BALTIMORE – Hurricane Earl certainly has plenty of people thinking about how they need to be prepared especially if the storm veers a bit more towards Maryland. however, being prepared needs to happen all year round, not just when a storm is tracking towards the area.
Wednesday on good Morning Maryland @ 9, Jamie Costello talked with the Director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, Richard Muth, about not only what the agency is doing in terms of Hurricane Earl, but also what people need to do year-round when it comes to being prepared for a storm or natural disaster.
Director Muth talked about the items people need to have on hand in a supply kit along with why being prepared all the time is important. September is National Preparedness Month, so the arrival of Hurricane Earl is not only timely, but also a good reminder to people to be prepared for anything.
To hear the interview with Richard Muth again, click on the video box to the left of this article. we have also provided a list of items you should have on hand below this article.
Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit: – Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation – Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food – Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both – Flashlight and extra batteries – first aid kit – Whistle to signal for help – Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place – Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation – Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities – can opener for food (if kit contains canned food) – Local maps – Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:
- Prescription medications and glasses – Infant formula and diapers – Pet food and extra water for your pet – Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container – Cash or traveler’s checks and change – Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the EFFAK Emergency Financial first Aid Kit – PDF, 277Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information – Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov – Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate. – Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate. – Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners. – fire Extinguisher – Matches in a waterproof container – Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items – Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels – Paper and pencil – Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Family Emergency Plan – Identify an out-of town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. – be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. if you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. if you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts. – Teach family members how to use text messaging (also knows as SMS or Short Message Service). – Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through. – Subscribe to alert services. many communities now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc. Sign up by visiting your local Office of Emergency Management web site.
Planning to Stay or Go Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information, including what you are learning here, to determine if there is an immediate danger. In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information