Want to be better prepared for emergencies? Here’s what Utah Emergency Management suggests
SALT LAKE CITY — With wildfires, drought, snowstorms, earthquakes, and a pandemic, Utah emergency managers are reminding the public to prepare for any and all types of emergencies.
Utahns got a refresher course last week with the “Great Utah Shakeout” where people across Utah practice protocol for what they should do in the event of an earthquake.
We want to add onto your arsenal each week.
Experts say the most important thing you should do is make a plan. Decide: Where is the safest place in your home to shelter? What is the best evacuation route?
Once that’s in place, practice it.
Pack a go-kit – include an assortment of hand tools, equipment that you would use in an emergency – don’t forget glasses, contacts and any special medications you might need to last you 72 hours.
“We describe it as an emergency or family disaster plan as knowing things, having things, and doing things,” Wade Mathews, with Utah Emergency Management said. “Having things like having a disaster supply kit for every member of the family that’s personalized for your individual needs. Having a minimum 2-week supply of food and water. Three months is better. Even more is better than that!”
Among your emergency preparedness decisions, don’t forget to create a plan for your pets.
Make sure they have portable food and water, a leash, or crate if you need to transport them. It’s also important they’ve got ID tags and are up to date with their vaccinations.
Be prepared with a place you can board them in case you have to evacuate to a Red Cross Shelter, where pets typically aren’t allowed.
Mathews explained the simple things residents can start doing today to prepare at home.
First, earthquake proof your home.
What everyday objects are a hazard, and can become dangerous when the earth starts to move?
“Going around the house, making sure the water heater is fastened to the wall. Moving heavy objects from high shelves down to the low shelves and things away from the bed,” Matthews said.
Another handy tip – keep a flashlight and good pair of shoes by your bed in case of an earthquake and the power is out.
“You grab the flashlight and see your way out. Put a good pair of shoes on to protect your feet.”
Once you get your plan in place, practice it with your family. Where will you meet? Where is the safest place in your home to shelter? Best evacuation route?
Do a couple of dry runs so you all feel comfortable with it.
There are many resources you can tap into – including some more in-depth info from our friends at KSL News Radio. You can also visit: https://beready.utah.gov/
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