It’s a beautiful week in Central Oklahoma with temperatures expected to hover right around a balmy 80 degrees all week long.
Don’t let the springtime sunshine fool you. Spring time can bring severe weather to Oklahoma. We often experience raging thunderstorms, hailstorms, tornadoes, wildfires and even earthquakes in our state.
The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command is a disaster response organization as well as a social services organization. When disaster strikes, we respond immediately with our emergency canteens to provide food, drinks, relief and spiritual care to those affected. We also provide long-term recovery assistance to those who lose so much during these disasters.
But, do you have a disaster plan in place for your family or business? Creating one now when the weather is nice will ensure you and your loved ones will know what to do when a major incident occurs.
So, for your use, we’ve put together a short how-to on creating your own personal disaster plan:
1. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to call 9-1-1. Let children use a toy phone to practice.
2. Make emergency cards for every member of the family, including a picture, age, full name, birth date, emergency phone number and alternate contacts besides parents. List any food or medicine allergies as well.
3. Identify a neighbor or friend who can watch your children in your absence in case of an emergency.
4. Always have a battery-operated radio and flashlight ready to go in case the electricity goes out.
5. Have a first aid kit stocked and ready. Make sure your family members know where it is and how to use the items inside.
6. Develop an emergency communication plan. If your family members are separated from one another, make sure you plan for getting back together.
7. Have an out-of-town relative or friend to be your “family contact.” The contact should live outside the state because after a disaster, long distance calls are easier to make than a local call. Everyone must know the contact’s name, address, and phone number.
8. Pets are usually not permitted to be in shelters or places where food is served. Make a plan of where to take pets if you had to go to a public shelter where they are not permitted. Bring all pets into the house and confine them to one room, if you can.
1. PLEASE PLEASE make sure every room has a smoke detector and that batteries are changed twice a year.
2. Practice using the exits from the home with your children? You should have at least two separate exits and practice using both since a fire can block one exit. Have an identified location to meet in case family members are using different exits.
3. Once everyone is out, account for everyone. Make sure all family members are accounted for.
4. PRACTICE your fire drill once a month.
1. Stay calm. Staying rational will help reduce delays or accidents.
2. Put your plan into play and listen to local radio or TV for news.
3. Make sure everyone is safe and uninjured. Get first aid or help for those who are injured.
4. Help others, especially elderly neighbors or those with disabilities.
5. If you go outdoors, wear sturdy shoes and clothing. Debris and sharp objects on the ground could pose a hazard. STAY AWAY FROM POWER LINES ON THE GROUND.
6. Check for damage on the home. Use flashlights if there is no electricity instead of candles, incase of a gas leak or fire danger. Clean up hazardous spills immediately and check for fire and electrical hazards.