How to Prepare for Emergencies
You can prepare for a potential fire or flood in much the same way you would for a blizzard that could knock out electricity and confine you to your home. The American Red Cross recommends putting together a family disaster plan and disaster supply kit.
Creating a Family Disaster Plan
- Each Brookline School has a plan tailored to their specific needs. Parents should know what they can expect from the school and what is expected of them.
- Identify a meeting location near your home if you can’t return home.
- Identify an alternate location if you can’t return to the area.
- Identify an out-of-state friend or relative as a contact person for everyone to call.
- Keep family records in water and fire-proof containers.
- Know how information is relayed to parents in an emergency and keep the school up-to-date on emergency contact information.
- Learn about your child’s individual School Emergency Plan
- Learn first aid / CPR from American Red Cross.
- Meet with family members and discuss the dangers of possible emergency events, including fire, severe weather, hazardous spills, and terrorism and how you will respond to each emergency.
- Meet with your neighbors to discuss potential disasters.
- Plan how your family would stay in contact if separated by disaster, or if you can’t return home for some reason.
- Post emergency numbers by every phone. Teach children how to make emergency and long-distance phone calls.
- Prepare disaster supply kits for home and travel.
Disaster Supply Kits
In addition to preparing a home disaster kit, place supplies needed for an evacuation in an easy to carry container.
- Plan for 1 gallon per person per day (for drinking and food preparation / sanitation) in plastic containers.
- Stock at least a 3-day supply per person
- Food for infants or persons on special diets
- Pack a 3-day supply of non-perishable food that requires no cooking, refrigeration, or water such as:
- Canned meats
First Aid Kit
Assemble a basic kit for home and car. Include the following:
- Aspirin pain reliever,
- Antacid, anti-diarrhea, etc.
- Latex gloves
- Needle / tweezers
Clothing & Bedding
- Blankets or Sleeping Bags
- One complete change of clothing per person
- Rain gear, hats, gloves
- Sturdy shoes
- Thermal underwear
Tools & Supplies
- Basic tools such as hammer, pliers, wrench, etc.
- Battery-operated radio with spare batteries
- Cash / travelers checks
- Chlorine / disinfectant
- Compass / map
- Fire extinguisher
- Flashlight with spare batteries
- Manual can opener
- Masking tape / plastic sheeting
- Plastic plates, cups, utensils, garbage bags
- Signal flare and whistle
- Utility knife
- Contact lenses / eye glasses / dentures
- Extra set of car and house keys
- Important personal documents (in waterproof container, include passport / birth certificate, wills, account numbers, household inventory)
- Infant diapers, bottles, formula, medication
- Make sure car gas tank is at least half full
- Matches (in waterproof container)
- Pet care items
- Prescriptions / special medications
- Smoke detectors (check batteries regularly)
- Soap, toilet paper, personal hygiene items
The following are some basic steps that businesses should take to prepare for an emergency:
- Develop and display an evacuation plan and test this plan regularly.
- Identify critical business functions that absolutely must continue and develop a process to ensure these will carry on.
- Identify employees that can serve as team leaders. Team leaders should be trained to assist fellow employees in an emergency.
- Maintain sufficient insurance coverage for your business.
- Prepare backups and store offsite all computer records, such as payroll, inventory, etc.
- Prepare employee rosters with emergency contact information.