Preparation may save lives

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Suffolk’s Emergency Management Coordinator Captain Jim Judkins said being prepared for an emergency weather situation is a simple matter when the weather is clear. That’s the time to make sure that everything is ready, just in case.

He offered several suggestions for preparations including having a disaster supplies package ready.

&uot;You should assemble this kit in case you have to evacuate your home, or the area where you live,&uot; said Judkins. &uot;The items should be stored in something like a backpack or some type of easy to carry bag so that you can leave in a hurry just by grabbing it up.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

There should be a supply of water for each member of the family. He suggested one gallon per person per day, and water should be stored in some type of unbreakable, sealed container.

If left in storage and unused, the water should be changed every six months. Write the storage date on the container to keep track.

Each person in the family should also have a supply of non-perishable packaged or canned foods and a non-electric can opener in case of power failure.

There should also be a first aid kit along with prescription medications, and an extra pair of eyeglasses for those who may need them. There should also be a list of family physicians with their phone numbers listed included in the emergency package.

It’s always a good idea to have a battery-operated radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries in the disaster kit, said Judkins. It’s also suggested that drivers have an extra set of keys.

One important aspect of any emergency situation is a family gathering place where everyone can meet once the emergency is over.

Judkins suggested that parents choose a place close to the home or a place outside the neighborhood in case something like a tornado or hurricane does occur.

He added that copies of family records, including birth certificates, property deeds, and any other important papers be packaged in ziplock bags and packed into the emergency kit.

The captain added that preparation for a tornado or other weather emergency should include choosing the safest place to wait out the disaster.

The &uot;Fujita Scale&uot; ranks tornadoes and by the numbers they are:

F1: Moderate tornado activity

F2: Significant tornado

F3: Severe tornado

F4: Devastating tornado

F5: Incredible tornado

F6: Inconceivable tornado

Judkins said although the severe thunderstorms have been downgraded to heavy rainfall, now is probably the best time to prepare for any type of emergency.