by Judy K. Bell, CEM

Disaster Survival Planning Network

Living in Southern California means always being prepared for “The Big One”. At home, school, or work, you and your family should have a plan. Know what each of you will do, and how you will be reunited. Establish an out-of-area contact who can be called to relay information. Have each family member carry the contact number with them. Select a safe alternate meeting place in the event your home is unsafe or inaccessible.

For parents…

* Know what plans the school has made to care for your children afterwards if you are delayed.

* If you work a great distance from your child’s school, designate in advance someone else who is authorized to pick them up if you cannot get there. Let the school know who your designated person is.

* Supply your out-of-area contact information to the school in advance.

* Prepare a mini-earthquake kit for your child to take to school. Remember to include a picture of your family and pets, and a short, loving note. These items will comfort your child until you arrive.

At home…

* Store $100 to $200 in $1, $5, $10, and $20 bills for ready cash if ATMs are not functioning.

* Pack emergency food, water, radio, batteries, medicines, and first-aid supplies close to the exit or where they can be easily accessible if you must evacuate.

* At least every six months take an inventory of your supplies to make sure none have been used for other purposes.

* Replace water and emergency food regularly to ensure they will be fresh when needed.

* Keep a wrench by your gas shutoff, and make sure everyone knows how to turn off all your utilities.

* Have a flashlight secured to your nightstand and a pair of sturdy shoes under the bed to protect your feet from broken objects.

At work…

* Know where the closest emergency exits and stairwells are, as well as emergency supplies and first aid kits.

* Identify safe areas in your immediate work area where you can duck for protection.

* Keep an extra pair of glasses and necessary medication along with comfortable shoes in your desk.

Being prepared wherever you are is important. If you use your car for frequent travel, pack basic supplies such as water, flashlight, walking shoes, first aid kit and blanket. Always keep your gas tank at least 1/4 full.

Plan Today….Survive Tomorrow!(tm)

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