Preparing Your Family

October 4, 2005--Posted at 6:04 p.m. CDT

Craighead County--Where is your family going if an earthquake hits Region 8. What are they going to eat? How are you going to get in touch with other family members? Are you and your family prepared?

Natural disasters like earthquakes, tornados and winter storms can hit at any time and every family needs a disaster plan. So why do you need a disaster plan?

"To avoid the panic that would be created by not having a plan not knowing where to go what to do," said Merle Williams of the Poinsett County Emergency Management Office.

Events like Hurricane Katrina show the consequences of not being prepared.

"We have seen the plight of people who did not have a plan who were unable to take care of themselves who did not have the resources and some of these people were in dreadful conditions," said Williams.

Your families plan should include an alternate place for members of your family to meet and a family communication network should be established. It should include contact numbers, whether it be local police and fire or just a trusted friend of the family.

Having a family disaster plan is important but experts also say you need an emergency preparedness kit with supplies to help  your family get through an entire week. Your family's emergency kit should include items like food water, medical supplies, a good first aid kit, blankets and important family records.

Your local red cross, salvation army and emergency management offices all offer valuable literature and checklists needed to prepare a comprehensive plan. A good place to put your families plan is the refrigerator where all the family members can get to it.