Now is a prime opportunity to review your family's emergency plan. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference in a crisis. The Better Business Bureau urges families to devise and discuss their disaster plan.
"When your safety is in question it is extremely important to have a plan," said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "The website of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an extremely useful tool which lists different emergencies that could happen in your community and helps identify the best possible responses."
Two things every family needs regardless of the disaster are an emergency plan and an emergency kit.
For an emergency plan, make sure all family members know where to meet and who to contact in case you get separated. A relative or friend in another area is an ideal emergency contact person. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to send and receive text messages. Consider downloading smart phone apps that provide emergency information.
The BBB recommends the following items for an emergency kit:
- A gallon of water per person per day for three days.
- A three-day supply of nonperishable food for each family member.
- A flashlight with extra batteries.
- First-aid kit.
- A whistle to signal for help.
- Dust masks.
- A wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
- A power inverter or solar charger for your cellphone.
For more information, visit www.bbb.org.