From devastating hurricanes to rapid wildfires, this year has proved that a disaster can strike at any moment.
But here’s the question you need to ask yourself.
If an emergency like a tornado or ice storm were to happen here in Mid-Michigan, would you be ready?
6 News reporter Veronica Gabriel invited an expert into one of our co-workers homes to find out what you can do to better protect your family.
Making sure your family is prepared for an emergency can seem like a big job, but it’s one that Raynika Battle hopes to prove isn’t as hard as it looks. So we invited her into a friend’s home to show us.
“What you want to think about is what’s around you, what could possibly happen and what you can do to prepare yourself,” says Battle.
In her role as the Executive Director of Lansing’s “Do 1 Thing Campaign“, Battle works with community members on a daily basis to make sure they’re prepared in the case of an emergency and that’s exactly what we brought her here to do.
Battle says as you begin to make an emergency plan the first thing you should do is ask yourself a few questions like “Do you have a plan?” and “How will you execute it?”
She says you should also think about what you will do if you can’t get a hold of a family member.
“Me and my husband, if we couldn’t use our phones we know that we would try to get some type of internet source or wifi where we could send an email to each other,” says Battle.
Once you have a plan in place, Battle says the next step is to look at your food supply.
“One of the things that you want to remember is that you want a three day supply of food,” says Battle.
She says you should have enough food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each person in your house.
That includes having enough for family members who may be gluten free or sugar free as well.
“One example is having things like nuts because they have a really good shelf life. Also if you’re going to have any type of canned goods, these are really good. This one in particular has a pop top so you don’t have to worry about having a can opener,” says Battle.
Perhaps something many people forget to add to the list, is water.
“In the event of an emergency or disaster, of course the stores may not have the water. So you want to make sure that you have some in advance. And it doesn’t have to be a big disaster. Even a boil water advisory you want to make sure that you have water at home as well,” says Battle.
Battle says you should have one gallon of water to last each person per day.
You can use it for drinking and bathing based on your situation.
And if you don’t feel like buying it…
“You can also get empty jugs, you can use empty milk cartons and milk jugs and clean them out and fill up the water yourself,” says Battle.
Once you have an emergency plan, Battle says create an emergency supply kit.
That kit should include things like a flashlight, first aid kit, and batteries.
But that’s not all…
“We always tell people it’s always good to have an emergency radio and you can purchase these at your local grocery store. Another important thing is if you or someone in your home is taking medications you want to make sure that you’re able to have those with you,” says Battle.
Staying informed is also crucial, no matter what the circumstance.
“You want to make sure you are able to receive notifications now that can be on TV or on your phone,” says Battle.
If you don’t have a TV, Battle says you can listen for sirens or check a news app on your phone.
But make sure you have a couple downloaded beforehand.
Once you’ve crossed those things off your list, the next thing you should do is get in touch with those who live or work around you.
“If you know an isolated individual, perhaps a senior citizen in your area or perhaps someone that maybe even lives alone, check on them find out if they have supplies or need help,” says Battle.
And if you want to grow your knowledge beyond the confines of your own home, join the Red Cross or take a CPR class.
Battle says doing that can make a big difference in your life, and those around you.
“Doing those things and incorporating them it into what you’re already doing on a daily basis to make it easier is what we’re trying to get people to do,” says Battle.
So whether it’s a heatwave, ice storm, or anything in between… you’re better off doing something, than nothing at all.
For more information on how you can prepare your family for an emergency, check out the Do 1 Thing Campaign’s website.