New research from the national nonprofit Home Safety Council reveals that while the majority of mothers (68 percent) say they have talked with their children about what to do should a natural disaster occur in their home town, less than a third have developed an emergency communication plan or prepared disaster supply kits - two preparedness activities strongly advised by leading safety experts.
"Regardless of where you live, we encourage all families to take a few simple safety precautions in order to be ready for any type of emergency," said Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council. "Being prepared starts with having a conversation. Talk about the kinds of things that can happen in your area, then develop a family communication plan and assemble disaster supply kits that are stored in an identified place in the home."
The Home Safety Council advises families to assemble both a Ready-To-Stay and Ready-To-Go kit to ensure they're prepared for emergencies that require staying at home as well as for events that require evacuation.
Keep a Ready-to-Go Kit with the following items in a backpack or duffle bag in case an emergency forces you to leave home:
-One gallon of water per person.
-Food that doesn't need refrigeration, and a manual can opener.
-Plastic/paper plates, cups and utensils.
-Flashlight and extra batteries.
-Change of clothes.
-Personal identification card.
-Card with your contact information and the number of someone out of state to call.
-If needed, pet food and supplies for one or more days.
-Small first-aid kit.
-Personal hygiene items, soap and hand sanitizer.
Your Ready-To-Stay Kit should include all the items in the Ready-To-Go Kit plus a few items, and be stored in a plastic tub:
-Three gallons of water for each family member.
-Canned food and snacks for at least three days, and a manual can opener.
-If needed, pet food and supplies for three days.
-Books and games.
-Paper and pencils.
To get children more involved in family readiness activities, the Home Safety Council is launching the Kids Prepare America Contest. The national contest encourages kids to take the lead in driving preparedness activities at home and will recognize the efforts of third- and fourth-grade students who share what they've done to help their families. Ten grand-prize winners from across the country will be selected to travel to Washington, D.C. for an awards dinner on June 5. Each winning student will be accompanied by an adult family member, his or her teacher and a safety partner. For contest details, visit www.kidsprepareamerica.org.
For additional information on the Home Safety Council's preparedness programs, visit www.homesafetycouncil.org.
- Courtesy of Family Features