Preparing for an emergency before it occurs -

How to prepare for an emergency

It's a matter of knowing what to do before the unexpected happens.

"Most people think that at the last minute they're going to be told to go and they're going to be running and that they'll have it all together, but that fact is when you're under pressure to evacuate, you don't really know what the right thing is to take with you," said Karen Takai.

 "I went home and got my medication, some important papers, some clothes, but I couldn't get everything - I just got what I could," said Lauren Gallaugher, forced to evacuate home.

"My wife packed up pictures and collectibles and that kind of stuff and had it loaded up in the car," said Tom Pellett, forced to evacuate his home.

"Have your medicines, have phone numbers of people to call what happens if all of a sudden your infrastructure of your cell phone goes down, what are you going to be doing ," said Takai.

Having an emergency plan can also means making sure others are safe too.

"If you have anyone that's sick or disabled how are you going to handle that situation what if the fire is here and you're in another city working," said Takai.

Takai says having a well thought out plan will make it easier to react in a hectic situation.

"These are all the questions you need to be thinking about and resolving before the emergency happens because it's just too stressful when you don't know what's happening.

Takai says people should also pack for at least 72 hours, and have the emergency manager and American Red Cross phone numbers available.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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