We are all familiar with the public service announcements advising us to be prepared for emergencies. Take small steps to increase your disaster preparedness.
First, know your risks at home and at work. What industry do you work in? Are there chemical, fire, or other physical hazards? Where do you live and work and what are the earthquake, flood, and wildfire risks? Knowing your risks helps you identify necessary supplies, equipment, and procedures.
Make your workplace and home safe. Bolt down furniture and equipment. Secure items hung on walls and stored on shelves. Store hazardous chemicals in properly segregated containers. Prevent fires by maintaining good housekeeping.
Get emergency training. Know the procedures for evacuations, spill cleanup, earthquakes, and fire suppression. Be familiar with the alarm systems at work and home (silent, audible, strobes, speakers, etc.). Know where the nearest exits are and use them. Know where you should assemble outside the building to check in.
Make a home emergency plan and discuss with your family. Everyone should know how to communicate and where to meet in a disaster. Make special disaster plans for pets and family members with special needs along with schools and daycare facilities.
Build your disaster kit at home, work, and in the car. Begin with water and food. Add a first aid kit. Consider a radio or phone with phone lists. Add tools such as a flashlight, scissors, and knife. Add necessary medications, eyeglasses, comfortable shoes, warm clothes, and blankets.
Be trained in CPR and First Aid so that you can help others if they are hurt. Know how to use a fire extinguisher safely. Practice emergency drills and procedures so that you will be calm, capable, and prepared when disaster strikes.
For more tips, visit the California Office of Emergency Services website.