Emergency Preparedness: Planning for Disaster

In fourteen years of working in emergency preparedness, we have learned the value of having a plan and a “go-kit” in emergencies.  The most important phone number to have in a disaster other than your family contact number is 9-1-1. That will connect you to the County Emergency Manager who is the county FEMA representative and has access to almost any needed resource. Have a Family and Individual Emergency Plan that identifies the family contact outside of at least 50 miles (usual range that is not impacted) so everyone in the family lets that person know their status. The persons in the impact area can let them know and not have to respond to family trying to call them to see if they are okay clogging up phone lines that are needed by first responders.

Letting your supervisor have a copy of that Family Plan also helps them know how to contact you if needed, again without clogging response lines.

The following resources are tremendously helpful, especially the Red Cross link for Go Kits.

 Financial preparedness

Evacuating Yourself and Your Family

How to Prepare for Emergencies – Survival Kit Supplies 

Download a copy of our Individual and Family Emergency Plan, including pets. Complete it with family members and update yearly with updated pictures. If you had to go to a shelter and need to receive medication or if you or a loved one was lost during the emergency, it is important to have a current picture.

Betty Shiels, PhD, MSSW, LCSW, is the Director of the LTC2Prepare Program, Kentucky Emergency Preparedness for Aging & LTC Program and CMS Region IV LTC Quality Improvement Initiative at the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work