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Preparedness Spotlight: How to Be Ready for Emergencies
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Disasters and emergencies can strike anywhere and at any time, so it's best to be ready for the unexpected.
“We don’t want to think about a disaster actually happening to ourselves or friends and family, but, unfortunately, disasters happen across the globe every day,” says Lauren Sauer, CEPAR’s director of operations, who has witnessed firsthand the aftermath of natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes. “It’s better to take the proper steps now to ensure your family knows what to do in the event of an emergency.”
CEPAR recommends the following steps to get ready before an emergency happens:
- Prepare an emergency supply kit. The kit should have enough water, food and medications for at least three days per person. Your gear should also include a first-aid kit, flashlight, extra batteries, cellphone charger and other necessities you and your loved ones might need.
- Create an evacuation plan. Note your home’s exits and where you should meet up with your family if you are separated. Review and practice the plan regularly with your family, and make sure children know your phone number and address.
- Understand which disasters could take place in your area. Depending on your location, different potential disasters are more likely. For example, if you live in Florida, hurricanes are possible. Identifying potential emergencies could help you understand what you need to do to stay safe. It is also important to know what disasters you might experience when going on vacation, and plan for them.
- Make sure you have access to important documents. Protect and store documents, such as financial and legal documents and insurance information, in a fireproof safe, on a password-protected thumb drive or on an online cloud server.
- Learn a lifesaving skill. Whether it’s first aid, CPR or “Stop the Bleed” bystander training, these skills could help save someone’s life in the event of a disaster.
- Install detectors in your home. Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of your home and tested monthly. Also, consider placing carbon monoxide detectors and natural gas detectors throughout your house to alert you of any potential concerns.
- Sign up for emergency alerts. Enroll in the Johns Hopkins Emergency Alert System to find out about emergencies on campus by visiting your profile on my.jh.edu. For alerts outside of Johns Hopkins, you can opt-in to receive emergency alert notifications by pressing the “Emergency Alerts” icon on your cellphone and selecting to receive alerts. On other cellphones, you can sign up by going into “Settings” and “Notifications.” As an added safety measure, you may also consider downloading a mobile device app designed to monitor severe weather and other emergency alerts to stay informed.
For additional preparedness tips, check out CEPAR’s personal and family disaster planning tip sheet and tips for preparing your pets for disaster.
Read more news and information from CEPAR’s Hopkins on Alert.