Preparing as Individuals/Families
Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but in a large disaster, they will not be able to reach everyone immediately. You could receive help in a few hours but it might take days. You, your family, and the community around you will be the first responders. Becoming 2 Weeks Ready will help you reduce the impact of any disaster, upon you, your family, and community. You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having enough food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for two weeks for every member of your family, including your pets. Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be interrupted for days, a week, or even longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. How will your supply chains for food, fuel and water be impacted? Will transportation to and from your home/workplace be impacted?
Steps to becoming 2 Weeks Ready!
1. ) Develop and test emergency communication plans. Your family/loved ones may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to think about the following situations and plan, just in case.
Consider the following questions when making a plan:
- How will my family/household receive emergency alerts and warnings? How will my family/household get to safe locations for relevant emergencies?
- How will my family/household communicate if cell phone, internet, or landline doesn’t work?
- How will I let loved ones know I am safe?
- How will family/household get to a meeting place after the emergency?
2.) Assemble or update emergency supply kits. (Go-bag/backpack at home, work and in the car)
- A disaster supply kit is simply a collection of basic items you and your household may need in the event of an emergency.
- Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. For example, a large wheeled cooler with a handle can be especially helpful to move supplies for a family.
- In a disaster, you will – not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
- Keep supplies in your house, including at least one gallon of water, per person, per day (at least 14 gallons per person!)
- For tips on how to store this water, see the video below.
- Keep a “go-kit” with some food, water, a flashlight and extra batteries, warm clothes, and other items you might need in a place where you can grab it if you need to leave in a hurry.
- If you commute, you can keep this go-kit in your car, so supplies are with you wherever you go.
- Remember you should have a GO Kit for each member of your family including your pets.
- For tips on what to put in a go-kit, visit: (INSERT LINK)
- Keep sturdy shoes under your bed, to protect your feet if you have to leave in the middle of the night.
- Don’t forget to prepare supplies for your pets!
3.) Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
- WA State EMD-Alert & Warnings List
- Contact your local Emergency Management Office to sign up for local emergency alerting programs available to citizens.
- National Weather Service Email and SMS Weather Alert Services
- Federal Emergency Management Agency: FEMA/IPAWS
- American Red Cross Mobile Apps
- Include a NOAA All Hazards “ALERT” Weather Radio in your home
4.) Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources using Map Your Neighborhood (MYN).
- Local Emergency Management Offices
- Search & Rescue Organizations
- Amateur Radio Clubs
- Local churches and houses of worship
- Citizen Corps:Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) : Contact your local Emergency Management Office for more information about CERT
- Local Volunteer Fire Departments
- Local Neighborhood Watch Groups
- Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)
- Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS)
- Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS): AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Learn & Serve America
WAEMD Do you know how to store water properly
Getting Emergency Drinking Water Out of your Water Heater
Are you prepared with water in your Go Kit?
Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions. The Great WA Shakeout held during the third Thursday in October is a great way to practice your planning efforts. In 2019, it will be held on Thursday, October 17th at 10:17 am.