A disaster can occur when we least expect it and regardless of where we happen to be at the time , home, work, or school. Most universities and colleges encourage students and faculty to develop an emergency plan. Developing an action plan and disaster supply kit is the first step in preparing for the unexpected. Practicing your plan and knowing how to respond can save time and lives.
Here are a few tips for developing your disaster plan:
- Be aware of the types of emergencies/hazards that can potentially affect your area of residence.
- Plan a meeting with your family, roommates, and co-workers to discuss disaster preparedness.
- Discuss what to do in an evacuation: driving routes, meeting places, list of contacts.
- Determine how you will exit your apartment, dorm, or house in case of an evacuation. Know at least two ways to get out.
- Plan for several different meeting places. One place should be directly outside of your apartment, dorm, or house. The other should be a site away from your neighborhood in the event you cannot return home. Give your family members and roommates a copy of this information.
- Choose an out-of-state contact person. It is often easier to call long distance than locally during an emergency situation. As soon as possible, let the designated person know that you are safe. Share this contact person’s information with your family and roommates.
- Discuss how to “shelter in place.” The type of incident will determine how you should shelter.
- Discuss and practice how to turn off electricity, water, heating, cooling systems, and gas.
- Assemble a disaster supply kit for at home, at work, and in your vehicle.
- Take a course in first aid and CPR
- Become familiar with the 2-1-1 Texas Information and Referral Hotline. 2-1-1 can be dialed from any land line telephone and most cell phones for emergency information regarding: closest evacuation routes and access to water, food and shelter as well as information on other heath and human services available across the state.
To purchase a ready-made, emergency preparedness kit, please visit: www.redcrossstore.org