Harrisburg, PA – The holiday season is always a busy time. With the season of holiday wish list-making and gift-giving in full swing, state officials are reminding you to consider helping loved ones prepare for emergencies this year.
“During the holidays, many of us add things to our wish lists that we wouldn’t normally buy for ourselves,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. “What better way to let your loves ones know that you care than by getting them started with an emergency kit or emergency plan template.”
Padfield said that while winter storms pose a threat over the coming months, emergencies can happen any time and a basic emergency kit and plan can be used for any scenario you are likely to face. It’s especially important to consider that in the immediate aftermath of an emergency, first responders will not be able to reach everyone right away.
“Flashlights or weather radios that can be manually charged with a hand crank, or small battery packs for cell phones make great stocking stuffers or small Hanukkah gifts,” Padfield said. “You should also figure out how you’ll communicate with loved ones in case you’re not together when an emergency happens.”
Getting started doesn’t have to be complicated. Just a few gift ideas include:
- A family communications plan, which can be started with free resources available on the Ready PA website
- A first aid kit
- Enrollment in a basic first aid and CPR training class
- Taking the You Are the Help Until Help Arrives online training as a family
- Car kit, including jumper cables, blankets, water, non-perishable food and a pack of basic car tools
- Fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- A pet kit with leashes/harnesses, bowls, food and water, manual can opener and a waterproof container for veterinary records and photos of you with your pet for proof of ownership in the event you are separated
- Basic hygiene kit with shampoo, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, and deodorant
- A waterproof pouch to store copies of important documents such as birth certificates, insurance cards, photo IDs, mortgage information or deeds and your family emergency plan
Padfield said the foundation of resilient communities is families and businesses that are prepared for emergencies. More information about how to prepare for an emergency, including specific information for people who may have specialized concerns, such as older adults, parents with children or pets, or those with access and functional needs, is available on the Ready PA website.
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