Take some time to prepare for emergencies and disasters

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     (Michael Dwyer/AP Photo, file)

    (Michael Dwyer/AP Photo, file)

    Are you ready for an emergency?

    In light of National Preparedness Month, NewsWorks has talked to area experts on how to prepare for emergencies and disasters. 

    The Philadelphia chapter of the American Red Cross is encouraging households to create a family disaster plan to make sure they are ready for the next emergency or disaster, said spokesman Dave Schrader.

    “All kinds of disasters could happen,” Schrader said. “The most frequent ones in our region are power outages, floods and winter storms.”

    Schrader says people should consider preparing both a “home kit” and a “go kit.” Items should include the usual suspects: A three-day supply of water and nonperishable food, battery-powered or hand crank radio, flashlight, batteries and a first aid kit.

    Some items you might not think of? Food for your pet, medications, local maps, wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, garbage bags for personal sanitation, manual can opener for food and a cell phone with charger, inverter or solar charger.

    Planning is essential, according to Dan Loya of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers. He advises determining a safe location and having contact information of family members.

    “If you have a plan, you’re much more likely to get through the disaster and be able to handle it in the best possible way,” Loya said.

    He recommends finding a clean, dry space to store emergency items and bug-out bags and make sure that all family members know where it is located.

    For more ways to prepare, visit Ready.gov.

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