Are You Prepared For A Natural Disaster In Alaska?
What can be done to protect your family
What is happening in Japan illustrates that natural disasters can easily happen here in Alaska at any time.
So the question is, are we preparing ourselves and our families for emergencies?
You never know when it can happen.
A natural disaster like last week's 8.9 quake and devastation in Japan could have easily destroyed property and life right here in Alaska.
“Communication could be impaired, transportation could be disrupted, the next ship may not come in or the planes come in,” said John Madden, the Director of the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management for the State of Alaska.
Havoc that would put every single Alaskan in jeopardy.
“You can't go to the grocery store, the water is cut off, or the power is off,” said Madden.
“There is strong need for every Alaskan to be able to take care of themselves for at least three days. We recommend seven days.”
Seven days of survival that officials say we need to be ready for by making emergency kits.
“In your car, you can have one that has the basic food you need along with a radio, flashlights, water, things like that,” said Chris Laborde, the State of Alaska Emergency Program Manager. “In your home, the idea of having enough food and water for you’re whole family.”
Using inexpensive items that are tailored toward you and your families' needs, the idea is to have as many people prepared so the authorities can help those who really need it.
“You have all your daily medications you take, your daily needs,” said Laborde.
“A flashlight, a weather radio, matches, first-aid kit,” said Madden. “It reduces the demand on the government services and increases that self reliance which Alaskans are so noted for.”
But really, how many people are ready with supplies if an emergency happened now?
“Oh heck no,” said one Anchorage man. “With the earthquake that just happened, we haven't thought about this stuff.”
“I would say probably 80 percent of that stuff yes... all in one place? no,” said one Anchorage woman. “In light of what just recently happened, I think everybody should take that precaution and be prepared for just about anything.”
“My age group? I’m not the most prepared person,” said another Anchorage man.
“Every household in our state needs to have a kit like this that's customized to their location, to their family needs and to their type of hazards that they face,” said Madden.
So how easy is it to be prepared in case of a natural disaster or emergency?
Officials say it's pretty simple because you can find things that you can get off the shelf of your own home or the grocery store.
Easy access items like water and non-perishable food. A first-aid kit, prescriptions, and vital information like social security cards and birth certificates are important to have on hand.
Blankets or sleeping bags in case of cold weather.
And having a family emergency plan is crucial for everyone in your family to know and have.
Please click here for more information http://ready.alaska.gov/prepare/default.htm