The National Strategy for Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Act of 2002 was created after September 11, to address national security and to organize efforts to maintain and protect the United States from terrorist attacks. Preventing threats to our homeland and protecting the safety, freedom, property and economy of U.S. citizens is part of Homeland Security’s role. Responding to acts of terrorism, natural disaster or other such emergencies and aiding in recovery is an important part of Homeland Security.
Homeland Security has made available information for home and business owners to help protect and secure their loved ones and property.
Homeland Security has posted information online so that home and business owners can prepare for disasters. They suggest preparing a basic emergency kit.
The Homeland Security basic emergency kit recommended contents are:
– water – 1 gallon per person per day, 3 day supply minimum
– food – 3 day supply of non-perishable food
– radio – battery or crank operated, weather radio recommended
– flashlight – crank or battery. Extra batteries for batter operated
– first aid kit
– dust mask
– moist wipes, garbage bags and ties
– wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
– manual can opener
– local area map
Suggested additional items include:
– eyeglasses, contact lens care products
– prescription and OTC medications
– nfant supplies
– pet supplies
– important documents
– cash, change and/or traveler’s checks
– sleeping bag
– change of clothes, including long pants and long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes
– chlorine bleach and medicine dropper
– fire extinguisher
– matches in waterproof container
– hygiene products
– mess kits or paper plates, bowls, plastic forks and paper towels
– pen and paper
– books, games and puzzles
One gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation is a must. Those who are ill, nursing mothers or children may require more water. More water may also be required in warm climates. It is recommended to store water in tightly closed clean plastic containers. Keep at least a three day supply per person on hand.
The Homeland Security Department is in charge of emergency preparedness for the nation. Individual family emergency preparedness information and plans are available at Homeland Security’s ready.gov site.
Families should address the same questions locally that the Homeland Security Department addresses nationally regarding emergency preparedness. How will family members contact one another? How will family members get together? What will family members do in case of different situations that may arise?
Homeland Security team members have preset plans for communication while dealing with disasters. Families should prepare a list of phone numbers and see that each person has a copy of the list along change or a pre-paid phone card. Delegate an out-of-town contact person in case it isn’t possible to call across town or down the road.
Some areas of the United States face threats that can be predicted to some degree. Tornadoes are expected in tornado alley. Hurricanes are expected along coastal areas. Family emergency preparedness should include knowing what threats or disasters are likely in the area.
Find out what notification methods are used. Are radio and television announcements made? Are sirens sounded? Plan what steps will be taken if a threat or disaster occurs. Know workplace and school emergency contingency plans also.
One of the biggest decisions homeowners must make when faced with disaster is whether to stay or to evacuate. This is usually dictated by the extent of damage. Make a separate plan of action for each contingency.
The Homeland Security Department was created to help protect and preserve America. Monitoring terrorism and other threats, natural and man-made, are what the Department was created for. Homeowners can help in securing and protecting their family members and property by utilizing Homeland Security helps posted at ready.gov.