Disaster can strike at any time. You can limit the effects by preparing in a few simple ways. KCHA suggests that you and your family make emergency information cards and carry them at all times. You should also have in your home at least three gallons of water for each family member.
In a disaster, debris or traffic may block or close the area's roads and highways. You and your family can prepare by making and carrying emergency information cards that list:
- An out-of-state contact number. Choose a trusted relative or friend. List their full name; home, work, and cell phone numbers; and email address. In a disaster, each family member should call or email this person. Let them know where you are, what you plan to do, and that you are safe.
- An emergency meeting place. Choose a place every family member knows. It should be close to home, but far enough away to avoid the effects of the disaster. Consider a family friend's home across town or a 24-hour restaurant.
- Contact information for all family members. List each person's full name, cell phone number, email address, and your home phone number.
Every family member needs their own card. Keep it in your purse or wallet, or in your child's school or overnight bag.
For children too young to carry their own card, give it to their school or day-care provider. Make sure to review the cards every six months, at the same time you change your clocks for daylight saving time. Give every family member a new card if any information changes.
Many disasters can shut down your home's water system. Adults need at least half a gallon of drinking water each day — and often more in warm weather or while working hard. You may need another one-half to one gallon for each person in your home for cooking, cleaning dishes, bathing, and teeth brushing. Make sure to store at least a three-day supply of water per person.
You can safely store water in a cool, dark place for at least a year. Food-safe plastic bottles work well, as long as you keep them away from gasoline or other chemical vapors. You can use glass bottles instead, but keep them in a place where falling objects cannot cause cracks. You may also use metal bottles, as long as you have not treated the water with bleach. Make sure to mark the bottles with the date you stored them. Replace the water each year.
In an emergency you can find water in other places in your home. These include ice cubes in the freezer, water from the upper tank of the toilet (not the bowl), and the hot water heater.