June is National Safety Month - Hands-on Home Safety (preparedness)

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June is National Safety Month - Emergency Preparedness!

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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June is National Home Safety Month. The emphasis for week of June 18-23 is Emergency Preparedness in the Home. Natural disasters can be a serious problem for anyone. Being prepared in case of a disaster can give a family peace of mind. Whether it is a disaster such as a tornado, flood or fire families can be left nothing.

The National Safety Council suggests the following prevention tips:

* Have a designated safe place to take shelter during bad weather.

* Have flashlights and extra batteries where you can find them and on each floor of the home.

* Post emergency phone numbers near the phone. Keep cell phones handy and charged.

* Create an emergency kit and have it in an easily accessible place. Include a weather radio, batteries, candles, flashlights and matches.

* Develop and practice an emergency plan. Every family member should know where to meet after an evacuation.

* Make sure all family members know two ways out of the home. Make sure everyone knows how to operate locks, windows and doors.

* Install and check smoke alarms and CO detectors. Have a working fire extinguisher and know how to use it.

* Know how to shut off water, gas and electricity to your home.

* Have a written inventory with photographs of all valuable items, and keep an extra copy outside your home.

* Encourage family members to learn first aid and CPR.

* Prepare a large emergency kit. Include a three-day supply of water (one gallon per day, per person) and non-perishable food, a first aid kit, medications, entertainment items (cards and games, etc.), family documents, extra clothing and bedding. Flashlights and batteries are also helpful. Keep this kit in the basement or in the safest area of your home for easy access during disasters or bad weather. It is also helpful to have a smaller emergency kit in the car in case of an emergency on the road.

* Have a list of family members with phone numbers to contact in case of emergency.

Take time to prepare your family for possible disasters. Teach children the difference between weather warnings and watches. Being prepared can save lives.

Ask Lorene

(This resource was updated June 2007 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

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