The Do 1 Thing site won the Awareness to Action category of FEMA’s 2014 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. It’s a 12-month program of small steps that you can take to increase your personal and household preparedness. Throughout 2015, DEM will feature Do 1 Thing items during our weekly blog post series of One Thing Wednesdays. Check back here every week for a new preparedness activity or tip!
For June, we’re looking at your household and what makes it unique. Each post this month will focus on a different aspect of customizing emergency preparations to the important people in your life.
The first step in any such effort is to understand the unique health and safety needs of everyone in your household. In a disaster, you should plan to be on your own for 72 hours. What kinds of things will you and your family members need to thrive for those 72 hours? What do you rely on? Sit down with everyone in your household (except the cats – they’re rarely willing to come to scheduled meetings) and discuss what you couldn’t do without for three days.
Infants and Young Children: Any parent knows kids are complicated. What do yours need to stay happy and healthy for a few days?
Prescription Medication: In many of the disasters that are likely to strike Lexington, road networks may be impassable. You don’t want to risk driving in an ice storm for a last-minute prescription refill. Always keep a three-day reserve of prescription medications.
Medical Conditions: What other conditions may require consumables? For example, does the diabetic in your house have a good reserve of insulin syringes and glucometer supplies?
Pets: What do you need for pet health and hygiene? Are any of your pets on prescriptions? If so, the same three-day guideline applies to them. What about proper nutrition? Do you have a reserve of any special food – whether for dietary needs or just picky eaters?
The common theme here is to have a minimum three-day supply of any special items that aren’t necessarily addressed in “one size fits all” family emergency plans. In a disaster, communications and transportation may be impaired – and even if you can get out or call out, businesses may be closed as the employees take care of their own families. Even if supplies are available, they may not be exactly what your family is accustomed to. Trying new brands of baby food or pet food, or not having a comfort item, can make a disaster more stressful for a child or pet.