The Local Community-Do 1 Thing
Helping in a Disaster as published in the Gardner News May 23 - click here
Do 1 Thing for
What kinds of things can members of your household not
be without for 72 hours? Here are some examples of things that can create unique needs for your family:
Infants and young children
- Prescription medication
(keep a three day supply with you)
Health-related supplies (For example, diabetics need insulin syringes, alcohol wipes, and glucometer supplies)
- Assistive devices (glasses, canes, etc.)
When you are in a hurry, it is easy to overlook small and important
items. Common items like diapers and pet food might not be easy to find right after a disaster. Trying new brands of food
or formula, or not having a comfort item, can make disasters more stressful for both children and pets.
Wachusett Medical-Reserve Corps recommends having a 48 hour kit with these special needs items pre-packed especially for elderly parents, folks with
disabilities or infants/children. We offer a presentation for these special groups. For more information about the program
Do 1 Thing
and Community : Make sure
emergency procedures are in place for your workplace or school.
to your employer about emergency plans for the building where you work. Think about other places that you and family members
regularly spend time, like your child's school. Talk to administrators at those places about their emergency plans as well.
Ways to be safe at work and school:
- Make sure evacuation routes and tornado shelter locations are marked
on a map and posted in the building.
emergency training and drills.
- Help create
an emergency kit for the facility.
where fire extinguishers and Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are located.
Do 1 Thing - For April - Put aside a 3 day supply of food
items.Follow the BUS rule to help you. BUS stands for balance, usability, and shelf-life.
GOAL FOR APRIL: Have an emergency food supply that will meet the needs of your
household for three days without outside help.
An emergency food supply doesn't have to sit on a shelf, ready for disaster
to strike (although it can). It can be part of the food you use every day. The key to a good food storage plan is to buy ahead
of time. Replace items before they run out. Buy items when they are on sale. A large duffle bag or plastic tub with a lid
makes a great storage place for an emergency food supply. Make sure your family, including pets, will have what they need
when disaster strikes. For more information Emergency Preparedness - Do1Thing
For March-Sheltering Please feel free
Identify the best storm shelter in your
home and practice getting to the shelter with your family.
In a disaster you may be asked to either evacuate or
shelter-in place. In the excitement of an emergency, it can be difficult to focus on what you are doing. Know what to do to
keep your family safe. Practice your tornado and fire safety plans. If your family has practiced, they will be more comfortable
doing it when the emergency actually happens.
Use these rules of thumb to find the best tornado shelter possible:
Make a Go Bag for emergeny sheltering.
- Stay away from windows and skylights
Shelter "down and in"-Put as many walls between yourself and the outside as you can (think of the ceiling as a
wall) Avoid rooms with large ceiling expanses Find an area large enough for everyone to stay comfortably for at least 45
minutes If you lianes, be prepared to protect your family and your property.
In an emergency like a chemical spill, you
may be told to "shelter in place". This means to make the place where you are a safe place to stay until the danger
has passed. Shelter in place orders are given when it would be dangerous for you to go outside. Notification-Warning sirens
may be used to warn people that it is not safe to be outside. Emergency responders may go door to door in the affected area.
They may also use loudspeakers from police or fire vehicles to give instructions. Information will also be given over television
and radio using the Emergency Alert System.
What to do in a hazardous materials incident-The first thing to do
when a chemical spill or similar event occurs is to get information. Turn on the television or radio to find out if your area
is affected and what steps to take. Never call 911 to get information about an emergency. Only call 911 if you are injured
or need assistance.
If you are told to shelter in place you should close all doors and windows and shut off fans and
air conditioners. Take your family to a room with as few doors and windows as possible. You may be told to put towels or tape
around the cracks of the windows and doors. Follow emergency instructions carefully. Make sure you take a battery-powered
radio with you so that you will know when the danger has passed. Power in your area may be shut off during the incident.
In case of evacuation a shelter will provide
may need to bring • Pillow and blanket • Identification • Change of clothes • Cards or magazines •
Comfort items • Your medication and medical supplies (or a list of what you are taking, dosage, and Dr's names) and supplies
specific to the needs of each individual family member i.e. diapers and formula or hearing aid batteries.
- A cot to sleep on Meals and bottled water A nurse for basic medical care Information about
the disaster from public officials
Do 1 Thing Goal for February: Have 72 hours (3 days) worth of water stored for your household.
Whether you get water from a municipal water system or your home has a private well, your water supply depends on having
power to operate the system. During a power outage-or any disaster that can cause a power outage, such as high winds, ice storm,
or flood-you may find yourself without drinkable water.
* Purchase and store a 72-hour supply of commercially bottled water (or more - up to two weeks). Goal is 1 gallon of water
per person per day.
* Bottle a 72-hour
supply of water at home.
A good idea is
to check your supplies for expiration dates or needs to resupply every 6 months -January 1 and July 4 are easy dates to remember.
Do 1 Thing: Build a Kit
Small steps toward being prepared for an Emergency
Hurricanes, Blizzards, Ice Storms! New England residents are pretty
resilient against some difficult weather scenarios, but any emergency, weather related or other, is easier to handle when
you have prepared ahead of time. A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in
the event of an emergency. Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s
notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
An easy way to gather
items to store away in a chosen space in your home is to Do 1 Thing a month. This month think about what you and your family
would need in an emergency or weather event and put together enough supplies for 72 hours. Officials are stressing the importance
of such supplies set aside as part of a family's overall disaster plan for shelter in place. Do you need to buy a kit? No,
as many of the items are already in your home like a flashlight, and other items can be purchased in such stores as Dollar
Tree, Walmart or Target.
what if you need to quickly leave your home because of a fire or a medical emergency? Then it is also recommended to have
a Go Bag ready for each member of the family with items specific to that member’s needs and don’t forget to create
a Go Bag for the family pet too. Go Bags can be used for trips from going to the zoo to heading on a trip. Suggested items
are first aid supplies, crank or battery operated flashlights, crank or battery operated radio, lightweight blankets, personal
items such as toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, glasses, batteries for hearing aides, whistle and cards that say Need Help,
change of clothing, baby supplies, nonperishable snacks and small games, coloring books etc.
Want to know more? Explore www.Ready.gov for ideas and activities
for seniors, families and children or www.do1thing.com for more choices of things to do each month.
Wachusett Medical Reserve Corps
Wachusett MRC is part of a national network of local groups of volunteers committed
to improving the health, safety, and resiliency of their communities.