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Prepare for a disaster

Tips from TVF&R


As millions of people prepare to spend another night in the dark on the east coast after Hurricane Sandy roared ashore, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue reminds Oregonians that similarly crippling disasters can happen in the Northwest.

Which means now is the time to prepare your family for a disaster. Although Oregon doesn't typically face from hurricanes, the region is susceptible to massive windstorms that can knock out power and cripple transportation infrastructure for weeks at a time.

The Northwest is also earthquake country and massive, devastating earthquakes are a real threat. TVF&R officials hope that Hurricane Sandy is a reminder to Northwesterners to stockpile emergency supplies and make a plan.

Families are encouraged to make an emergency communications plan so family members can contact each other after a disaster. Think about how you would reach each other if your cell phone didn't work. Add an out-of-state family member or friend as your contact in case local telephone lines are down. Instruct all family members to call the out-of-state number to check in if they can't get through on a local telephone line.

TVF&R also recommends that families prepare an emergency kit with enough food and water to survive for at least three days. Every family's emergency kit will be different, but TVF&R recommends that you consider the following:

Food — Store enough food for every member of your family to survive for at least 3-4 days. Use canned or foil-pouch foods for easy storage and long shelf life. Choose ready-to-eat meat, fruits, and vegetables that your family likes.

Water — Store 3-4 days of water for each family member. One gallon per person per day is recommended for cooking, drinking and washing. Remember to include water for your pets.

Start with what you already have — If you're a camper or backpacker, you've got a head start. Your cook stove, tent and other gear can double as emergency supplies.

What you can't survive without — Medications? Home oxygen? Powered medical equipment? Mobility aids?

Stock essential supplies for the long haul — Even if you can obtain food and water within 3-4 days, medications or medical supplies may be unavailable for a week or more. Consider one week's worth of essential medications and oxygen bottles as a minimum; two weeks' worth is even better.

Other stuff you need — Pack a flashlight, batteries, tools, a first aid kit, cash, blankets, a tarp and more.

For more information, include tips to prepare for a disaster, visit take5tosurvive.com.



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