Are You Prepared for an Emergency?
You’d be surprised at how many people say they are, when in fact, they really are not.
For most, National Preparedness Month is a pretty solid reminder that they need to be ready to adequately and appropriately respond to both natural and manmade disasters year-round. Daily routines can be disrupted with little or no warning by a catastrophic event, and help may not be accessible or even available.
As a plumbing company that has built their reputation on the premise of being “the plumber you’d send to your mom’s house,” believe me when I say, we’ve seen our fair share of disasters, and the irony is, many are manmade.
As it is, far too few people know that emergency preparedness is the practice and management of dealing with and avoiding both natural and manmade disasters alike. It involves the processes of readiness, response, and recovery in order to lessen the impact of disasters should they arise. And…history has proven time and time again that disasters happen.
In-depth research on emergency preparedness has shown that people who believe themselves to be prepared for disasters often aren’t nearly as prepared as they think. Forty-two percent of survey respondents didn’t have household plans whatsoever, 80% hadn’t conducted home evacuation drills, and nearly 60 percent didn’t even know their community’s evacuation routes. These are not good figures, people.
Additionally, some 20 percent of all survey respondents reported having a disability that would affect their capacity to respond to an emergency situation, and astonishingly, only one out of four of them had made arrangements specific to their disability to aid them in response in the event of an emergency. Ouch, that’s crazy talk if you ask me.
Firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMT/paramedics, and other emergency responders do an extraordinary job of helping to keep us safe, but they can’t do it alone. We must all uphold our individual and civic responsibility to be prepared, and in doing so, contribute to the safety and security of our brothers and sisters, as well ourselves.
Truth is, government services WILL be overwhelmed in a true disaster and people will HAVE to be self-sufficient in the event of a big emergency.
The National Safety Council offers some safety tips specific to each of the following emergencies in the state of California:
When faced with a natural or manmade emergency, we all must try to stay informed through radio, TV or the Internet. The National Safety Council recommends the following general precautions that apply to most disaster situations:
- Have a family plan in place; all members of the family should review and practice the plan
- Have an emergency kit in your car and at least three days of food and water stored safely in your home
- Have all family members’ and other important phone numbers written down or memorized
- Be sure to store all important documents – birth certificates, insurance policies, etc. – in a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box
- Assign at least one family member the responsibility of learning first aid and CPR
- Know how to shut off utilities
Being prepared in case of an emergency is easier than you might think. Whether it’s your home, your neighborhood, your business or place of work, or your school — you can take a few precautionary steps to prepare your home and family. Although Dutton Plumbing approaches plumbing, drains and rooter from a lighthearted perspective, we take emergency preparedness very seriously and are here to help if and when that need should arise. Being prepared also means being equipped with the proper supplies needed in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.
At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Flashlight [Available on the Red Cross Store]
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Emergency blanket [Available on the Red Cross Store]
- Map(s) of the area
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Two-way radios
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Manual can opener
- Rain gear
- Work gloves
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Household liquid bleach
- Entertainment items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Gas meter wrench
Yes, you read that last one right, a gas meter wrench. And because Dutton Plumbing does take emergency preparedness seriously, we’re giving away free gas meter wrenches’ during the whole month of September. So give us a call today and it’s yours, 100% FREE.
We wish you the best of luck in your emergency preparation, but also hope you won’t need it.
To be continued…
Got a leaky faucet, a clogged drain or a backed-up toilet? Don’t throw a fit, let Dutton do it!