Be Disaster Prepared With Tips From Ready .Gov

September 16, 2014

If disaster strikes, do you know what to do? Would you be ready if there was an emergency?

Disaster Preparedness

Do you live with someone with special needs? Disaster preparedness is especially important for you.

Be Disaster Prepared With These 3 Steps

Don’t be caught off guard the next time a hurricane hits our area, a blizzard shuts down the roads, or flash floods leave you stranded. Here are three steps from Ready.Gov  that every family should take to better ensure they are prepared to handle a disaster.

1. Be Informed

Knowing basic protective measures before a disaster strikes, such as where to find the latest Emergency Alerts or how to Evacuate Your Family, can make a big difference in moments of crisis. Review Ready.Gov’s Be Informed page for disaster-specific preparedness tips as well as basic protective measures for all types of hazards.

2. Make A Plan

Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes. Establish a plan of how you will contact each other, as well as where to go if someone can’t get home. Ready.Gov’s Make A Plan is chock full of helpful ideas and tips to creating your own plan. The Family Communications page is especially helpful for creating a family communication plan.

You might also want to check emergency plans for places you and your family frequent, such as work and school. Ready.Gov’s School and Worksplace has prepared a handy list of questions to ask.

3. Build A Kit

A disaster supplies kit should contain basic items you and your family might need in an emergency situation, such as water, non-perishable foods, first aid kits, and critical medications. Find helpful ideas and suggestions to build your family’s disaster preparedness kit at Ready.Gov’s Build A Kit. The Basic Disaster Supplies Kit reference list will help you put together a kit that is tailored to you and your family’s specific needs.

Get The Kids Involved!

Kids are affected by disasters too. Get them involved building a disaster preparedness kit, and include a few of their own items. Make sure they know the plan, especially how to contact you. Not sure how to open up the lines of communications? Go to Ready.Gov’s Kids page for helpful tips to getting the kids on board with your family’s disaster preparedness plan.

Ready.Gov Disaster Preparedness

Natural disasters can be especially scary for kids. Use the Know The Facts, Be Empowered to help quell the “scare factor.” Help your kids better understand natural disasters that might occur in your area, and what steps they can do to stay safe if one happens.

Be Disaster Prepared On The Go

FEMA’s mobile app for phones and tablets can help you be prepared in a moment’s notice, no matter where you are. The app is full of helpful disaster preparedness information such as disaster safety tips, an interactive emergency kit list, a section to store emergency meeting locations, and even a map with shelters open in your area.

FEMA Mobile App

The FEMA mobile app is free and available in both English and Spanish for Apple, Android, and Blackberry devices.

Be informed. Get prepared. Stay safe.

Do you have a disaster preparedness plan in place? A disaster kit tailored to your family’s specific needs, and the types of natural disasters that can occur in your area? If not, you might want to invest some time in creating one. And if you have one, great! Now might be the time to review and refresh it if it’s been a while.


Images from Ready.Gov and FEMA.


Hurricane Sandy Helpful Resource Links

October 29, 2012

As Hurricane Sandy races towards the mid-Atlantic states, it is especially important that you and your family be prepared for the next few days to come. Here are several resources and informational links to help get you through the hurricane and beyond.

National Resources:

American Red Cross Hurricane App – If you have a smartphone, consider downloading this app and keep on top of Hurricane Sandy, or any other hurricane. Monitor conditions throughout the storm, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out.

National Weather Service Hurricane Center – Track the latest hurricane movement and NHS advisories. from FEMA – Prepare, plan and stay informed with the helpful tips found at this website. – Helpful tips to keep your food and water safe during emergencies.

FEMA – If you have a smartphone, link to the FEMA mobile website or download  the free FEMA smartphone app and have access to disaster safety tips, interactive lists for storing your emergency kit and emergency meeting location information, and a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs).

Delaware Specific and other Local Resources:

American RedCross DelMarva Region – Shelters are now open across the region, including Delaware and Maryland. The American Red Cross of the Delmarva Peninsula has offices in Wilmington DE, Elkton and Salisbury, Md. Call 1-800-777-6620 for more information. The Wilmington office also can be reached at 302-656-6620

Delaware Department of Health – Delaware has opened two medical needs shelters specific for people who cannot be accommodated at regular shelters. These two locations will provide safe and temporary housing to individuals who require support with their medical needs. They are located at William Penn and Cape Henlopen high schools.

FEMA Region 3 – Encompassing DE, PA, MD, DC, WV and VA. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area. Standard text rates will apply.

Need to Evacuate? Take a moment to watch this Red Cross video on what you might want to bring with you if you must evacuate to a local shelter.

Delaware Emergency Management Agency – Get the latest news for the State of Delaware emergency response to Hurricane Sandy. Need to speak with someone? Call the Hurricane Sandy Hotline, at 800-464-4357.

The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) can also be contacted at 302-659-3362 or at 877-SAY-DEMA. Local emergency management phone numbers are:

New Castle County Office of Emergency Management: 302-395-2700.

City of Wilmington Emergency Management Office: 302-576-3914.

Kent County Department of Public Safety Emergency Management Division: 302-735-3465.

Sussex County Emergency Operations Center: 302-855-7801.

Delaware State Police News Room Link to Local Emergency Contacts Residents who have evacuation questions may contact their respective local emergency operations centers.

DelMarva Power – Find the information you need about power outages in the DelMarva region. Follow DelMarva on Twitter to keep on top of up to the minute power issues. Have a smartphone? Download the DelMarva Mobile App. If you loose power, use your smartphone, the mobile app, and Twitter to keep up with the latest power news.

Find additional resources from 6 ABC News Hurricane Sandy Resource Guide.

Be safe, everyone!

Button Cell Batteries – What Every Parent Needs To Know

June 12, 2012

Button cell batteries – they are everywhere! In watches, cell phones, toys, hearing aids, even flashlights. They power many items we come across in our every day lives.

But are you aware of the potential hazard button cell batteries pose for our littlest ones?

According to Medline Plus, the number of children treated in emergency rooms after swallowing batteries — or lodging them in their noses and ears — has almost doubled over the past 20 years.

Just what is a button cell battery? It’s those small, disk-shaped power sources, so small in fact that they can easily be swallowed. Or stuffed up a little nose. Or pushed into a tiny ear. And they can be so very attractive to a curious toddler.

English: Two identical LR44 button cell alkali...

A button cell alkaline battery (showing top side and underside). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What can you do to protect those curious young kids in your house? Mostly, be diligent. Don’t leave button cell batteries laying around. Batteries not in use need to be stored safely out of sight – and out of reach – of little kids. Make sure toys that use button cell batteries have secure battery compartments that can’t be opened by curious little fingers.

Read more about the dangers of button cell batteries and how to protect your family in these articles:

Keep your kids safe – be aware of the potential dangers button cell batteries can pose and how to keep them out of little hands.