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U.S. citizens must be better prepared for household emergencies

By Tim Sandle     Sep 21, 2015 in Lifestyle
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has conducted a review to see how well equipped U.S. households are for emergency situations. It seems that too few people are ready for the next disaster.
The CDC is drawing to an end a campaign called “Ready CDC,” a personal disaster preparedness intervention program. The program is a pilot, aimed at its own workforce to see how ready people’s households are for any kind of emergency situation.
The program was put together following a review of key national emergencies like Hurricane Katrina (2005), the influenza H1N1 pandemic (2009), and the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa (2014). The question posed was ‘just how ready are U.S. citizens for such events unfolding?’
This is followed by: “Would you be ready to protect yourself and your loved ones if there were an emergency?”
The recommendations for a disaster kit are:
Water: one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days is needed. This is for drinking and sanitation,
Food (three-day supply of non-perishable food, minimum),
Battery-powered or hand crank radio,
Flashlight and extra batteries,
First aid kit,
Whistle to signal for help,
Dust mask,
Moist towelettes and garbage bags,
Wrench or pliers,
Manual can opener for food,
Local maps,
Cell phone with chargers.
It is recommended that one kit is stored in the home and another in a vehicle. Extra items like shovels and jump cables are recommended for the vehicle kit.
The key findings from the review into the 2013-2015 scheme are that compared with persons with basic preparedness knowledge, persons with advanced knowledge were more likely to have assembled an emergency kit (44 percent versus 17 percent). Furthermore, such people:
A most likely to have developed a written household disaster plan (9 percent versus 4 percent);
Will have signed up for and received county emergency alert notifications (63 percent versus 41 percent).
The CDC’s review has concluded that it needs to reorientate its health promotion campaigns according to people’s different levels of knowledge and core beliefs.
Another finding from the review is about children. The agency notes that children, especially those with special healthcare needs, have particular needs during times of emergencies. These can be divided into the physical and the psychological.
After refining the plan, the U.S. health agency aims to roll out the scheme across the U.S.
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