About the authorA first hand witness to thousands of homes and businesses damaged or destroyed by disasters, Sean Scott, a second generation building contractor specializing in disaster restoration, became aware that survivors were ill equipped to take the steps to recovery. A disaster kit is an essential piece of equipment for every household.  You probably know this already, but do you have one?
ABOUT PREPARE NORCALThe San Francisco Bay Area is a region that is highly vulnerable to natural hazards like earthquakes, wildfires, and severe weather. September 9, 2013 by Shannon 9 Comments What basic supplies would you need to survive the immediate aftermath of a disaster? Experts recommend that each of us have enough supplies to care for our households for a minimum of three days. If you don’t feel up to assembling a kit on your own, you can always purchase a premade kit that contains many of the basics. Whatever Goes Wednesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, WholeHearted Wednesday, Essential Fridays, Thriving Thursday, Works for Me Wednesday, Wise Woman, & Teach Me Tuesday.
If this is your first time commenting or if something in your text triggers a spam filter, then your comment will be held for moderation and will not be visible immediately. Hurricane season in the Atlantic officially begins June 1 and runs through November 30. Listed below are some Tips on how to prepare your home, roof, siding and family in the event that a storm like a Hurricane should hit the Durham, Raleigh or your area. According to the National Hurricane Center, the two keys to weather safety are to prepare for the risks and to act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials. An emergency supplies kit is simply a collection of items your family may need in an emergency. Having basic first aid supplies on hand better prepares you to help an injured family member or friend. Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. Be sure you have adequate insurance and copies of insurance documents in a safe, waterproof container.
Gather important paperwork, including copies of insurance policies, medical records, prescriptions, etc. If severe storms threaten, protect your property by covering windows with storm shutters, siding or plywood.
Bring bulky or heavy objects such as lawn furniture, grills, garbage cans, tools, potted plants, etc. Move valuable papers, jewelry and other contents to upper floors or higher elevations to keep them from flood water. If you're caught in the house by suddenly rising waters, move to the second floor and, if necessary, to the roof.
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim and arrange a visit from an adjuster.
Protect your home from further damage by making temporary repairs only, until your insurance company can advise you further. Do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs. Unless you have extra coverage with your homeowners policy, food lost in a power outage is probably not covered. Most damage to your home or surrounding structures resulting from fallen trees is covered by your homeowners policy. Damage to your vehicles resulting from fallen trees or debris may be covered by your auto policy if you have comprehensive coverage. After filing with FEMA, and your loss is still greater, you may file with the Small Business Administration for a loan. Keep in mind that none of these measures will ever restore your home to its original condition.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which caused billions of dollars in destruction to the New York City and coastal New Jersey areas, it’s a good time to think about how prepared your home and family might be for a similar disaster. The single most important step to prepare for a disaster is to create a plan that addresses how you will deal with various situations, along with the special needs of your family members. Many of us only have a few days to a week worth of food in our refrigerators, freezers and pantries, but it’s a good idea to stockpile as much non-perishable food as you can reasonably store.
When an emergency hits, there are certain items that you’ll need to safely hunker down in your home, evacuate or find your way to safety. Whether you just need an extra pair of prescription glasses or you’re on a ventilator, medical needs are one of the most important things to consider when preparing for an emergency.
A solar or hand-crank gadget charger may not be ideal for charging your cell phone on a daily basis, but in the emergency, it could be the only thing keeping you connected to the outside world. Don’t forget about the furry members of your family when preparing for an emergency situation.
Of course, you can’t plan ahead for every disaster, and as in the case of Hurricane Sandy, sometimes events that seem unlikely really do occur. This year, as you make your new year resolutions Resolve To Be Ready!  Pledge To Prepare!  The BEST time to prepare for emergencies is BEFORE they occur.  Click here to learn how. Emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities just like ours, to people just like you.
During and following an emergency police, fire and rescue personnel may not always be able to reach you quickly, such as if trees and power lines are down or if they’re overwhelmed by demand. Be prepared…following a disaster or large scale emergency you may be on your own and need to take care of yourself and your family.   Emergency responders and relief personnel will come but it may take hours, possibly days, for them to reach everyone! Local, state and federal emergency officials repeatedly stress the following – you should have a disaster supply kit, which is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.  Your kit should include at least a 72-hour supply of non-perishable food, water, and supplies, including medications, for each person and animal in your home. Also, since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, you should also prepare a kit for your work and car. One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family is plan!  Please consider this…we don’t control when disasters strike.  Your family may not be together…It may be dark and your family is sleeping…It may be while you are at work and children are in school, daycare, etc.
What will you do?   Where will you go?    How will you reunite if you and your family are separated? As much as possible, involve all family members in the planning process.  Once the family emergency plan is complete – be sure to give a copy to all family members AND practice your plan! Keep in mind…developing and practicing an emergency plan will: 1) improve your family’s confidence in their ability to handle an emergency, and 2) help them be better prepared if you’re separated when an emergency occurs. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.  Protect yourself and your families… remain updated on incidents and warnings affecting our community. Reverse 911  Lehigh County provides its residents and visitors with Reverse 911 community notifications in the event of emergency situations or during other situations that may warrant community notification, such as during major or prolonged weather events. Reverse 911 Notifications are provided via a telephone notification system that will dial each telephone number in the system within the affected area and provide the person who answers with any pertinent information regarding the emergency. Those who have landline telephone service provided by VOIP services, such as Vonage, Magic Jack, and other companies need to register their home telephone number in order to receive alerts from our system.
PLEASE NOTE that during times of widespread emergency situations, cellular telephone networks may be overloaded and messages may not be sent by the wireless carriers in a timely manner. Major disasters can overwhelm first responder agencies.  The whole community can participate in programs and activities to make their families, homes and communities safer from risks and threats. CERT is about “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” in your own neighborhood during an emergency.  Following a disaster, these citizen-responders use their training as part of their neighborhood team to help others when professional responders are overwhelmed or not immediately available. CERT training is a program that educates citizens about the hazards they face in their community and trains them in lifesaving skills.   Following a disaster, these citizen-responders use their training as part of their neighborhood team to help others when professional responders are overwhelmed or not immediately available. If a disaster struck our community and it caused emergency responders to be delayed, what would you do?
If you would help your neighbors until the emergency responders arrived then the time to get involved is now…Join the Upper Macungie CERT! Unaided, or misguided, disaster survivors struggle to successfully navigate the complex process, and so, The Red Guide to Recovery – Resource Handbook for Disaster Survivors was born. Each family member will need one gallon of water per day to meet his or her hydration and hygiene needs.
Trust me that you’ll want a radio to stay apprised of what’s happening regarding the disaster!


You can purchase kits that range from basic to elaborate or assemble one yourself (get instructions here).
If you take prescription medications, you’ll want to have a minimum of a three day supply on hand. These supplies enable you to shelter in place, patch broken windows, and build impromptu shelters. At minimum you’ll want the following hygiene supplies for safety and comfort: Toilet paper, paper towels, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, feminine hygiene products, a small bucket with plastic bags and ties, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, and latex or nitrile gloves. You’ll likely have your cell phone on or near you when disaster strikes, but your charger may be located elsewhere. Having a little cash on hand is important because you may not be able to use credit or debit cards to make purchases if the electricity is out. A small toolkit with a hammer, pliers, wrench, multi-head screwdriver, and a small ax or hacksaw is beneficial in case you need to move debris or shut off utilities. If you’re like me, you don’t have many phone numbers memorized because you store them in your phone. If you live in an area where it gets really hot or cold, consider how to handle the temperature.
Given that you may not have water to wash dishes, having some disposable dishes on hand is a good idea. A number of seemingly “ready-to-eat” foods, including some canned soups, indicate on their labels that they need to be heated to a particular temperature before they should be consumed. Next week we’ll go beyond the basics and consider some tricky issues such as how to afford disaster preparedness supplies, how to store the supplies if you live in a small home, how to acquire extra prescription medications to store in a kit, and how to take critical supplies with you in the event of an evacuation. I don’t live where disaster is likely but I pray for all those people in our world where the risk of this is a regular reality. You likely have most of the items around the house, so it’s just a matter of gathering them together.
Learn the potential hazards for your area and know what steps to take to protect your property.
Keep sandbags away from the outside walls of your house to prevent floodwaters from reaching your house. In case of flooding, do not touch any electrical equipment unless it is in a dry area or you are standing on a dry piece of wood while wearing rubber-soled shoes or boots and rubber gloves. Your local building inspection department has copies of the Flood Insurance Rate Maps that identify property subject to a 100-year storm frequency.
If your home is uninhabitable, most homeowners policies pay additional living expenses while your property is being repaired. Check with your agent or company before calling the tree removal service as removal costs may also be covered. The only way to protect your property from flood losses is to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. Experts say that with climate change, we can expect more extreme weather events than ever before, and while we can never be fully prepared, there are important steps you can take to secure your property and ensure your safety during and after the event.
Your plan should lay out the ways in which your family will communicate with each other in the event of an emergency, the best ways to escape from your home, and how to shut off your utilities like natural gas and electricity. Not only is it smart to have backups for emergency situations or loss of power, but also in the event of a financial setback.
FEMA provides a list of recommended items including flashlights, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, a first aid kit, a whistle to signal for help, a manual can opener and mess kits. Diabetics should always have extra insulin on hand, and those who need oxygen tanks should have a backup source of power and a backup ventilator (get more information about that at VentUsers.org [PDF]). Some items that you should place inside a backpack or duffel bag include a change of clothes in a resealable plastic bag, bottled water, non-perishable foods that don’t require water to prepare, a small first-aid kit, a mechanical or chemical method of water filtration, a can opener, local maps, a flashlight, a swiss army knife and a backup cell phone (such as a pre-paid phone) with charger. Your Own Home Store has a great breakdown of what documents you should store including important phone numbers, social security and insurance IDs, child and adult ID kits and financial information. Your disaster plan should include considerations for how your family will meet up in case you aren’t together when it happens. Do you have enough food, water, cat litter and other essential items on hand along with all of the supplies for yourself and your family? The most important thing you can do is be able to take care of yourself and those in your care. Pennsylvania uses AlertPA to provide citizens and partners with timely information to assist them in making informed decisions.
These notifications are meant to provide information that is critical to the safety and well being of the county’s residents and visitors. If you are not sure whether your telephone service is VOIP, contact your telephone provider for confirmation. Wireless telephone numbers are not automatically included in the Lehigh County Reverse 911 system and must be registered by the phone’s owner. However, by taking the time to assemble and maintain a disaster preparedness kit now, your household will have survival supplies on hand. In light of this knowledge, let’s consider which supplies should be included in a disaster preparedness kit. Canned fruits and vegetables, nut butters, granola bars, meat jerky, crackers, tuna, and fruit leathers are good options.
You can get plastic sheeting from home improvement stores and from online retailers such as Amazon. Even if you usually use cloth diapers, you’ll want to keep some disposable diapers on hand in case you aren’t able to wash the cloth ones.
One problem with this is that you won’t be able to call loved ones, insurance agents, employers, etc. The warmth provided by blankets in cold weather and the breeze provided by a fan in hot weather can be critical to survival in extreme cold or heat. Simple entertainment items such as card games or puzzle books can go a long way to alleviate boredom. I’ll touch on that topic a little next week, but I still have a lot to learn about it.
Please see the About tab on the menu for details about the site, including privacy, advertisement, affiliate link, and comment policy information. Consider taking a first aid class, but simply having a first aid kit can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination. For example, if you are in a coastal area that is prone to hurricanes and northeasters, you may want to consider keeping storm shutters or a stock of plywood around to board up windows when storms threaten.
Before renting temporary shelter, check with your insurance company or agent to determine what expenses will be reimbursed. Rather than purchasing expensive MRE’s and other long-term nonperishables, it may be best to focus on storing the food you actually eat on a regular basis. An alternative to buying water is to purchase non-disposable, preferably BPA-free water containers and rotate through the water inside them on a regular basis. Before a storm hits, charge all of your mobile gadgets, and once the power goes out, use these energy-saving tips from Quartz to stretch your battery life as long as possible. Having these on hand is especially relevant if you live in a location prone to industrial or technological accidents (near a nuclear power plant, chemical factory, railway, etc.).
Then, just be sure to rotate through these items and replace them as necessary so they don’t go bad. You can also re-use food-grade containers that previously held beverages, like 2-liter soda bottles.
The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA both offer tips for pets including getting a rescue alert sticker for your window, arranging a safe haven and packing an emergency kit.
It’s also nice to have a couple of battery-powered lanterns so you can light a larger area such as a bathroom. Keep a list of important phone numbers with your emergency supplies so you can make these calls. We also have a weekly link up, The Art of Home-Making Mondays if you care to join in… Have a lovely week! Store these and other important insurance papers in waterproof containers or in your safety deposit boxes.


Canned goods, peanut butter, crackers, cereal, rice, oats, white rice and freeze-dried foods are just a few ideas. Additionally, about 90 percent of all presidentially-declared disasters are weather-related. When a flash flood warning is issued or if you think it has already started, evacuate immediately.
3-1-1Severe storms can cause landslides, flooding, uprooted trees, and downed utility lines. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library - even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. If you are on the beach or other low-lying area close to the ocean or bay, immediately evacuate by walking to higher ground. If officials issue a tsunami warning and order evacuations, you hear the Outdoor Warning System, the earth shakes so much that you can't stand, shaking lasts longer than 20 seconds, or you notice water receding from the shoreline, walk to higher ground immediately. SAFE WATER SOURCES IN THE HOMEIf you do not have enough water stored, there are sources in your home that may provide safe, clean water for drinking purposes: the water drained from the water heater faucet (if the water heater has not been damaged), water dipped from the tank of the toilet (not the bowl - the water in the bowl can be used for pets) or melted ice cubes. If you have to walk through water, use a stick to check the firmness of the ground ahead of you. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
DAMAGING HAIL, THUNDERSTORMS AND LIGHTNINGIf you are indoors when a storm with large hailstones strikes, stay there.
Because large pieces of hail can shatter windows, close your drapes, blinds or window shades to prevent the wind from blowing broken glass inside. The overall probability of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake striking the Greater Bay Area in the next 30 years is 63 percent.
Unfortunately, most residents are not prepared to protect their families, homes and finances.
Preparing now will help you survive and recover and get back to normal after the next damaging earthquake.CEA's new alliance with the American Red Cross can help you take simple steps to be ready when the time comes-- We're in this together, Northern California, so get prepared! Start building your kit with this detailed list of supplies and make sure you have the Red Cross Earthquake Safety Checklist.MAKE A PLANIdentify out-of-area emergency contacts. Write your plan on an emergency contact card and store in your phone along with important numbers for emergency resources in your area.
Use the tips in this guide to start making your plan!BE INFORMEDDiscuss how to prepare and safely respond to the emergencies most likely to happen where you live, work and play.
Make sure know how the notification systems in your area work.EARTHQUAKE INSURANCEMost residential insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage - a separate earthquake policy is required. Without earthquake insurance to help cover the costs of repairs and other expenses that come with catastrophic damage, you will pay out-of-pocket to fix your home, to replace your personal property, and to live and eat elsewhere. The California Earthquake Authority is a publicly managed, privately funded organization that provides catastrophe residential earthquake insurance and encourages Californians to reduce their risk of earthquake loss.Why CEA?
Five reasons to buy:If your home suffers catastrophic earthquake damage, the CEA can provide you with the strength to rebuild.
With nearly $10 billion in claim-paying power, supported by the service expertise of its participating insurance companies, the CEA could cover all of its claims if the 1906 San Francisco, 1989 Loma Prieta, or 1994 Northridge earthquake reoccurred today.Excellent financial ratings.
CEA policies are available exclusively through CEA's participating insurance companies, which handle CEA-policy applications, renewals, billing, and claims.Rates based on science, not profit.
By law, CEA rates must allow it to remain financially sound and to pay all its covered claims.
CEA rates are based on the best available science for assessing earthquake risk and do not include any amount for profit.Not tied to government budgets. California's budget issues have no impact on the CEA's ability to pay its claims, because the CEA is a privately financed entity and receives no money through the state budget.Without earthquake insurance, the cost of any damage is your cost. If your CEA policy claim exceeds your deductible, you don't actually have to pay the deductible before claim-payment eligibility is triggered.Read more about CEA earthquake insurance policies and premiums and to see a list of insurance companies that sell CEA earthquake insurance. PRACTICE HOW TO DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON During an earthquake, know how to drop to the ground, take cover under sturdy furniture, and hold on to that furniture until after the shaking stops. Learn about Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills, annual opportunities to practice what to do during an earthquake.SECURE YOUR HOME'S STRUCTURE AND CONTENTSMake sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation. Bolt and brace water heaters, gas appliances, bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs. Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sleep or sit. Find out about the threats and hazards in your area.California Earthquake AuthorityGet peace of mind.
Make sure you know what shelter-in-place means!The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.Wildfires often begin unnoticed. DETERMINE ESCAPE ROUTESFind two ways out of each room in your home and know your neighborhood evacuation routes. REMOVE FIRE HAZARDS AND INSTALL SMOKE ALARMSKeep items that catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot and stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food.
Create Defensible Space: Defensible Space is the buffer you create by removing dead plants, grass and weeds. STOP, DROP AND ROLLIf your clothes catch on fire, STOP where you are, DROP to the ground and ROLL over and over to smother the flames.
Call the fire department from a neighbor's house or a cell phone once you're safely outside.
DECIDING TO STAY OR GO: WHEN TO EVACUATELeave as soon as evacuation is recommended by fire officials to avoid being caught in fire, smoke or road congestion. Evacuating early also helps firefighters keep roads clear of congestion, and lets them move more freely to do their job. TRAVEL ROUTESPlan several travel route options in case one route is blocked by the fire or by emergency vehicles and equipment. For more information on preparing your family, pets and property for wildfire, see the Ready for Wildfire "Are You Set?" brochure. GAS EXPLOSIONSNatural gas leaks can cause an explosive and flammable atmosphere inside a building. If you smell gas, hear gas escaping, see a broken gas line, or if you suspect a leak, shut off the main valve and open all windows and doors. Through a series of fire and carbon monoxide safety messages, Kidde and ABC7 work to increase public awareness about fire and carbon monoxide safety.
It is unlikely that emergency response services will be able to immediately respond to everyone's needs after a major disaster, so it is important to be prepared to take care of yourself and your family.
For chemical spills, airborne illnesses or biological hazards, be prepared to Shelter-in-Place if needed.
Have a flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, and a well-stocked first aid kit. Alternatively, the American Red Cross and other companies sell pre-made supply kits of various sizes to make preparedness simple.
First check yourself for injuries then assist others based on your level of first aid training.
Do not use a gas stove for heating or operate generators indoors (including the garage.) Both could cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Prepare a list of family members, friends, boarding facilities, veterinarians and pet-friendly hotels to shelter your pets in an emergency.
211 is an easy to remember, toll-free phone number that connect callers with local community services, such as food, shelter, counseling, employment assistance, quality child care and more. You can also learn what to do in response to a specific disaster.AlertSFAlertSF is a text-based notification system for San Francisco's residents and visitors.
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