Ready Alaska: Get a Kit | Make a Plan | Be Informed
This September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). NPM was founded after 9/11 to increase preparedness throughout the United States. The event, now in its ninth year, is a nationwide, month-long effort hosted by the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, encouraging households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies. Following is from the the Alaska Ready website info:
Get a kit
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer.
Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
- 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 for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Cold weather gear and blankets/sleeping bags
- 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 (if kit contains canned food)
- Indoor-safe heat source such as hand warmers, sterno, emergency candles or propane/butane heat source labeled for indoor use
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:
- 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.alaska.gov
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Emergency whistle
- 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
Other emergency supply kits:
- DHS&EM 7 Day Survival Kit Calendar(pdf)
- Basic Emergency Kit with Yupik Translation(pdf)
- Disaster Supply Kit for Pets(pdf)
Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency by visiting: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/
Make a Plan
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.
Family Emergency Plan
- Identify an out-of town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
- Choose a location near your home and designate it as the Rally Point. If evacuating the home becomes necessary all members of the household can meet at the Rally Point.
- Choose a place in your neighborhood such as a school, church, post office, or other landmark and designate it as the Neighborhood Meeting place. If household members are unable to return to the home they can wait at, or leave a message at, the Neighborhood Meeting place.
- Fill out this Family Emergency Plan sheet and keep it with your emergency kit or other easy to access location. Give a copy to a family member or friend and have a copy in a secure location at work such as a desk or locker.
- Fill out these Family Emergency Plan cards and place in wallets, cars, backpacks, jacket pockets, or other items frequently used by family members outside of the home.
- Teach family members how to use text messaging (also known as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
- Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
- Talk to household members about the Family's Emergency Plan on a regular basis or if the plan changes.
Planning to Stay or Go
Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information, including what you are learning here, to determine if there is an immediate danger. In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for information or official instruction as it becomes available. For information on staying put or sheltering in place, click here.
Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area and how you will be notified. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door-to-door.
A Family Emergency Plan can help a family reunite after a major disaster. Normal transportation and communication options may be damaged making it difficult to speak to or find loved ones. Knowing where loved one will go and who they will contact can provide piece of mind to the individual and help responders by accounting for individuals that are safe.
You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together in the event of an emergency. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as making an emergency supply kit and developing a family communications plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency.
However, there are important differences among potential emergencies that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. Learn more about the potential emergencies that could happen where you live and the appropriate way to respond to them.
Activities for Kids
- Tangle Towns
- Stop Disasters! - A Disaster Simulation Game
- FEMA for Kids
- Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book(pdf)
- USGS - Earthquakes for Kids
- Home Hazard Hunt(pdf)
- Sesame Street - Let's Get Ready
- National Fire Protection Association
Information for Kids
- Julia and Robbie: The Disaster Twins
- Children's Books By Hannah B. Watkins
Activities for Adults
- Disaster Supplies for Pets(pdf)
- Preparing Your Live Stock for Emergencies(pdf)
- DEC Well Disinfection Procedure
- Residential Fuel Tank Mitigation Fact Sheet(pdf)
- Mold Mitigation Fact Sheet(pdf)
- Tsunami Alerts by Email
Information for Adults
- West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
- Alaska Volcano Observatory
- National Weather Service, Alaska Region Headquarters
- Alaska Division of Forestry Current Alaska Fire Conditions
- Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Road Conditions
- NOAA Alaska River Forecast Center
- Alaska’s Emergency Alert System
- Amber Alert System