My 12 Steps to Preparedness

#1 Make a Plan

  • Family communication plan
  • Exit/escape plan
  • Evacuation process
  • Shelter-in-place procedures
  • Reunification locations
  • Know your evacuation routes and what hazards may affect you!

#2.  Practice The Plan

  • Put plans into actions with drills
  • Walk through steps to eliminate confusion
  • Engage children with timers and games
  • Use practice to find holes or areas for improvement
  • Be familiar with plan when the time comes to use it

#3 Gather & Update Emergency Supplies

  • Food and water - 3 day supply (1 gallon of water per day, per person)
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First aid kit and medications
  • Cash and important documents
  • Unique household items (infants, elderly, pets)
  • Build a kit over time with Safeguard Iowa's 20 Weeks To Preparedness

#4 Sign Up For Alerts And Warnings

  • Enroll in Alert Iowa here, address-based Polk County alerts, delivered by phone call, text message or email.
  • Acquire a weather radio
  • Have local news and weather apps on your phone
  • Know the hazards in your area
  • Be familiar with your location

#5 Manage Your Risks

  • Conduct a comprehensive insurance review annually
  • Home and auto
  • Flood insurance
  • Sump pump rider
  • Life Insurance

#6 Inventory Property

  • Take photos/videos of your property/valuable items
  • Place important things in a safe or safety deposit box
  • Digitize your family pictures, baby books, scrap books
  • Keep digital copies off-site for recovery if needed

#7 Make Home Safer

  • Check your smoke alarms monthly
  • Replace batteries every 6 months
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors
  • Replace alarms according to manufacturer's instructions

#8 Save For A Rainy Day

  • Keep cash in small bills to cover a couple of days of expenses
  • Create an emergency fund
  • 3-6 months of expenses is a great goal
  • See Step #5 regarding insurance

#9 Assemble a "Go-Kit"

  • Use a backpack or old suitcase¬†
  • Items you will need if you have to evacuate quickly
  • One for each family member (and pets)
  • Mobile, scaled-down version of #3

#10 Expand Your Plan

  • You are a busy person, what will you do if an emergency occurs at...
    • Work or School
    • Activities
    • Events
    • Place of worship

#11 Be Involved, Get Trained

  • Take a first-aid class
  • Learn CPR
  • Find a class on Stop the Bleed
  • Volunteer with a group that increases the community's resiliency

#12  Share! Pay it Forward

  • Involve a family member
  • Challenge a neighbor to prepare
  • Bring a friend along to training
  • Organize a group
  • Share your successes
  • Keep passing it down