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 winter weather, flood, wildfire, risks? Knowing your risks helps you identify necessary supplies, equipment, and procedures.
Make your workplace and home safe. Store hazardous chemicals in properly segregated containers. Prevent fires by maintaining good housekeeping.
Get emergency training. Know the procedures for evacuations, spill cleanup, medical emergencies, 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 to check-in.
Make work and home emergency plan and discuss it with your co-workers/family. Everyone should know how to communicate and where to meet in a disaster.
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 the 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 and drill emergency procedures so that you will be calm, capable, and prepared when disaster strikes.