If a tornado hit in your area tomorrow, would you be ready? It’s never too soon to build awareness and prepare for a manmade or natural disaster. Here are tips and resources to be prepared in case of emergency.
Know what disaster you might face. In the East Atlanta area, you might face tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, fire, winter storms, terrorist threats, and more.
Have a plan. The ready.gov website has templates you can download and use to create an emergency plan. Review the plan with your family along with where you will regroup if you have to evacuate your home.
Know your evacuation routes and shelter locations. Note the various ways you can escape from your home. Get addresses and directions to the shelters in your area. Have maps available with the best evacuation routes highlighted on them. Don’t rely on a GPS or online maps because they might not work and if they do, they might not provide the best alternate routes.
List emergency contact information. If your cellphone doesn’t work, have a written list to reconnect with people. Include phone numbers for you and your spouse, doctors, and family, friends and neighbors. Update this information annually.
Sign up for emergency alerts. Know how officials will communicate during emergencies. Many neighborhoods and home associations are also establishing online bulletins or other methods of emergency communications.
Prepare survival supplies. Include food, water, medication, basic first aid supplies, flashlights, duct tape, and other emergency equipment. Keep emergency bags readily available in your home and your car. For a full list of recommended supplies, visit www.ready.gov or www.gnrhealth.com.
Remember your pets. Prepare in advance how you will care for your pets. You’ll need an emergency bag with extra food and water, as well as any pet medication. Be aware that not all public shelters accept pets, so research those in your area that do or coordinate staying with friends and family in advance.
Do some homework. This is not a catch-all list. The Department of Homeland Security, the Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and many other organizations have a wealth of information on tips for these and other types of emergencies.