**Disasters can happen at any time. Severe weather, disease outbreaks and pandemics, or hazardous materials accidents are just a few of the potential disasters that could affect Michigan residents.
Families can - and do - cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Knowing what to do is both your best protection and your responsibility. The Ionia County Health Department is working to protect the community in the event an emergency, and health officials are urging everyone to take responsibility for the safety of their families and be prepared for all emergencies.
Some things that families can do to prepare for a potential emergency:
? Be proactive. Create a family emergency plan and talk about it ahead of time. Taking action
before an emergency occurs helps people to deal with disasters of all sorts much more
? Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one
another and review what you will do in different situations.
? Plan to have two means of communication (e.g. email, cell phone, phone, two-way radio)
? If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your
household. Your family emergency plan must include your pets. Being prepared can save their lives.
? You might not have access to food, water, or electricity for several days. You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for at least three days.
? Store at least one to two gallons of water per person for each day for drinking and sanitation.
? Keep a battery operated radio on hand and tune to your local radio station for information.
? For more information visit www.ready.gov online.
It is recommended that families have a 3-7 day disaster supply kit prepared before an emergency happens. Supplies can be stored together in a large plastic bin that every family member knows where to find.
Perishable supplies and water should be replaced every six months. The best way to be prepared for an emergency situation is to get prepared now. Take some time to discuss with your family how you will function during an emergency situation.