We break up the big job of becoming prepared into 12 smaller 'things' or topics. Below are the 12 Do 1 Thing topics to help you become better prepared. Within each are easy and affordable suggestions that you can do to become better prepared.
Getting correct information during an emergency is the key to taking safe action. Someone in your household may not be able to receive, understand, or act on emergency information. Think about what special needs your household may have. Take action now to make sure everyone in your family will be safe in an emergency.
We count on electricity for heat, food, and medical needs. Many gas appliances even need electricity to run. A power outage is an emergency that often follows another emergency—like a hurricane, tornado, or winter storm. That makes it even more important to be prepared in advance.
Any emergency is easier to handle when you have prepared ahead of time. Put together an emergency kit with important items to keep at home, and a go bag with items you will need to take with you if you evacuate. Think about what you and your family would need in a disaster. You can make kits for your home, car or workplace. Emergencies can happen anywhere.
An emergency can happen at any time and any place. Many public places have a first aid kit, oxygen, or an AED (automated external defibrillator) to treat people. These items can only save lives if someone knows how to use them. Actions you take in the first few minutes after an injury or other medical incident may save someone’s life.
Disasters change things. When an emergency happens you may have to decide what to do very quickly, while you are worrying about what might happen. By planning ahead, it will be easier to make the right decisions when the worst happens.
Whether you get water from a municipal water system or your home has a private well, your water supply depends on having power to operate the system. During a power outage—or any disaster that can cause a power outage, such as high winds, ice storm, or flood—you may find yourself without drinkable water.
In a disaster you may be asked to either evacuate or shelter-in-place. In the excitement of an emergency, it can be difficult to focus on what you are doing. Know what to do to keep your family safe. Practice your tornado and fire safety plans. If your family has practiced, they will be more comfortable doing it when the emergency actually happens.
An emergency food supply doesn’t have to sit on a shelf, ready for disaster to strike (although it can). It can be part of the food you use every day. The key to a good food storage plan is to buy ahead of time. Replace items before they run out. Buy items when they are on sale.
Disasters can happen at any time. If you are away from home do you know where to find safe shelter locations? Do you know what the emergency procedures are for your child’s school or for your workplace? Will people who count on you know what to do if you can’t reach them? Know how to make sure you and your loved ones are safe in a disaster, no matter where you are.
Every household is different. Is there an infant or young child in your home? Does someone in your family have a medical condition that requires medication? Do you have a pet? Before disaster strikes, talk to your family about your household’s unique needs. Make a list of special items you may need in a disaster.
Today we have more ways to speak with one another than ever before. We are used to staying in touch with cell phones, internet, and email, but disasters can change things. These devices may not be available. Cell phone towers quickly become overloaded with people trying to reach friends and family. If the power is out at your home, cordless phones, internet, and email will not work either.
It takes more than police, fire and EMS to respond to a disaster. It takes people who are committed to neighborhoods, churches, schools and volunteer organizations. When people are willing to work together for the good of others, communities are stronger. Learn more about how to be prepared and contribute to a resilient community.
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