Preparing for Disasters

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The best way to survive a disaster and be able to quickly recover is to be prepared. There are a number of things that you can do to help prepare you and your family for a disaster.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, ice storms and other natural disasters can cause power outages or water damage that can put refrigerated, frozen and dry foods at risk. From power outages to flooding, the impacts can pose significant challenges to everyday life.

Preparing an emergency kit for your family is one way to be prepared. The time to put an emergency kit together is before a disaster.

An emergency kit is a container of items your family may need in or after an emergency. Most of the items can be found in your house. It is important to put them in one place. Be sure every family member knows where the kit is kept.

Some suggestions for your kit could be:

*Water – 1 gallon per person and pet per day for 3 to 7 days

*Food – Non-perishable and canned food supply for 3 to 7 days

*Battery-powered or hand crank radios with extra batteries

*First aid kit

*Flashlight and extra batteries

*Manual can opener for food

*Wrench or pliers to turn off water

*Prescription medication and glasses

*Personal hygiene supplies

*Books, games or cards

You may be on your own for hours or even days after a disaster. Being ready for an emergency helps you and your family to survive. It also allows police, fire fighters and emergency medical workers to help those who need it most.

Preparing for a Power Outage

1. Purchase or locate thermometers. Place a thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer; have a tip-sensitive digital thermometer ready to check food temperatures. Foods that can support the growth of pathogens (like cooked vegetables, cooked and raw meats and cut melons, leafy greens and tomatoes) are riskier after being held above 41F for more than 4hrs.

2. Check stock of refrigerator. Purchase or prepare food items that don’t require refrigeration and can be eaten cold or heated on an outdoor grill.

3. Store or purchase water in case case water systems are impacted resulting in boil water advisories. Use bottled/clean water for everything from brushing teeth, cooking.

4. Prepare coolers and purchase ice and dry ice. Use dry ice to extend the amount of time food stay below 41F. Freeze containers of water for ice or purchase ice.
Below links are some more information on Disaster Preparedness.

NC Disaster Information Center

Snow disaster