Family Disaster Preparedness in Five Easy Steps

Families can cope with disasters by working together as a team. Call a family meeting and get ready to survive by reviewing these five easy steps.

DISCUSS the disasters most likely to happen in the Pacific Northwest and their impact on your family’s safety. Hazards in our area include home fires, winter weather, earthquakes, flooding and hazardous material threats.

TRAIN all family members. Take first aid classes. Learn to use a fire extinguisher and how to shut off utilities. Don’t take a chance that the only person who knows first aid or how to turn off the natural gas will be at home when needed.

ASSEMBLE supplies including food, water and emergency tools. Involve your family in collecting and storing them.

IDENTIFY emergency Names and Numbers. Fill out and make copies for each member of your family to keep with them. Post a copy on the refrigerator and store one with your emergency supplies. When local phones are down, family members can use their out-of-state contact to relay messages.

MAINTAIN your readiness. Review your plan at least once a year to determine what training, equipment and supplies are needed. Commit to a day or weekend to update phone numbers, hold fire and earthquake drills and check supplies.