Home emergency preparedness can appear complex and time-consuming to consumers.
Recognizing this, the Washington State Emergency Management Division (at www.emd.wa.gov) provides a “Prepare in a Year” approach to personal preparedness.
The approach suggests consumers choose one hour each month and complete designated, easy-to-do preparedness activities over 12 months.
Each activity is described, offering a how-to on everything from simple tasks like turning off home electricity and water to developing out of area contacts and home emergency action plans.
For example, one activity suggests creating “72-hour Comfort Kits,” so individuals can rely upon supplies you have available in your home for at least the first three days following any major disaster.
The items should be kept in portable containers that can be easily grabbed if rapid evacuation is necessary and withstand moisture, insects, and some abuse.
Items within containers can be placed in plastic bags to resist condensation leading to rust or mildew.
A checklist covering water, food, tools, first aid and other supplies, clothing and bedding is provided. Special items are discussed, as well,, such as extra eye classes, prescription drugs and medications, baby diapers, food and formula, a family picture, and copies of key documents and account numbers.
The checklist should be kept with the kit and kit items reviewed, tested, and rotated at least annually.