Hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis oh my. Disasters are difficult topics to discuss but they are incredibly relevant in our world and it’s vital we prepare ahead of time in the event a disaster occurs in our area. Preparing for disasters improve post disaster outcomes in our communities, schools, businesses and in our homes. Visit http://www.ncpc.org/ or your local police department’s website for more information. Below are some general emergency preparedness tips. • Keep cash on hand as automated teller machines won’t work if the power is out. • Know your community’s evacuation route. • Assemble an emergency preparedness kit that will allow your family to camp out for three days. Assume you’ll be without electricity and running water. • Store your emergency supplies in sealed containers such as plastic tubs – taped shut. • Learn how to shut off utilities such as gas, electricity, and water. Water: 1 gallon per person per day, 1/2 for drinking, 1/2 for cooking/sanitation. Food: Store food that’s high in calories and has a long shelf-life. Consider meal replacement bars, canned foods and dry food items that don’t need to be cooked to eat. Light Source: Avoid candles to minimize fire risk and include safe light options like a battery-powered flashlight with extra batteries or a hand-crank flashlight. Warm and Dry Clothes: Include at least one change of clothing and to stay warm and dry you can also pack extra blankets, a tarp or rain gear. First Aid Kit: Include items for basic care like adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, scissors, tweezers and pain-relief medication and make sure to include medications and equipment specific to your needs. Interested in doing more? Volunteer at your local government agency, they are always looking for people who can assist in the community during and after a disaster.