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updated: 12/14/2012 11:08 AM

Give the Gift of Emergency Preparedness

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Lake County Health Department

If you are struggling to find the right gift for friends and loved ones this holiday season, it may be time to think about emergency preparedness. The Lake County Emergency Management Agency and the Health Department have gift ideas that can help keep your friends and loved ones safe in case of emergency situations, such as:

Emergency Weather Radio

The outdoor siren systems you sometimes hear tested on Tuesday mornings are designed to be just that, outdoor alerts for emergencies. Having a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather radio in your home is a way to bring the emergency siren into your home. Each radio is a 24-hour source of weather forecasts, warnings, watches and other emergency information. Radios are available at many electronic or hardware stores, as well as through the American Red Cross.

Winter Weather Survival Kit

This kit should include the following:

Blankets

Water

Shovel

First aid kit with pocket knife

Road salt, sand or kitty litter for traction

Windshield scraper and small broom

Flashlight with extra batteries

Snack food such as energy bars

Matches and small candles

Extra hats, socks and gloves

Booster cables

Emergency flares and reflectors

Fluorescent distress flag and a whistle to attract attention

A Cell Phone Adapter

Make sure your friend or loved one has the energy when they need it in an emergency. Give them an adapter to plug into a car receptacle.

Home Emergency Kit

In case the electricity, gas and/or water is shut off for days or even weeks, there will be no time to shop or search for supplies you need, so provide a disaster kit that can be used in case you are stuck in your home or evacuated at a moment's notice. The kit should include the following:

Water

Non-perishable food that needs no electricity for storage or preparation

Flashlights with batteries

First Aid kit

Pet Emergency Kit

Pets need food and water during an emergency. A pet emergency kit would also include leashes and a carrying case or crate for transporting a pet or housing a pet during a disaster.

Battery-Powered Lamps

These lamps can cast a lot of light when needed and most people do not own them unless they do a lot of camping.

Smoke and Carbon-Monoxide Detectors

Working smoke detectors can save lives in a fire while carbon monoxide detectors can save individuals from the colorless, odorless and tasteless gas generated by improper ventilation of furnaces or other devices.

Foldable Ladder

One of these can be kept near a second-story window for a fast escape during a fire.

When you sit down with loved ones during the holidays, take some time to discuss what to do in case of an emergency or disaster. This includes having a plan in place where loved ones would meet or communicate in case you are separated when an emergency occurs.

For more information about emergency preparedness, visit: Alertlakecounty.com.

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