Hurricane Sandy showed us just how devastating natural disasters are. With changing weather patterns, forecasters say damaging storms are likely to become more common. That’s why it’s so important for you to take a few basic steps to keep yourself and your family safe. The American Red Cross recommends that every family develop a personal disaster plan that includes instructions for evacuating and sheltering in place. Choose places to meet in case you have to leave your home and decide how you will get in touch with each other if you can’t use your cell phones.
Plan and practice your evacuation route. Know what to do to secure your home if you have to leave: how to turn off water and gas, what to do about pets. Put together a disaster kit with flashlights and batteries, a radio, non-perishable food, enough water for each person for three days, a first-aid kit, toilet paper and personal hygiene items, blankets and emergency contact information. For more ideas about creating a disaster plan, see http://www.redcross.org/prepare