Prince William County, Va. ARES®/RACES

Including the Independent Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park

Preparing for an Emergency

Summary


Personal Preparedness

Routine things to think about

  • Store your important documents such as personal and financial records in a password-protected area, either in a shared storage location or a secure flash or jump drive that you can keep readily available. This flash drive can be kept on a key ring so it can be accessed from any computer, anytime, anywhere. Remember important documents, such as:
    • Personal and property insurance
    • Identification: Driver’s license/passport (for family members, as well)
    • Banking information
    • Don’t forget your pets!
      • Store your pet’s veterinary medical records documents online.
      • Consider an information digital implant.
      • Keep a current photo of your pet in your online kit to aid in identification if you are separated.
  • Program “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you if you are unable to use your phone. Let your ICE contacts know that they are programmed into your phone and inform them of any medical issues or other special needs you may have.
  • Do you take maintenance medicines
    • What happens if you cannot get them
    • Do you know what they are
    • Do you have a list of them with you
  • Create a communications plan
    • Contact numbers and addresses
    • Alternate meeting places
    • Alternate means of communications
      • Text
      • Social media
      • Amateur Radio
  • Shelter in place or Evacuate
    • What is your decision tree?
      • How do you decide it is time to go?
    • What do you need to shelter in place?
    • What do you need to evacuate?
      • Transportation?
      • Road conditions?
      • Weather conditions?
  • Consider a Personal Emergency Kit
  • Personal hygiene * Toothbrush * Wet wipes * Hand sanitizer
    • Whistle on key ring

Things you might not think about

  • The best thing you can do to prepare is be in good physical and mental shape
  • If you own a cell phone, keep extra batteries for your phone in a safe place or purchase a solar-powered or hand crank charger. These chargers are good emergency tools to keep your laptop and other small electronics working in the event of a power outage. If you own a car, purchase a car phone charger because you can charge your phone if you lose power at your home.
  • Text messages and the internet often have the ability to work in the event of a phone service disruption
  • If you have a traditional landline (non-broadband or VOIP) phone, keep at least one non-cordless receiver in your home because it will work even if you lose power
  • What happens when your commute does not go as planned?
    • Options?
    • How do you get home if your travel system breaks down?
    • Can you walk out if you have to?
  • What happens if a disaster happens at work?
    • Active shooter
    • Long-term shelter in place
  • Go bag should weigh no more than 1/4 your body weight

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Family Preparedness

Routine things to think about

  • When did you last exercise your plan?
  • When did you last update your plan?
  • Create/Update your communications plan
    • Contact numbers and addresses
    • Alternate meeting places
    • Alternate means of communications
      • Text
      • Social media
      • Amateur Radio
  • Family first-aid kit
  • Shelter in place or Evacuate
    • What is your decision tree?
      • How do you decide it is time to go?
    • What do you need to shelter in place?
    • What do you need to evacuate?
      • What are you going to take with you?
      • What are you going to put it in?
      • Traffic?
      • Road conditions?
      • Weather conditions?

Things you might not think about

  • How will you be warned of an emergency
  • What would you do for shelter?
  • Can you treat the water?
    • Bleach
    • Pills
    • Filter systems
  • Has everyone in the family taken a first aid course lately? CPR?
  • Go bag should weigh no more than 1/4 your body weight.

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Preparing to Deploy

Routine things to think about

  • Do not self-deploy
  • Is your family safe?
  • Point the media to the PIO/JIC/Leadership team
  • Are your batteries charged?
  • Do you have a manual for your radio(s)
  • Do you know where you are going?
  • Do you know who to check in with?

Things you might not thing about

  • Are you prepared to be deployed longer than expected?
  • Are you ready to be flexible?
  • Do you have something to write on?
  • Do you have something to read?

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Weather issues

  • Snow
    • Make sure to add additional blankets
    • Are you tires ready for winter?
    • Is your car ready
      • Antifreeze
      • Windshield washer fluid
      • Temperature appropriate oil
      • Chains where appropriate/required
  • Severe cold
    • Similar to snow
    • Block heater where appropriate
    • Follow your user’s manual for proper low temperature operations
  • Floods: Turn around, don’t drown
  • Severe weather
    • Lightning
      • Do not seek shelter under a tree
      • Disconnect all radios and move them away from the antenna line(s)
    • Tornado
      • Do not seeks shelter under an overpass
    • Hurricane
      • Pay attention to warnings
      • Flooding and tornados are likely

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Make a Plan

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The Emergency Kit

Your kit should be sufficient to sustain you, your family, and your pet, for at least 72 hours, either sheltered in place, or in case of an evacuation. You kit should include, water, food, and other supplies you will need. Remember that in the event of a large scale emergency, routine resources such as electricity, water, and sewer may also be cut off, so your kit should include resource to compensate for this.

There are a number of ways to build or buy an emergency kit. A simple web search will show you a number of pre-made kits, complete with carrying devices, for anywhere from $40 to over $500. Even if you decide to buy one, consider what you need in your kit before you rush out to purchase one.

Personal Emergency Kit

There are several different personal emergency kits you could make and carry with you. Some fit in a small tin, other in a larger personal pouch. In most cases, your personal kit is not likely to pass muster with TSA unless you remove certain objects.

SAS personal kit

  • Tin to store it in
  • Matches
  • Candle
  • Flint
  • Magnifying glass
  • Needle and thread
  • Fish hook and line
  • Compass
  • “Beta” light (tritium)
  • Snare wire
  • Flexible saw
  • Medical kit
    • analgesic
    • antibiotic
    • intestinal sedative
    • water sterilizing tablets
    • anti-malaria tablets
    • potassium permanganate
  • Surgical blades
  • Butterfly sutures
  • Band-aids
  • Condom (non-lubricated)

Pouch sized ekit

  • Milti-tool
  • Flashlight
  • Mini-pry bar
  • Whistle
  • Smoke mask
  • Lighter
  • Waterproof matches
  • EMT shears
  • Cord
  • Pouch to put it all in

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Suggested Foods

The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants/pets
  • Comfort/stress foods (a bag of Doritos goes a long way to making you feel better)

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Suggestions for Water

You should store at least one gallon of water per person for three days. A normally active person needs about three quarters of a gallon of fluid daily, from water and other beverages. However, individual needs vary, depending on age, health, physical condition, activity, diet and climate.

To determine your water needs, take the following into account:

  • One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more water.
  • A medical emergency might require additional water.
  • If you live in a warm weather climate more water may be necessary. In very hot temperatures, water needs can double.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person.
  • Do not forget extra water for your pets

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Suggested Supplies

This list is not all encompassing and should be amended and supplemented as needed. For example, if you have a pet, you may want to add a grooming brush or favorite chew toy.

  • 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, flash drive, or stored in the Internet.
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from Ready.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
  • Matches in a waterproof container (and a striker!)
  • 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 yourself, and your children
  • 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
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • 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
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

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Suggestions for the Radio Kit

  • Identification
  • Photo ID (driver's license)
    • Copy of FCC license
    • Other ID and paperwork(Emergency management ID, health insurance, medicine list, next of kin)
  • A radio
    • At least a 5W dual-band HT
    • Charged batteries or charger
    • A (well read) copy of the manual (Paper or electronic)
  • A spare antenna and coax
    • J-pole
    • Magnetic mount
  • Headset/external mic
  • PWCARES Quick Reference Guide
  • ICS forms & Notebook
  • Personal Medications
    • Your favorite pain reliever
    • "Sucky things" (lifesavers, throat lozenges)
    • Allergy medicine
    • Other basic meds (pain relievers etc)
    • Sunscreen
    • lip balm
    • Appropriate Clothing and Footwear and Hat
    • Food, water, snacks
  • Money
  • Extra power (deep cycle batteries, solar, generator)
  • Connectors
  • Supplemental reference material
  • Tool kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Work gloves/latex gloves
  • Collapsable chair
  • Collapsible table
  • Change of clothes
  • Clock/Wrist watch
  • Extension cords (power and signal)
  • Sweater/Sweatshirt
  • Blanket
  • Downtime entertainment
  • Supplemental lights
  • Non-flammable flairs
  • Toiletries
  • Clean underwear
  • Shelter

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Seasonal issues

  • Summer Preparations

    • Additional water
    • Sunscreen
    • Hat
    • Light weight, light colour clothes
    • Bug spray
    • Tarp and rope to provide extra shelter
  • Winter Preparations

    • Winter Hat (watch cap/beanie)
    • Gloves
    • Second change of clothes
    • Wool socks
    • Wool sweaters
    • Specialized winter clothing
    • Additional blankets

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Resources

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