On Monday, I went to CityMama’s adorable apartment to hear from California Volunteers about Disaster Preparedness with Robyn. I was really amazed by all the info. that we got and realized that getting prepared in baby steps is the way to go. California Volunteers website as very detailed info on things to do but Robyn came up with a great list of simple things that Firefighter Erica discussed with us. I will admit that I just copied this list from Robyn's blog because I am being lazy and she said it all so well! Thankfully, I am a good friend and told her I was stealing her post ;-)
Create a Family Disaster Plan. Make sure it includes two meeting places, an out-of-state contact, and storing copies of important documents outside of your home (like in a safe deposit box). CalVolunteer’s website will also make a free downloadable customizable book for your kids. How cool is that?
Put shoe box under everyone’s bed with a pair of shoes, flashlight, and sweater. If there's an emergency in the middle of the night, everyone can get out of the house safely.
Practice with your kids how to escape from their bedroom if there was a fire. Our windows don't open well enough for us to be able to climb out so we need to practice with LG on how to get out. When seconds count, you don’t want your kids panicking that they don’t know what to do.
Know where your gas shut-off is and how to turn it off. One thing we learned is that people often turn off gas after a disaster even when it isn't necessary. If you smell gas or hear a leak in your home, turn off the gas. Otherwise, it’s OK to leave it on. You also should NEVER turn the gas back on....have PG&E do it because it can be very dangerous.
Properly secure your water heater. One, you don’t want hot water pouring everywhere. Two, it hooks up to your gas, so you don’t want a leak if it fell. But most important, the water in your water heater can be your best source of water if you can’t drink your tap water.
My biggest take-away came from the firefighter who was there to show us what we can do to keep our families safe. Erica said that in a large disaster (think Katrina, think the ’89 Quake, etc), that her #1 goal was to be able to stay at home and not have to go to a shelter. Of course, staying in your home isn’t always an option. But if you can stay home, would you want to? You must make sure that your home is supplied to allow for it. Going through the Disaster Supplies Checklist, I realized that we have a lot of this stuff already in our home but we’ve never organized it into one place.
And if you still feel like you'll never earn your Merit Badge for Disaster Preparedness, then how about a Disaster Kit for FREE?!? CalVolunteers is letting me giveaway TWELVE disaster kits to my lucky readers. Simply comment on this post before Monday, November 23rd with what change your family is going to make to be more prepared for a disaster. Winners will be chosen at random.
Photo credit: California Volunteers
Disclosure: I received a free lunch and two disaster kits during my morning at CityMama's house. I was not obligated to write a piece. The opinions expressed above are mine and mine alone....okay and Robyn's!