Preparing Citizens For Emergencies

In 2005, in cooperation with The Greater Buffalo Chapter of the Red Cross, the Community Action Organization & the Board of Block Clubs began giving presentations on “Preparing for a Disaster” to families, block clubs, and businesses in the communities of Western New York. The information presented is vital to each and every member of the community. The program is designed to alleviate panic in any emergency situation by having a personal disaster plan in place for each family, business or school in the community.

Information needed for every personal disaster plan includes:

*     Out-of-area contact – the name, address, and phone number of a person out of the local area or out-of-state to be contacted in an emergency

*        Local contact – the name, address, and phone number of a person to be contacted in an emergency

*        Nearest relative – the name, address and phone number (home and work) of your nearest relative to be contacted in an emergency

*        Emergency Services phone numbers (in case 911 is busy) police, local hospital and ambulance

*        Family Physicians or pediatrician

*        Reunion location – where you should meet in case of separation ex. across the  street from your house in case of fire etc.

*        Reunion location in case you cannot return to your immediate area (the  local  library, restaurant etc.

*        An escape plan – draw a large box and mark the exits and the route that you and  your family would use to escape from your home.

The more you practice your escape plan with your children, the less apt they will be to panic in case of an emergency evacuation.

*        In your floor plan, include locations of fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, collapsible ladders, stairways, utility shut offs, windows and  first aid and disaster supplies kits

Disaster Plans At Children’s Schools

*        Know your children’s schools’ plan

*        Keep Contact information current

*        Know authorizations required to release a child

Know your workplace’s disaster plan, including

*        The chain of command

*        Notification method

*        Safe locations

*        Instructions about leaving

Create two disaster supplies kits, a large one for at home should your family have

to shelter-in-place and a small one in a back pack or something easily carried in

case of evacuation. Some items that should be included in your Home Kit are:

*        Flashlight and batteries

*        Transistor radio and batteries

*        Water (one gallon per person per day, half for drinking and half for personal care

*        Non-perishable food

*        Extra medications (enough for three days)

*        First aid kit

*        Special items for infants and pets

*        Cards and games to keep the kids occupied

*        Tooth brush, paste, and personal care items

*        Tailor your kit to fit your families needs

Some items that should be included in your Away Kit are:

*        One change of clothing and foot wear per person

*        First aid kit with prescription medication

*        Extra keys, cash, and credit cards

*        Special items for infants and pets

To schedule a presentation, please contact Linda or Ada at (716)886-2616 or the Greater Buffalo Chapter of The American Red Cross at (716) 886-7500 or visit their web site at http://www.redcross.org/ for more detailed information on disaster preparation