September is National Preparedness Month.  Do you know what to do in a disaster situation?  If your house is on fire?  If your neighborhood is being evacuated?  

It is important to make a plan that includes everyone in the household, even pets.  Include your children in the planning discussion and practice evacuating with your children and your pets.  Teach your children what to do in an emergency if they are at home or away, and review basic phone skills, including sending text messages, accessing contact numbers and dialing 911.  If you or anyone in your home have a disability, plan ahead for accessible transportation that you may need for evacuation or getting to a medical clinic.

There are things you can do to be prepared ahead of time:  put together an emergency kit that is easily accessible and contains enough food, water and medication for everyone in your home for 3-7 days.  Don’t forget to include provisions for your pets.  If you have children, add toys, games or stuffed animals to the kit, changing them out periodically to be age appropriate.  Keep some cash on hand and snap photos of important documents, including your homeowner/renter insurance information.  Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies do not cover flooding, see about purchasing flood insurance if your policy doesn’t cover it.  Download the FEMA app; it will keep you updated with weather alerts, disaster resources and safety tips.  To get information about what your emergency kit should contain, go to:  www.ready.gov/build-a-kit.

Learn about the hazards most likely to affect your community and their appropriate responses.  Find out what resources are available before, during and after a disaster in your community.  Talk to your neighbors and see how you can help each other should the need arise.  It is also a good idea to take a CPR/first aid class so that you can help others in an emergency situation.  Lake District Hospital offers CPR/first aid classes for both kids and adults; call 541-947-2114 ext. 386 for class schedules.  

There are many online resources available with tips and information, including: ready.gov, FEMA and Oregon Health Authority.

— Submitted by Julia Ugalde

Outreach Coordinator 

Lake District Hospital

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