Be Prepared With a Family Disaster Plan

Learn how to put together a family disaster plan and be prepared for the unexpected.

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The first aid kit
The following list covers the contents of a basic first aid kit. In addition, you may want to include a first aid manual and a flashlight and extra batteries for emergency use. Keep the kit out of reach of children.

  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Tweezers
  • Antiseptic ointment
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Assorted plasters
  • Sterile gauze
  • Adhesive tape
  • Selection of bandages
  • Sharp scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Plastic gloves
  • Painkillers (acetaminophen and ibuprofen)
  • Diarrhea medication
  • Insect repellant
  • Thermometer
  • Instant cold packs

If disaster strikes
Earthquake, fire or weather disaster can happen anytime, anywhere. When the unexpected disrupts life at home, keep these points in mind to stay safe:

  • Remain calm and patient. Put your plan into action.
  • Check for injuries.
  • Give first aid and get help for seriously injured people.
  • Listen to your battery-powered radio for news and instructions.

Check for damage in your home

  • Use flashlights. Do not light matches or turn on electrical switches, if you suspect damage.
  • Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows and get everyone outside quickly.
  • Shut off any other damaged utilities. (You will need a professional to turn gas back on.)
  • Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline and other flammable liquids immediately.

Remember to ...

  • Confine or secure your pets.
  • Call your family contact — l do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially elderly or disabled persons.
  • Make sure you have an adequate water supply in case the service is cut off.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.

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Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

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