The Home Safety Council estimates that only 30 percent of households have discussed and created an emergency plan outlining how loved ones would stay in touch during a major weather or disaster event.
Even if you live alone it’s important to have such a plan so you can let others know you are OK or in need of help. Below are a few of the things you need to do in order to be prepared. (They may seem basic, but many of us don’t even have the basics for an emergency.)
Compile a “Ready-to-Go Kit” in case your family needs to leave home and a “Ready-to-Stay Kit” in case your family needs to stay inside your home for an extended time. Kits should contain water, canned food, can opener, flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, change of clothes and first aid.
Designate a safe meeting place outside your home and out of harm’s way, and designate a safe place to stay in your home in case of severe weather.
Update wireless phones with “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contact information. And be aware that land-line phones with cords attached to the handset will continue to operate if the power goes out in your home. Cordless phones will not.
Click here for a form that you can print out and then fill in with important emergency numbers and information. (It’s going to appear on your computer screen upside-down, but will print out just fine. And you do want to print it out because your computer won’t be operating if your power goes out.)
Eds Note: No more than 20 minutes after we wrote this post, we lost all electricity in a widespread outage in our city. The only thing that kept working was Cait’s kitchen wall phone that has a cord attached to the handset.