Emergency preparedness gift suggestions

DOWNEY - As we prepare for the upcoming holidays, we often find ourselves in a shopping quandary with gift choices for our friends or family members. This year the Downey Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC) and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) have assembled a list of gift ideas to keep those close to our hearts more 'ready' and prepared.Since emergencies can happen at any moment; these gifts are a great way to encourage someone to start the simple steps toward being more prepared for emergencies. Please ensure your friends and family have an emergency communications plan, a disaster supply kit, and stay informed about emergencies in their area. Helping someone become more prepared for an emergency doesn't have to cost very much, many preparedness actions are free and only take a little time. Assisting a friend or loved one develop a supply kit or having a discussion about what should be done during an emergency (and what can be done beforehand) are no cost 'gifts'. "Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere and the holiday season provides a great opportunity to ensure that you and your loved ones are taking simple steps to be prepared," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "As families gather this holiday season, I encourage everyone to take a few minutes and discuss what you would do in case of an emergency or disaster. The public is the most important member of our nation's emergency response team and the more the public does to be prepared, the more successful this team will be." The most important thing any individual can do is take a few minutes to discuss with their family, friends and loved ones what they will do in the case of an emergency or disaster. This includes developing a simple family communications plan and identifying how you would get in touch with loved ones and where you might meet if you are separated when an emergency or disaster takes place. Additionally, there are simple supplies that can go a long way in the case of an emergency or disaster that would make great gifts this holiday season. A list of possible gifts that may assist in disasters includes: •Disaster kits for homes, offices and autos (first aid kits; food, water and prescription medications for 72 hours; i.e., extra clothing, blankets, and flashlights). •NOAA weather radios with extra batteries (or hand-crank powered). •Enrollment in a CPR or first-aid class. •Smoke or Carbon Monoxide detectors. •Fire extinguishers (for kitchen, garage, car, etc.) •Foldable ladders for second-story escape in a fire. •Car kits (emergency flares, shovels, ice scrapers, flashlights and fluorescent distress flags). •Pet disaster kits (food, water, leashes, dishes and carrying case or crate). •ÔĆBattery powered lamps •Batteries for smoke detectors and other emergency preparedness devices. This year, consider at least one of these ideas. You just may save the life of a friend or family member. For more information and preparedness tips, please visit www.ready.gov and www.fema.gov.

********** Published: December 11, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 33