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Be prepared during hurricane season

Being ready for emergencies goes beyond fire alarms, smoke detectors and dead-bolt locks.  Being ready means families can take care of themselves for at least the first 72 hours after disaster strikes.  National Preparedness Month in September is a prime opportunity for Virginians to get ready.

Every family should have these items on hand:

  • Three days’ food that won’t spoil, such as canned goods and packaged foods.
  • Three days’ water (one gallon per person per day).
  • Battery-powered radio with weather band and extra batteries.
  • Written family emergency plan.

“This list is a good starting point,” said Michael Cline, state coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.  “You can add other things such as a flashlight and first aid kit, but everyone should have the basics.

“Every family should sit down together and make a plan,” said Cline.  “How would you contact each other if phone lines are down?  Where would you meet if you couldn’t return to your home?  Making a plan is free and simple and makes a big difference.” 

Research shows that most people believe they are ready for emergencies, but 71 percent of Virginians do not have three days’ food and water, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries, and a written family plan.  Having these items on hand is crucial during the first 72 hours after a disaster.

For more information and worksheets to help Virginians get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan and stay informed about emergencies and threats, visit http://www.ReadyVirginia.gov or call 1-866-782-3470 toll free.  A Spanish website is available at http://www.ListoVirginia.gov.

Go to http://www.ready.gov for more information about National Preparedness Month.

posted 09.08.2009

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