MOORHEAD, Minn. -- When disasters such as the recent Red River Valley flooding occur, it is critical that families respond quickly and responsibly - especially if evacuation is necessary.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) say families can be ready for any disaster by taking three simple steps:
- Get an emergency supply kit. A supply kit should include such basic items as water, food, a flashlight, prescription medications and glasses, and a first-aid kit.
- Make a family emergency plan. A good plan would include a list of possible emergencies, evacuation routes, phone numbers of friends, relatives and local emergency management offices. Plan on being self-sustaining for at least three days.
- Be informed. Learn about the types of emergencies that can happen in your area and how to respond to them.
More information on disaster planning can be found at www.ready.gov.
Be sure to include children in the planning process. They should be asked to discuss their concerns and feelings, taken to pre-arranged "meeting spots" so they are familiar with them, and asked if they understand the plan. A good way to introduce children to the emergency planning process is to go to www.ready.gov and click on "Kids." There, children will find helpful information presented in a child-friendly manner.
And don't forget your pets! Prepare an animal emergency supply kit, develop a pet care buddy system in case you can't take care of your animals yourself, and if you must evacuate, take your pets with you if at all possible.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.