Is your family, neighborhood or workplace ready for a flood? What about a power outage, tornado, fire, or medical emergency? Oakland County Homeland Security is helping county residents get prepared for National Preparedness Month with the “Our Emergency Plan” .
When it comes to the safety of the ones you love, don’t leave anything to chance. Where will your family meet, and who will they contact if something happens? Make sure there are emergency contacts in the area, as well as out of the area. In the event of a fire, does your family have a fireproof safe to keep important documents safe? Plan an escape route for yourself, your family members and pets, and practice these routes. Family members might feel silly, but practice makes perfect!
Flooding can happen anywhere. Rainfall, land geography and location all play factors but you can help to prepare your home and family. Know the risk of your home being flooded, and never walk or drive through flooded areas. Disconnect electric appliances and turn off gas and electricity main switches and valves to avoid fires and explosions. After a flood, only return home when it is safe, and be aware of any debris and hazards that might present in your home. Remember to contact your utility company to turn the gas back on.
Oakland County is no stranger to tornadoes. They can touch down suddenly and require quick reaction to move to a safe location. Everyone in your family should know the safest shelter location in the home, and that shelter should be free from rubble. Know the warning signs and signals, and sign up for alert programs such as OakAlert to stay up-to-date on incidents. FEMA says,
“Tornadoes can strike in any season, but occur most often in the spring and summer months. They can occur at all hours of the day and night, but are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.”
Place pre-made emergency kits, flashlights and candles in strategic locations around the home and office, and energy conservation techniques are all useful during a power outage. Check batteries in flashlights monthly, fuel your car and make sure all medications are stored properly. During a power outage food can stay cold for hours in a closed fridge, and FoodSafety.gov has guidelines on what to keep and discard.
Help stay calm during an emergency with a communication plan for your family. Preparation can save your loved ones, pets and co-workers if you are ready. Don’t wait, communicate, and make your emergency plan today!