Emergency Preparedness Plan
Don't assume you will be able to rely on cell phones during an emergency, said Eric Holdeman, director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management. "They very quickly become overloaded and that's an issue for emergency responders also," he said. A text device like a Blackberry messaging device may offer a more reliable option, he said.

Follow these steps to research, discuss and implement a family emergency plan:

1. Identify the risks in your local area

2. Make a plan with the family

  • Agree on a location to meet, in case you are separated 
  • Decide where you will go if evacuation is required 
  • Identify evacuation routes 
  • Select an out-of-state contact and phone — local numbers often don't work in a disaster zone.

Emergency Stockpile 

The next part to preparedness is to create a stockpile so that you can survive on your own for at least to 10 days. Here are some recommendations from experts:

  • One to Two gallons of water per person per day 
  • Canned foods — and don't forget the can opener! Make sure the cans are BPA free!
  • Granola bars, protein bars, powdered protein for shakes, food for your pet 
  • Dried fruit, nuts 
  • Separate your stockpiles; keep some in the house (have them ready to go!) and some in the car 
  • Remember to rotate the supplies yearly

Here's some additional information regarding important documents and
products you should also have ready to take with you....Leesa

  • Money/Cash - dollars and coins (Keep some on hand and get more if needed at first warning.) 
  • Gas for your car (Keep at least 1/2 tank in your car if possible - Fill up at the first warning.) 
  • Paper pad and pen for writing 
  • Medication and Vitamin Supplements 
  • Flashlight and batteries 
  • Battery operated radio 
  • Change of clothing 
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, any personal grooming items, etc. 
  • First aid kit 
  • Copies of important papers - deed, insurance (medical & homeowners), phone numbers, photos 
  • Car battery charger for your cell phone 
  • Food for your pet 
  • Make sure your pet wears an identification tag with your current phone number. 
  • Make sure you have a plan for your pet in the event of a fire, flood, hurricane, or tornado. 
  • Plan for your pet’s future ~ make sure to identify who will provide care for your beloved pet if you die and your pet still lives. 
  • Make sure your will is up to date 
  • Make sure you know where you'll spend eternity 
  • Rescue Remedy ~ a combination of Bach Flower Essences that is especially beneficial when you find yourself in traumatic situations such as stress or emergencies. Bach flower essence drops are good for people and pets and can be purchased from Whole Foods or www.bachflower.com. 
  • Your Bible 
  • A pocket calendar 
  • Any special individual and family supplies required by you or your family 
  • Candles - regular and/or battery operated ones 
  • A lighter (Calico or Scripto Hot Shot Utility Lighter) or matches 
  • An umbrella

For more information visit these sites....

  • The Department of Homeland Security: http://www.ready.gov/: Includes recommendations on how to put together a disaster kit and a family plan. 

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency: http://www.fema.gov/: Click to find multi-page in-depth guides on individual, family and community preparedness. 

  • Students who recognized and demonstrated the importance of children knowing what to do during an emergency shared these links...  
Are you prepared for a Disaster? 

This is an excerpt from ABC News Primetime on September 15, 2005 ~ People caught in chaos are rarely at their best. They are scared, confused and desperate for clear direction. If a disaster struck today, would you know what to do? Experts say the best way to stay safe is to be prepared. In conversations with ABC News, they outlined three parts of preparedness. The first part is to figure out how to get in touch with your loved ones in the event of an emergency. "There's nothing more terrifying than the separation and lack of communication with the people that you care about," said Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University.