Five tips for handling an emergency.
With hurricane season upon us, it’s always important to be prepared for erratic changes in the tracks of storms. When disaster strikes, you should be prepared to be able to take care of yourself for 72 hours or more.
Here are five tips from FEMA on how to be prepared.
- Have an emergency kit or a Go Bag prepared in advance. In addition to basic supplies like food and water, many personal items should also be included like prescription medicines, hearing aid batteries and eyeglasses. For a comprehensive list, and for other suggestions, visit ready.gov
- What if you have complicated medical needs like a reliance on dialysis, or if you use oxygen or other life support systems at home? First, make sure people in your support network (family, neighbors, friends) know what to do in case of a disaster, but also find out in advance from your utility provider, Meals on Wheels and your paratransit agency how they will be able to support you. If you live in Westchester or New York City and rely on life support equipment, you should contact Con Eidson at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) or download and mail this enrollment form.
- Have a communication plan ready so you know how you will get in touch with family members, neighbors and friends.
- Create a map of local resources for food, water, emergency services, healthcare providers and buildings with generators.
- Store critical documents so they will always be accessible – on a thumb drive, in the cloud or with a trusted friend outside your neighborhood. Also keep an updated version of these documents in your Go Bag.
An emergency reminds us, often dramatically, that we are in this together. As White Plains Hospital Director of Emergency Management Ed Tangredi says, “When a disaster hits our communities, the response is all about breaking down those barriers that separate us.
Whether it’s healthcare, public safety or a community response, coalition building has become the highest priority in emergency planning. Coalition building allows us to unite as a community and respond as one in preserving life, protecting property and managing whatever incident we are faced with.”