The final day of Severe Weather Awareness Week focuses on family preparedness.

As we’ve mentioned all week, one of the best things you can do during severe weather is make sure you are prepared for the worst.

The National Weather Service recommends five key elements of a disaster plan…

First of all, learn about possible dangers in your area, such as flooding, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, and familiarize yourself with the community’s disaster response plan.

Second, talk to your family about what to do in the event of an emergency and plan two locations where you will meet if separated and unable to return to your home.

The third element is developing a crisis communications plan to insure that everyone can keep in contact during a disaster. Fourth, create an emergency preparedness kit for your home, office and car and finally, practice your plan.
Here is a basic list of items to include in a kit:

Store at least one gallon of water per person per day. To prepare the safest and most reliable emergency supply of water, it is recommended you  purchase commercially bottled water. Be sure to keep water in its original  container and do not open it until you use it. Always observe the expiration  or “use by” date on bottled water. Use and replace the water before this  date.

Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little
to no water. Be sure to include a manual can opener in your disaster kit.
Here are some ideas for foods to include:
. Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
. Canned juices, milk or soup
. Staples: sugar, salt, pepper
. High energy foods: peanut butter, jelly, salt-free crackers, granola bars, trail mix
. Cookies, hard candy, instant coffee, tea bags
. Vitamins
. Foods for infants, elderly persons or other persons with special dietary needs
. Food and water
. Battery or hand crank operated radio
. Flashlight and extra batteries
. First aid supplies
. Clothing, shoes and blankets
. Whistle
. Cash and coins
. Photocopies of important family documents such as ID’s and credit cards
. Baby needs
. Sanitation items such as hand sanitizer and toilet paper
. Specialty items such as prescription medications and eyeglasses
. Games to pass the time

A good first aid kit is essential to any home, and is imperative in any disaster supply kit. Here are some items which should be included in any first  aid kit. This is not an exhaustive list.
. Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
. 2-inch and 4-inch sterile gauze pads
. Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
. Scissors and tweezers
. Antiseptic and anti-bacterial ointment
. Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
. Cleansing agent/soap
. Latex gloves
. Sunscreen
. Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
. Anti-diarrhea medication

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