and communities are more quickly able to recover from emergencies by preparing in advance and working together as a team.
Here are 10 ways you can prepare for disaster:
- Learn which kinds of natural and human-caused disasters pose a risk for your area (earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.). Read about common hazards the State of Washington is susceptible to by visiting the Washington State Emergency Management Division's Hazards page.
- Develop a Family Disaster Plan and put it in writing. Here are two great how-to guides from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross.
- Build Disaster Supply Kits for your home, office, and car.
- Choose an out-of-town contact person your family members may call to check in with during an emergency. FEMA makes a great family emergency communications plan (PDF).
- Know where to go during an emergency; designate a nearby park, school, or other convenient location to meet and include it in your plan.
- Prepare your children and use these guides to remember those with special needs, such as seniors and people with disabilities.
- Include your pet or service animal in your Family Disaster Plan.
- Eliminate hazards in your home and office. FEMA provides helpful information about how to check your home for earthquake hazards (PDF).
- Learn how to keep yourself and your family safe by taking first aid, CPR and other preparedness classes.
- Get involved - donate blood, educate your neighbors and volunteer!