In the event of a major disaster, Westchester’s First Responder community may be overwhelmed and may find it difficult to take care of everyone affected by a large-scale emergency. It is critical that you and your family take the necessary steps to be self-sufficient for a minimum of three days.
- Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and other emergencies to children. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.
- Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.
- Pick two places to meet:
a. Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.
b. Outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home.
Everyone must know the address and phone number of your predetermined alternate location.
- Ask an out-of-state friend or relative to be your “family contact.” After a disaster, it is often easier to call long distance. Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know your contact’s phone number.
- Make copies of important documents and inventory valuable possessions, and keep copies of these items in a safety deposit box or with a trusted friend or family member. Such documents could include passports, driver’s license, wills, social security cards, financial statements, deeds, marriage license, insurance information and prescriptions.
- Keep $100 in small cash bills in a safe, secure location for emergency use.
- Ensure that everyone knows where the emergency "Go Kits" are located.
- Make sure you always have at least a half tank of gas in your car.
- Keep two weeks worth of your important medications as a reserve.
- Children should be taught basic personal information so they can identify themselves in case of separation from parents.
- Teach children about the danger of live power wires and why they should not touch power wires on the ground.
- Make sure children know what gas smells like and to tell an adult if they smell gas.
- Become familiar with the local school or daycare center policies for your children. Have a back-up person designated to pick your children up if you are unable to do so. Provide schools and daycare with up-to-date emergency contact information list.
- Have practice drills at home to test if all family members know the plan and where to meet in an emergency and know the name and phone number of your designated “family contact.”
- Teach children to dial their home telephone number and Emergency 9-1-1.
- Role-play with children on what to say when calling Emergency 9-1-1.
- Role-play with children to help them remain calm in emergencies and to practice basic emergency responses such as Stop, Drop, and Roll.
- Role-play with children as to what they should do if a parent is suddenly sick or injured.