What your family needs to do before an emergency

As all eyes remain on Hermine, now is a good time to make sure your family has an emergency plan prepared in case you find yourself taking the brunt of the storm.

One important step: prepare an emergency kit. It's recommended you have:

- At least a 3 day supply of water
- At least a 3 day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Flashlight
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply)

- Medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket

- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Rain gear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross also suggestions you make a plan with your family ahead of the storm:

Meet with your family or household members:

-Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play.
-Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.
-If a family member is in the military, plan how you would respond if they were deployed.
-Plan what to do in case you are separated during an emergency

Choose two places to meet:

-Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire
-Outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate

Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. It may be easier to text or call long distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing or saved on their cell phones.

Plan what to do if you have to evacuate:

Decide where you would go and what route you would take to get there. You may choose to go to a hotel/motel, stay with friends or relatives in a safe location or go to an evacuation shelter if necessary.

Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on your map in case roads are impassable.

Plan ahead for your pets. Keep a phone list of pet-friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.

Let Your Family Know You're Safe

If your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website to let your family and friends know you are safe. You may also call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and select the prompt for "Disaster" to register yourself and your family.
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