A New Year, Get Prepared

Posted at 10:30 a.m.

What’s on your New Year’s resolution list this year?

Organizing closets and promising to make more trips to the gym are traditional New Year’s resolutions, but the most important thing to do could be making an emergency kit.

President John F. Kennedy once said, “The time to repair a roof is when the sun is shining.” The same can be said for emergency kits. The time to make a kit is when the sun is shining – or before a disaster strikes.

Now that Fairfax County has had a round of winter storms, make sure you answer these questions:

  • What would I need if the power didn’t come back on for a few days?
  • What if I was stuck in my car for 12 hours?
  • How should I prepare?

This year, resolve to be proactive instead of reactive. A situation can quickly escalate to an emergency if you’re not prepared. An emergency kit can alleviate stress in uncertain situations and put you in control to help yourself and others.

Get A Kit – for Home, Work and Car

Be sure to include:

  • First-aid kit.
  • Water (one gallon of water per person per day for a minimum of three days).
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food).
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Garbage bags and plastic ties.
  • Duct tape and plastic sheeting.
  • Manual can opener for food (if kit contains canned food).
  • Local maps.
  • Infant formula and diapers.
  • Cellphone and chargers.
  • Prescription medications and glasses.
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet.
  • Important family documents (insurance policies, identification and bank account records).
  • Emergency reference materials (first-aid book).
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
  • Change of clothing.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Matches in a waterproof container.
  • Food supplies, such as mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels.
  • Paper and pencil.
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.

Make a Plan – Now

It may be difficult to communicate with family and friends through traditional means during and after an emergency. Establish your out-of-town emergency contact and where you will meet your family if you are unable to return home.

Not sure how to get started? Go to www.ReadyNova.org for an easy-to-use template for making a personalized family emergency plan.

Stay Informed Learn the resources available to you before a disaster. Bookmark Fairfax County’s emergency blog to keep up with weather updates, county closings and more at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/blog. And sign up for the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN) for timely emergency alerts at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cean.

Now is the time to prepare for the unexpected. Resolve to make your emergency kit and then follow through! For more on emergency kits, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency.

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4 responses to “A New Year, Get Prepared”

  1. Anonymous says :

    For safety of FCPS students, close the schools in Virginia. You cannot risk our children’s lives making them stand in Winter Storm Tues, 21, 2014. Why you wait until the last moment to declare closing. Our High school students needs to wake up early to leave for schools..

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