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Make an emergency preparedness checklist.
Schedule occasional family conferences to discuss procedures to follow in different kinds of emergencies.
Hold practice drills.
Post and memorize emergency telephone numbers (including poison control).
Assemble and store a survival kit containing:
Flashlights and portable radio with extra batteries
First aid kit with manual
Crescent and pipe wrenches for turning off utilities
Chlorine bleach for water purification
Spare eyeglasses, prescribed medications, baby food, pet food, and special dietary foods
Manual can opener
Sanitation supplies -- large plastic trash bags, soap (hand, dish, and shampoo), toothbrush and paste, feminine supplies, infant care items, toilet paper, newspaper, and a camp shovel
Learn first aid.
Establish a location for the family to reunite if members become separated.
Arrange for a friend or relative in another town to be a communication contact for the extended family.
Learn the emergency plans of the family's schools, day-care centers, workplaces, and clubs.
Make a habit of tuning in to daily weather forecasts and be aware of changing conditions. The Emergency Broadcast System on commercial radio and TV stations will announce a WATCH if an emergency situation is expected and a WARNING if it is imminent or in progress.
Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for up to five days.
Take emergency drinking water from melting ice cubes, water heater, and canned fruits and vegetables.
Don't drink municipal tap water, or water from any questionable sources, until it has been strained with a clean cloth and treated. To treat water add ten drops of chlorine bleach to each gallon of water, mix well, and let stand for about 30 minutes.
Freezer foods will last from 48 to 72 hours if the freezer is full and the door stays closed.
Discard all open food and beverages that may have been contaminated.
Eat perishable foods first.
Cook on portable grills, but only outdoors.
Determine an evacuation route and alternates.
Find out where main utility switches are and learn how to turn them off if they rupture and trained technicians are not available.