We know that disasters pose a serious threat, but do we ever really take the steps to prepare for them? We’re lucky to live in Fairfield, outside of prime tornado territory, but 2010’s storm proves that we’re not exempt from hurricanes, snowstorms and our own weather curveballs. Here’s a list of precautions to take so that you are ready when disaster strikes.
Get connected– Ultimately prepare yourself by signing up for Fairfield’s brand new emergency notification system, CodeRED, announced in July. The high-speed phone notification system, which replaces reverse 911 and delivers phone messages to the town, will not only come in handy during the crisis but will also bring you much peace of mind. For more information, go to Fairfieldct.org.
Create a plan- During an evacuation you will not be able to think as clearly. Your mind will be in panic mode; thinking the situation through ahead of time could mean saving your life. Begin to formulate an escape outlet by gathering maps of the area and creating a list of local shelters you could go to. Living Prepared suggests creating a step-by-step, specific evacuation plan.
Compile numbers– Write down any and all important, useful numbers on one piece of paper: family members’, emergency contacts and civic numbers. Some Fairfield numbers that should grace your list, as marked by the Town of Fairfield website, are:
Fire Department– (203) 254-4700
Police Department– (203) 254-4800
Town Hall– (203) 256-3000
Power Outages– (800) 722-5584
Red Cross– (203) 576-1010
School emergencies– (203) 255-TALK
Make extra keys. Make copies of both your house keys and your car keys, as these will be a godsend if your keys go missing during a storm. Imagine yourself keyless during a storm: it’s an image you should want to keep from becoming reality.
Make copies of important documents– Among many, the most important include property deeds, proof of residency, identification, insurance policies and bank information. Keep them protected by placing them in a waterproof, portable container.
Prepare to insulate your home- In the unlikely event of a chemical or radiological hazard, officials will inform you that you need to shelter-in your home. Gather suitable materials, such as plastic sheeting, duct tape, towels and scissors, in one place so you know where they are.
Create a disaster supply kit- Your kit should include the following:
- Water. Ready.gov suggests that you pack one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. This will fulfill drinking as well as sanitation purposes.
- Food. The 72-hour rule applies here, too. Pack a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Opt for foods that are high protein/calorie and that will keep you from getting thirsty, such as canned foods with high liquid content, salt-free crackers and whole grain.
- Matches- Keep them in a waterproof container, along with any other flammable items you store.
- First aid kit- A few of the more important items you should include are adhesive bandages, sterile dressings, and antibiotic ointment, as detailed by the Town of Fairfield. For an extensive list, visit ND Child Care Resource and Referral Health Consultant Team’s online first aid kit.
- Generator and/or solar charger. There’s no use in electronics without their power sources.
- Fire extinguisher
- Extra cash- Your mom’s advice to always have cash on you couldn’t be any more valuable in this situation. Keep physical cash with you as well as your credit card.
- Prescription medication- Pack a three-day supply, as with water and food.
- Radio– Make it battery-powered or hand cranked. For news purposed get a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.
- Multipurpose tool
- Rain gear- Will be helpful for many types of inclement weather.
- Practical clothing- Prepare for cold weather. Include gloves, hats, and extra blankets.
- Manual can opener. For opening all of the canned goods you will store.
- Extra batteries- Pivotal for a number of items you will need.
- Wrench/pliers- In order to turn off utilities.
- Whistle. Remember the scene in Titanic? Whistles are universal SOS signals and stand out much more than a human voice.
- Dust mask- To filter out contaminated air
- Hygiene items- Moist towels, plastic tie bags, garbage bags, and disinfectant to name a few, as well as feminine hygiene products.
- Sleeping bag and/or warm blanket for each person- This will be especially valuable in the middle of a snowstorm.
Tips and supplies courtesy of: Town of Fairfield, Ready.gov, Living Prepared, and North Dakota Child Care Resource and Referral Health Consultant Team.