Disaster Preparedness Costs Little, Saves A Lot

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Release date: 
June 4, 2010
Release Number: 

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Just as every home should have a smoke alarm, every home should have an emergency supply kit packed and ready. And being prepared doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

While emergency preparedness is ongoing at the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), it's also an individual responsibility.

The AEMA web site – www.EMA.Alabama.gov – includes an emergency kit checklist and other preparedness tips.

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer.

An emergency preparedness kit should include:

  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Local maps;
  • Moist towelettes, toilet paper, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

Other items to consider include sleeping bags or blankets, paper towels, books, puzzles and games for children and pet food for family pets. It’s helpful to have cash in case banks are closed and ATMs are not operating.

Emergency supplies can be stored in an easy-to-carry plastic storage container or duffel bag, making them easy to grab and go if an emergency forces people to leave their home.

Putting together an emergency kit isn’t expensive. Many of the items can usually be found in the home.

More information on emergency preparedness, including how to put together a family communication plan, can be found at FEMA’s emergency preparedness web site www.Ready.gov.

The Alabama Emergency Management Agency is Alabama's coordinating agency for disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Learn more at www.ema.alabama.gov and follow the agency on Twitter (@AlabamaEMA).

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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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