It’s unfortunate that it takes a 6.0 earthquake in Northern California to remind us how important emergency preparedness is, but Wine Country is also Earthquake Country and Fire Country. Our hearts go out to all those who were injured, lost treasured belongings and the wineries who lost so much fine juice.
We at Parker Sanpei talk a lot about living the good life, and that includes living informed and prepared for when disaster strikes. Here we revisit what to do in case of an emergency and how to prepare in advance.
The American Red Cross, recommends a 3-step approach to emergency preparedness.
1. GET A KIT
We love the American Red Cross’ spreadsheet shopping list for building your own preparedness kit (Emergency Preparedness Shopping List), but you can also purchase one directly from their website. Either way, your family’s kit should contain items that enable you to provide comfort for everyday scrapes or treat life-threatening emergencies.
A standard preparedness kit should include the following items (see here for more a more detailed list):
- First Aid Kit
- Personal Documents
- Contact Info
- Sanitary Supplies
- Pet Supplies
2. MAKE A PLAN
Planning ahead will help you have the best possible response to disaster. We like the Red Cross’ PDF on making a plan to share with family. In short, when preparing for a disaster, always:
- Talk with your family.
- Learn how and when to turn off utilities and how to use life-saving tools such as fire extinguishers.
- Tell everyone where emergency information and supplies are stored. Provide copies of the family’s preparedness plan to each member of the family. Always ensure that information is up-to-date and practice evacuations, following the routes outlined in your plan. Don’t forget to identify alternative routes.
Include pets in your evacuation plans.
As an element of your preparedness plan, choose an out-of-area contact for all family members to call in case of an emergency. Include the contact on your Emergency Contact Card. Your contact should live far enough away that he or she will not be affected by the disaster. You should also:
- Predetermine meeting places to save time and minimize confusion.
- Select two meeting places:
- Right outside your home; e.g., in cases such as a home fire.
- Outside your neighborhood or town, when you cannot return home or you must evacuate.
3. BE INFORMED
Get info: During a disaster, it’s important to understand the different ways you can obtain information. Make sure you and each member of your family is familiar with the following ways to receive information:
- NOAA Weather Station
- Printed Notices
- Telephone/Text Messaging
- Local Emergency Warning Systems
- Person to Person
Know your region: Learn what disasters or emergencies may occur in your area, and what to expect from them. If unsure, call your local American Red Cross chapter for more information.
Action steps: If you find yourself in an emergency situation, stay calm and follow these emergency action steps:
- Check the scene and check the person
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number
- Care for the person based on the conditions you find (to find CPR and First Aid classes in your area, click here).