In today’s ever-changing world, it seems that we are hearing more and more about disasters around the globe. The frequency appears to be increasing and with that we have to ask ourselves this question: are we ready should a disaster hit us? We here in the Northeast are more than familiar with blizzards, heavy snow, and cold, but are we prepared for a full-blown disaster?

Disaster preparedness is crucial for everyone, regardless of age. It is important to know what to do in case of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or tornado, events we have been less likely to come in contact with. So, with that in mind in accordance with our role as a responsible retailer and with Ocean State Job Lot’s Mission, Vision, and Values guiding us to help our communities, here are some tips to help you prepare.

Emergency preparedness steps before a natural disaster.

Tips for Adults:

  • Have an emergency kit ready: It is important to have a kit with basic essentials such as food, water, medication, and health and first aid supplies. Make sure you have enough supplies to last for at least three days, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Go through your kit every couple of months to account for outdated supplies.
  • Create a family communication plan: Decide on a meeting place in case you are separated during the disaster. Make sure everyone knows the plan and practice it regularly.
  • Know your local area’s evacuation routes: If you need to evacuate, make sure you know the safest route to take. Fill up your vehicle so that if you need to move quickly, the car or truck has a full tank of gas. Stay tuned to local news and emergency alerts for updates.
  • Secure your home: Make sure your home is structurally sound and secure. If there are things you can do to retrofit your home to make it more resistant to damage, make a plan to get those renovations done. Don’t keep putting them off.
  • Stay informed: Pay attention to weather reports and emergency alerts. Sign up for your state and city/town alert systems. You can usually get notified by text, phone, and email as needed. Know what to do in case of different types of disasters and stay updated on the latest information. Make sure phones, tablets, and laptops are fully charged and have batteries for your flashlights and radio just in case power goes out.
A family going over the emergency plans in case of a natural disaster.

Tips for Children:

  • Talk to your children about the importance of being prepared: Explain to your children why it’s important to be prepared in case of a disaster. Make sure they understand the gravity of the situation and reassure them that you will be there to protect them.
  • Make a family emergency plan together: Involve your children in creating a family communication plan and identifying a meeting place in case you are separated. Make sure they know how to call for help in case of an emergency. Practice your plan and have a phone tree posted where everyone can see.
  • Practice emergency drills: Regularly practice emergency drills with your children so they know what to do in case of an emergency. This will help them feel more confident and prepared.
  • Teach your children about different types of disasters: Explain to your children what to do in case of different types of disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or tornadoes. Teach them how to stay safe and avoid danger.
  • Pack a comfort kit: Making your children feel as normal as possible will be very important. Items such as a favorite toy, a book, or a game could help them feel more comfortable during an emergency.

Putting It All Together

Disaster preparedness is important for everyone. Stock up on items you might need a little at time during your visits to your local Ocean State Job Lot. You will be surprised at how quickly your emergency kit will come together. Not only will you want to make sure to follow these tips with your own immediate family, but also reach out to fellow family members and neighbors,  share these tips with them, and see if they too have a plan in place should the worst happen. You can be a leader in keeping them safe. Remember, if a natural disaster does hit, we all will have to come together no matter where we are to ensure the safety of our loved ones and to begin the process of restoration and rebuilding.