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Tips to prepare your family for a disaster - The Galveston County Daily News: Hurricane Season

October 28, 2016

Tips to prepare your family for a disaster

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Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 4:51 pm

Emergency management officials offer these tips for preparing for storm season:

  • Contact your emergency management office; be prepared to take notes.
  • Ask what types of disasters are most likely to happen. 

Request information on how to prepare for each.

  • Learn about your community’s warning signals: what they sound like and what you should do when you hear them.
  • Ask about animal care after disaster. Animals may not be allowed inside emergency shelters due to health regulations.
  • Find out how to help elderly or disabled people, if needed.
  • Next, find out about the disaster plans at your workplace, your children’s school or day care center and other places where your family spends time.

Create a disaster plan

  • Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster.
  • Explain the dangers of fire, weather and other hazards to children.
  • Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.
  • Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.
  • Pick places to meet.
  • Ask an out-of-state friend to be your “family contact.”
  • Discuss what to do in an evacuation.
  • Plan how to take care of your pets.


 Make emergency preparations

  • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones: fire, police, ambulance, etc.
  • Teach children how and when to call 911 for emergency help.
  • Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches.
  • Determine whether you have adequate insurance coverage.
  • Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher —ABC type — and show them where it’s kept.
  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, near bedrooms.
  • Conduct a home hazard hunt.
  • Stock emergency supplies and assemble a disaster supplies kit.
  • Take a first aid and CPR class.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
  • Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.
  • Practice and maintain your plan.
  • Quiz your kids every six months so they remember what to do.
  • Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills.
  • Replace stored water every three months and stored food every six months.
  • Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer’s instructions.