Putting emergency kit together strongly advised
MURPHY (April 26, 2011) Spring storms, often occurring with little notice and frequently accompanied by high winds, hail, thunder and lighting, can cause severe havoc on a community, leaving a trail of power outages, water shut-offs, blocked roads and trapped residents. Being prepared is absolutely essential and taking the right precautions might even save lives, according to Murphy Police Chief G.M. Cox.
“Families that have a definite plan of action, including pre-arranged gathering places and adequate measures for safety and first aid, are the ones that withstand emergencies the best. Homes and businesses should develop their plans and practices them until they’re second nature,” he said.
Among the preparations that the Murphy Police, Fire and EMS personnel recommend highly is the creation of an emergency kit that allows families, individuals and organizations to withstand emergency situations. Murphy Fire Chief Mark Lee says being ready for weather-related emergencies with adequate supplies like water, food, medicines and other essentials can make an incredible difference. “Being ready, whether or not the kit is ever used, makes sense for everyone. It’s far better to be ready and not need an emergency kit, than to need one and not have one in place,” he said.
To aid Murphy residents in disaster preparedness, the following list of essential items for an emergency kit is being offered as an example of what a kit may contain. Special situations such as households with infants, elderly or handicapped persons may require additional supplies.
• 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
• 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
• Local maps
• Cell phone with chargers
• 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
• Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
• Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes
• Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – Diluting nine parts water to one part bleach makes an effective disinfectant. In an emergency, a gallon of water can be treated with 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach. 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
“Emergency kits have proven to be life-savers and having one available gives families a certain level of peace-of-mind,” concluded Chief Cox. For more information, residents may visit: http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/citizens-preparedness.shtm