Protecting your home and community

Preparing for the Storm

Four Steps to Staying Safe & Healthy in an Emergency

Winter storms are inevitable. Most people know what groceries they need, as empty store shelves confirm. But it’s not only eleventh hour shoppers that can get into trouble.

Empty store shelves

People know what groceries they need

How can you make sure you can stay safe and healthy when a big winter storm hits? Taking these four steps can help you do just that.

Step One: Think about what you need. The CDC and the American Red Cross recommend creating a 36-piece emergency kit. Yes, every household should have those things, but it’s easy to avoid thinking about it and leave it to the last minute. But you probably have most of the pieces you need.

CDC list of emergency kit contents

What items do you already have?

Look over the CDC’s list. Check off the things you already have. Remind yourself where they are. If you can, gather together in one place the items that you don’t use all the time.

Step Two: Think about what you’ve used in the past three days. How about cash? Your ID? Put some cash and copies of your identification in your collection.

 Have a pet?

Collecting a three-day supply of human and pet food is a good idea. Don’t forget a can opener and any prescriptions! Congratulations, you have started building a kit!

Want to build a kit but not today? Buy one item or an extra can of supplies per shopping trip. Pick up a small first aid kit on your next trip to the pharmacy, or order one from the Red Cross.Image of first aid kit

Step Three: During the storm, keep a list of things that you discovered you needed and get them into your kit!

Step Four: Congratulate yourself. Whatever happens, you know you’ve taken important steps to keeping yourself and your family safe healthy when the storm comes.

Top Photo Credit: James City County, VA, Bottom Photo Credit: University of Iowa School of Public Health



1 Comment

  1. January 26, 2014    

    You can prepare to wait out a storm that lasts a day or two relatively easily. Preparing for storms that last longer requires a greater commitment. In large part, the commitment should reflect the area you live in, and the likelihood of adverse events occurring. Are there frequent heavy snow storms, hurricanes or tornadoes. Do you live in an area subject to earthquakes?

    Here is a map showing the most likely locations for hurricane damage. Other types of hazards are locatable via the website

    I hope that helps!

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