As the decade draws to a close and millions of Pennsylvanians’ thoughts turn toward the positive changes they want to see in their lives, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency director Randy Padfield is encouraging citizens to “Resolve to be Ready” in 2020 by creating family emergency plans and emergency kits.
“The single, most effective way to ensure the safety of your loved ones during an emergency situation is to have a plan,” Padfield said. “Being prepared and knowing ahead of time how to react are critical elements of emergency response training. You can do the same by practicing your plan and having a basic emergency kit.”
Padfield said to create an emergency plan, you should:
- Identify locations in both your community and in a nearby town, where you can meet loved ones;
- Identify an out-of-town contact everyone can check in with;
- Text or use social media to let others know you are safe and where you are;
- Have hard copies of lists of phone numbers and other important information such as doctor’s offices as well as copies of important documents; and
- Practice your plan just like you would a fire drill.
A basic emergency kit should include enough basic supplies to support your loved ones for several days. Padfield said it should include:
- One gallon of water per person per day;
- Non-perishable food and a manual can opener;
- Vital medical supplies, hearing aid batteries or other medical equipment and mobility devices you may need;
- Specialized items such as baby supplies and pet care products;
- First aid kit;
- Hand-crank or battery operated flashlights and radio;
- Car cell phone chargers or battery packs;
- Special toys or supplies to keep children and pets occupied and busy.
Additional resources, including emergency plan templates and emergency kit checklists, are available on the ReadyPA website. Padfield also encourages social media users to follow PEMA on Facebook and Twitter for timely emergency preparedness information. It’s important to note that you do not need to have a Facebook or Twitter account to access the information.