When I was in school, we used to call them “Achievement Tests.” Now the students are tested at the first part of the school year, then again at the end of the year to measure learning progress. I ran this test a couple of years ago. Maybe you took it and the results were disappointing. Now is the opportunity to take the test again and celebrate your progress.
Would you know what to do in case of an emergency? Most of us have never suffered the likes of Hurricane Katrina, the Thailand tsunami or the earthquake in Japan. Many of us though have been inconvenienced by the loss of electricity or a snowstorm that kept us from leaving our home. What about an earthquake, fire or flood? Are you prepared? Just for fun, let’s take this little test to see how we rate.
1. Has your family rehearsed fire escape routes from your home? Yes-No
2. Does your family know what to do before, during and after an earthquake? Yes-No
3. Do you have heavy objects hanging over beds than can fall during an earthquake? Yes-No
4. Do you have access to an operational flashlight in every bedroom? Yes-No
5. Do you keep shoes near your bed to protect your feet from walking on broken glass? Yes-No
6. If a water line ruptured during an earthquake, do you know how to shut off the main water line to your house? Yes-No
7. Can this water line be turned off by hand or is a tool required? Yes-No
8. If you have natural gas or propane, do you know where the main shut-off is located? Yes-No
9. If you smell gas, do you know how and would you be able to shut off this valve? Yes-No
10. Do you have working smoke alarms in the proper places to warn you in case of fire?
11. In case of a minor fire, do you have a fire extinguisher you know how to use? Yes-No
12. Do you have duplicate keys, copies of important papers or documents stored in a location outside your home? Yes-No
13. Do you own a radio capable of receiving emergency information? Yes-No
14. If your family had to evacuate, have you identified a meeting place? Yes-No
If an emergency lasted for 72 hours before help was available:
15. Would you have sufficient food? Yes-No
16. Would you have the means to cook without gas or electricity? Yes-No
17. Would you have sufficient water for cooking, drinking and sanitary needs? Yes-No
18. Do you have access to a 72 hour evacuation kit? Yes-No
19. Would you be able to carry or transport your kit? Yes-No
20. Have you established an out-of-state contact? Yes-No
21. Do you have a first aid kit in your home and in each car? Yes-No
22. Do you have work gloves and tools for minor rescue and clean-up? Yes-No
23. Do you have some emergency cash on hand? Yes-No
24. Do you have a means to heat your house other than the normal way? Yes-No
25. If you need medication, do you have extra on hand? Yes-No
26. Do you have a plan for toilet facilities if there is an extended water shortage? Yes-No
If you answered “no” to any of the questions, then take another look at your preparations and make adjustments. As always email me with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous columns can found on my blog at www.disasterprepdave.blogspot.com. Dave Robinson is a retired Postmaster in, and the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us,” available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other online booksellers.