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Prepare for an Emergency

Description

Oklahoma is no stranger to natural disasters and other emergency situations. We are prone to floods, fires, high winds, tornadoes, hail, earthquakes, ice storms, and snow storms. Each one of those affects neighborhoods differently, but similar preparations can help neighbors be ready to take on whatever the weather may send our way.

Steps 

  1. Talk about it.
    Discuss with your household what types of emergencies you may face in your location. Identify the different risks and what precautions you may want to take for each one.

  2. Make a Plan.
    Determine what to do and where to go in case of emergency or evacuation. This will include locations in and around your home, in your neighborhood, and outside of your neighborhood. These meeting locations, your actions, and your emergency kit will vary depending on the type of emergency—fire, tornado, flood, earthquake—so make sure you know what to do in each situation.

    Refer to ready.gov or the Ready Oklahoma website for information on what to do in case of fire, flood, tornado, and other emergencies. 

    In this time when our smart phones remember everything for us, ensure that everyone remembers each other’s phone numbers, and make a household communications plan.

  3. Pack your Kit.
    In a safe and convenient space, gather things you and your family will need to get through an emergency. 

    Make sure to include: a portable radio and flashlight, with extra batteries for each; a First Aid kit and how-to guide; a supply of prescription medications and copies of your prescription; some cash and a credit card; matches – waterproof or in a waterproof container; cell phone chargers, cords, and external power supplies; moist towelettes and bags for personal hygiene; and a whistle to signal for help.

    You should also include a 3-day supply of food and water for each person and pet you expect to be with you. Consider including clothing or blankets to provide warmth, materials to make a barrier against airborne contaminants, maps of where you may need to go, and any other items specific to your situation, like a spare pair of glasses, diapers and formula, hearing aid batteries, etc. Consult the resources to the right to see if there are any other items you should include in your kit.

    Consider creating a smaller kit to keep in your car or at work.

  4. Maintain and Manage.
    Keep your supplies up to date by regularly swapping out food, water, and any other items that may expire. Revisit your plans each year with your household so all members are familiar and comfortable with what to do.

Resources 

Disaster Resilience Network
Disaster Resilience Network is a local non-profit that offers tips for preparing for disasters, including how to talk to children about disaster situations.

American Red Cross
How to Prepare for Emergencies
The Red Cross offers classes, training, online information, and mobile apps that are designed to help you navigate emergency situations.

Ready Oklahoma and Ready.gov
Both sites offer preparedness tips, printable plan templates, and other helpful information in English and Spanish.

Sooner Safe – Storm Shelter Rebates
The State of Oklahoma offers a lottery program for rebates on storm shelters.  Winners receive a voucher that covers 75% of the cost of installing a shelter, up to $2,000.

FORTIFIED Home & Roof Programs
FORTIFIED is a building method that goes beyond required building codes to strengthen buildings against high winds and hail. Homeowners in Oklahoma can receive significant discounts on insurance for re-roofing or building to this standard.

Severe Weather Mobile Apps
Download mobile apps that provide access to local weather and news updates in case you lose power or are away from your home. Many local news stations have mobile apps where you can receive emergency alerts and watch or listen to live weather updates.