Creating An Emergency Plan
American Red Cross Family Weather Emergency PlanDevelop a Family Weather Emergency Plan that includes the following:
- Decide where to go if at home, school, work, outdoors, or in a car when a flood, severe thunderstorm, or tornado warning is issued.
- Update these plans every school year and as places of employment and residence change.
Disaster Supply Kit
- Be sure everyone in the family knows where your Family Disaster Supply Kit is located.
- During extreme heat, be sure to include the following in your Kit: extra water or juice, sun screen, and wide brimmed hats.
- Designate a friend or relative outside your town or area as your family contact in the event you are separated from family members during a flood, tornado, or in case a storm knocks out your electricity.
- In the case of a tropical storm or hurricane, designate someone outside the area affected by the tropical storm or hurricane as your family contact.
- Agree upon a place where the family members can meet if separated.
- Get a good map and plan various evacuation routes, avoiding low-lying areas. This is especially valuable in the event of flooding from rivers, streams, tropical storms, or flash floods.
- Do several test runs of different routes.
- In the event of a flash flood, remember that you will not be able to evacuate. Instead, immediately seek higher ground.
- For times of extreme heat, identify locations where you can escape sweltering conditions for hours at a time: a mall, a movie theater, or the home of a friend or relative.
Your Family Pet Plan
- For preparedness information, contact your local Red Cross chapter. Included are related sites and a brochure on caring for your pet during an emergency.
Tips for conserving water:
- Do not water lawns, wash cars, or fill swimming pools
- Don't allow children to play with the hose or sprinklers, just for fun
- Use a broom instead of water to clean outdoors
- Check faucets and pipes for leaks
- Turn off the water while shaving or brushing your teeth
- Take shorter showers, or better yet, take baths
- Run dishwashers and washing machines only when full
- When washing dishes by hand, fill the rinse sink, rather than allowing water to flow over cleaned dishes
- Store a bottle of drinking water in the fridge
- Rinse fruits and vegetables in bowl or sink full of water
Tips for food safety during a power outage:
- If the power is out for less than 2 hours, then the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to consume.
- While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold for longer.
If the power is out for longer than 2 hours
- A freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it.
- Refrigerator: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
- Use a digital quick-response thermometer to check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.