ROCKFORD, Ill. ? With winter rapidly approaching, every family should be prepared to face another season of destructive cold, storms and flooding. Every home should have a Disaster Supply Kit that includes a weather radio. The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) urge all Illinois residents to act now to assemble their family's emergency supplies before the start of the winter storm season.
"Weather radios have long been a staple of storm-prone communities," said Tony Russell, Federal Coordinating Officer for FEMA. "We'd like to educate all Illinois residents to appreciate their broader applications as early warning for nearly all disasters, ranging from flood and weather-related events, tornadoes, snow storms....even chemical releases. They are a must for any disaster preparedness kit."
National Weather Service forecasters provide routine weather programming at all times. During life-threatening weather conditions, the radios send out a special alarm tone. This is critical, because weather can turn deadly very fast. Ice Storms and flash flooding are two examples which can occur when people are sleeping or unaware of the forecast. Both can be deadly if people do not have an emergency plan or enough warning so that they can get to a safe place.
With a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, you will be alerted to dangerous weather and have time to take shelter. NOAA Weather Radios also broadcast warnings and information regarding technological disasters, such as chemical releases or oil spills. They can be purchased at most stores that sell electronic devices. Most run on batteries or have battery back-up.
"Every household should also have at least a three day supply of food and water," said Tony Russell, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer. "Disaster Supply Kits are a central aspect of preparedness, and we ask those who have not yet assembled their kits to do so before the start of the winter storm season."
Every home should be stocked with a supply kit and when storing the supplies, keep them easily accessible in case of an evacuation.
A Disaster Supply Kit should contain the following:
- Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
- Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days
Non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices, foods for infants or the elderly, snack foods, non-electric can opener, cooking utensils / fuel, paper plates, plastic utensils
- Blankets / Pillows, etc.
- Clothing - seasonal, rain gear, sturdy shoes
- Medical supplies - first aid kit, medicines, prescription drugs
- Special Items - for infants and the elderly
- Toiletries - hygiene items
- Moisture wipes
- Flashlight - extra batteries
- Radio - battery-operated and NOAA weather radio
- Cash - (Banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods.)
- Important documents - in a waterproof container
Insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, social security card, etc
- Toys, books and games
- Tools - keep a set with you during the storm
- Vehicle fuel tanks filled
- Pet care items
Proper identification, immunization records, ample supply of food and water, a carrier or cage, medications, muzzle and leash.