Disaster Preparedness



The City of Canyon Lake has a very active Emergency Preparedness Committee that helps coordinate with local, county and state regulations, and helps keep the city functioning during a state of emergency.  Earthquakes, land slides, floods, wildfires, hazardous material spills – disasters can strike anytime, anywhere.  Disaster preparedness can prevent a bad situation from becoming worse.  Emergencies come in many forms and having the right checklist, supplies, and kits for any possible contingency, can aid in making your family safe.  Planning ahead helps everyone understand what to do should a disaster strike.  In some instances it may be several days before vital services can be prepared and surviving this period may be difficult. 
Why Disaster Preparedness is Important
In an emergency situation it is easy to be afraid and anxious over what is happening.  Disaster preparedness reduces these feelings and helps communities and families know where to take refuge and how to care for basic medical issues.  It can also help alleviate some of the devastation by reducing the impact of a disaster.  For example, homeowners who live in a fire zone in the forest can clear away underbrush from their homes to help prevent future forest fires from burning down their homes.  In addition, they can store valuables in fire proof boxes in case a fire does reach the house.
Putting Together a Disaster Preparedness Checklist
To get started, it is important to put together a disaster preparedness checklist.  First, determine the best escape routes in case of an emergency.  Also set up a meeting place in case loved ones are separated.  The checklist should also include an emergency contact and each family member should have a copy of this.  Any pets should also have an emergency plan in place as in an emergency situation, animal shelters are often poorly equipped to care for them.  Finally, be sure that all family members (however young) understand how to call 911.
Gathering a Disaster Preparedness Supplies List
Disaster preparedness supplies that should be on hand include blankets, medical supplies, water and food.  Often basic necessities such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephone service can be cut in an emergency.  People also frequently need to evacuate their homes.  It helps to have some essential tools, clothing, sanitary supplies and medications easily accessible.  These items can be packed in a pack that can be quickly grabbed if a disaster strikes.
Finding a Disaster Preparedness Kit
Many companies offer disaster preparedness kits that are tailored to specific emergencies.  Fire kits, earthquake kits, terrorism kits, pandemic flu kits and other kits are available for purchase that include the basic survival requirements needed in a disaster situation.  These kits allow individuals to rely on their own resources during the first few critical hours and sometimes weeks after an emergency rather than awaiting government aid.
No matter what type of catastrophe strikes, it is vital to be prepared.  With the right knowledge and the right equipment, it is possible to survive a natural or man-made disaster. Once you have a plan in place, implement the tools necessary to keep your family safe, fed, hydrated and sanitary.  In addition, be sure to review any plans regularly with them to ensure that they know what to do if disaster should strike your home or community.  Below are some useful handouts for you and your family: