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Today's Family Magazine

Every family should have a disaster plan

Aug 29, 2016 01:57PM ● By Today's Family
It’s 2:10 p.m. on Thursday when you hear the emergency siren.  Will your family know what to do to stay in contact if you are not together?  Do you have the necessary supplies to survive at home? Would you be ready to leave your neighborhood?

If you don’t have an answer, then you’re probably like most individuals and families.  You know you should prepare for an emergency, have some supplies at home, but you also know there are agencies available to help you… so you’ve put off creating that solid plan and emergency kit.

The truth is – you should not wait!

As September begins National Emergency Preparedness Month, the Lake County Emergency Management Agency and Local Emergency Planning Committee encourage you to join “Ready Lake County” and commit to taking action, discussing a family disaster plan and make (or resupply) your emergency kit.

“Disasters and large-scale emergencies, whether natural or man-made, are going to occur.  Retaining a sense of community awareness, coupled with taking some simple steps to individually prepare, can go a long way in helping to reduce the impact and duration of such events.  Our new Reverse 911 system for Lake County is a substantial leap forward in our ability to get critical information to Lake County residents in a timely manner,” said  Larry Greene, director of Lake County EMA.

“We continue to stay ahead of the curve in our plan to manage potential emergencies––the new Reverse 911 system will ensure our residents will have speedy access to the latest information, if and when an emergency strikes.  It’s equally important residents have their own emergency plan as well,” added Greene.

Any family can be emergency ready by the end of September if they can do these simple things (one per week).

1. Create a disaster plan.  Think about what disasters/emergencies are most likely to happen in your community and discuss a plan for each situation like where you would meet if you are separated and how you would stay in touch or let others know you’re okay.  Review and practice your plan as a family at least once per year.  Keep in mind that telephones and cell phones may not be working.

2. Have a disaster supply kit.  In addition to basics like extra food, fresh water and medical supplies or medications, consider other needs of people in your family including comfort items for infants and young children. 
If the task of building your disaster kit seems daunting, consider buying a few extra supplies each week and over a short time, your kit will be complete.

3. Have a plan for pets & seniors/homebound. Dogs, cats and other pets will also require food, water and special supplies such as leashes, pet carriers if you need to evacuate and back up electricity for fish tanks.

Seniors and persons with physical or medical disabilities will need to evaluate if they need support during a disaster.  Disabled persons that live alone should have a personal support network that will check in on them to ensure they’re okay or help if they need assistance.  Copies of relevant emergency documents, health information and medications should be included in a disaster kit.

4. Know who & when to call for help.  Be aware of local resources for emergency shelters, evacuation transportation, heating/cooling centers, utility services, emergency pet services and health/wellness services for family members with unique medical needs and seniors.
Lake County residents may sign up for the new Reverse 911 system by logging onto: has resources for you to easily access local agencies and basic information on how to create a disaster plan, build an emergency supply kit, prepare for pet needs, and identify which agencies are best for your unique emergency needs.

More information on disaster planning can be found on––the one source for everyone to easily access local agencies and resources, or by calling 2-1-1.

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