A key part of preparedness is having a plan for what to do in case of an emergency. You need to be ready to assess any situation and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. A planning overview is provided below:
At school or work-talk to your children’s schools about their emergency preparedness plans. Find out how they will communicate with you during an emergency.
Authorize someone nearby to pick up your children from school in case you are unable to do so yourself during or after an emergency.
Inform trusted neighbors when your children are home alone so neighbors can take care of them in the event of a major emergency.
Discuss with your neighbors how you can work together and help each other if an emergency strikes.
At work, find out what kind of emergency preparedness and communication plans are in place.
Special considerations-elderly or people with disabilities
Know which special considerations apply to you, your neighbors or your loved ones, so that you are best prepared in the event of an emergency.
Establish a personal support network made up of individuals who will check with you in an emergency. Your network can check to see if you are all right and to give assistance if needed.
You and your personal support network should notify each other when you are going out of town and when you will return.
Have emergency supplies packed and ready in one place before an emergency hits. Make sure you have enough supplies to last at least three days, including prescription medications. Store them in an easy-to-carry container such as a backpack or duffel bag.
Be sure your bag and any equipment you need, such as a wheelchair, cane or walker carries an ID tag.
- Develop a communications plan-your loved ones may not be together when an emergency strikes. Some may be at work, others at school, while some may be at home. So, you need to develop a plan of communication in order to keep in close touch.
- Designate a primary place to meet and then choose a backup location outside your neighborhood.
- Designate an emergency contact.
- Be prepared to use either a landline phone or cell phone.
- Post emergency and contact numbers by all phones in your home.
- Teach all household members how and when to call 911 for emergency assistance.
- Ask an out-of-state friend or relative to be a contact. It’s sometimes easier to call out-of-state if local service is disrupted.
- Discuss what to do with your pets.
More detailed information on making a plan and emergency preparedness can be found in the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Emergency Preparedness Guidebook.
The purpose of this guide is not to frighten you; however, as we all have learned, the variety of threats we face in our everyday lives has increased. The IDPH hopes to educate all Iowans so that in case of a public health emergency, Iowans will be able to respond quickly due to their preparedness.
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