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Be ready for emergencies

Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:47 a.m. CDT

The Department of Homeland Security encourages Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and schools.

“There are three simple things every household can do to help prepare for an emergency: make a plan, build an emergency kit, and be informed,” said Jane Lux, public health administrator at the DeKalb County Health Department. “Completing these basic steps is a great way to begin preparing your family for an emergency event.”

Make A Plan. Emergencies can happen at any time, not just when everyone is together. Create a communication plan and make sure that everyone in your family has it with them at all times. A family member or friend from outside the local area may be the designated call person for your family. In an emergency it can be easier to call long distance than to call across the street. It is also important to have a meeting place in your neighborhood.

Build an Emergency Kit. A comprehensive list of items to include can be found at www.ready.gov. Basic items include a three-day supply of water (at least one gallon per person per day); a three-day supply of nonperishable food, including food for pets; manual can opener and eating utensils; a flashlight; a portable, battery-powered radio and extra batteries; a first aid kit; blankets; emergency contact information; hand sanitizer, moist towelettes, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, and other hygiene items; and baby items such as diapers, formula, bottles and pacifiers, if applicable.

Be Informed. Tune in to local radio stations for the latest information. In a public health related emergency, go to the DeKalb County Health Department’s website at www.dekalbcountyhealthdepartment.org.

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