Protect your family members in difficult situations by being prepared.
Make a family emergency plan. Everyone should know what to do in case all family members are not together. Pick a place to meet and make sure everyone knows the location.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that you program a family member as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident and not able to communicate, emergency personnel can check your ICE listing to reach someone you know.
Store emergency kits in your house and car.
The emergency kit in your house should include one gallon of water per person per day for at least 10 days; a 10-day supply of non-perishable food and a manual can opener; a battery-powered or hand-cranked NOAA weather radio with tone alert; a flashlight; extra batteries; a lighter, flint or waterproof matches; candles; firewood for heating and cooking; a first-aid kit; moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation; a laminated map and compass; a cell phone with an extra battery or solar charger; a LAN-line phone that operates without electrical power; any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities; water and supplies for your pets; and a good supply of critical medicines and prescriptions.
In your vehicle the survival kit should have first-aid supplies; blankets or sleeping bags; a cellular phone or two-way radio; a windshield scraper with snow brush; a flashlight with batteries; extra winter clothes including shoes, hats and gloves; a compact shovel; a traction aid such as a bag of sand; a tow chain; emergency flares; jumper cables; non-perishable food and bottled water; a laminated road map; any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities in the car; plus water and pet supplies. Do not store liquid fuels in your car.
For safety guidelines to follow when operating a portable generator, visit www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hurricane_Facts.
Other information can be found at www.redcross.org and at www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/guide.asp, www.ready.gov/winter-weather.
Information for this article was submitted by Enviro-Log, producer of manufactured fire logs and fire starters.