Public health emergencies can come in many natural forms such as floods, tornadoes, or even man-made threats such as bioterrorism. These public health emergencies may occur without any warning or very little warning which is why the Scott County Health Department encourages every resident of Scott County to do what they can to prepare for these emergencies before they occur.
The first thing to do is develop a communications plan. Many times family members may not be at the same location when an emergency occurs. Children may be at school and adults may be at work or other locations. It is important to designate a place to meet as well as a backup location. Also, a person should be designated as an emergency contact. This person should not live in the same neighborhood.
Next, make an emergency supply kit. There may not be time to search for supplies during or after an emergency and stores may not be open to buy the supplies you need. The kit should include the following supplies according to the Iowa Department of Public Health:
- Water—at least one gallon per person per day for at least 3 days, stored in a plastic container
- Food—at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable food
- First-Aid Kit
- Prescription Medications
- Battery-powered radio
- Extra Batteries
- Can Opener
- Bedding for each person
- Personal hygiene items
- Dust mask or cotton T-shirt for each person to help filter the air
- A whistle to signal for help
- Waterproof container to store important documents
For more information on emergency preparedness for yourself, your family and your home the Health Department invites you to take advantage of the following resources.
The Federal Emergency Management Commission has published a book on preparing for disasters. FEMA has the book online in PDF and Word formats. The link is http://www.fema.gov/areyouready.