Ways to Prepare for a Disaster

Fill a fireproof box.  Items should include identification and other important cards, financial records, family photos and emergency cash in small bills.

Design a disaster plan. It should include whom to contact and where to meet family members in case of an emergency.  All family members should the plan and the numbers to call.

Make a list. Include emergency phone numbers such as 911, local fire department, poison control, and rescue and ambulance services.  Keep it in a place you can find it fast- like the refrigerator door.

Create a go-kit.  Pack a sturdy, easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack or a suitcase on wheels, and keep it in an accessible place.

Turn off.  Know how to shut off valves for gas, oil, water, and your home’s main electrical supply.  Put tags on these valves so you can find them quickly, but have a professional turn them back on again, the Federal Emergency Management Agency warns.

Have food and water handy.  Store three days’ worth of nonperishable food for each family member, plus a gallon of water daily per person.  Canned food, peanut butter, and energy bars are all good. Important: Don’t forget a can opener. – As reprinted from AARP Bulletin