This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
Spring is the time of year when many things change, including the weather. Spring weather is often unstable. Temperatures swing back and forth between warm and cold and sunny days can turn into stormy days. Because spring weather is so random, you might find yourself unprepared when severe spring weather happens. Planning ahead for unpredictable weather can keep you and your family safe. Know what do before the storm.
Know your risk
Know the type of hazardous weather that affects your local area. Then, develop an emergency plan based on those weather hazards. Discuss things with your household such as:
What will your family/household communicate during an emergency?
Where will your family/household meet if separated during an emergency?
As you discuss these questions, consider any specific needs for your family members. Plan for the necessary supplies they might need during an unpredictable weather event. Think about how other people in your neighborhood can assist with those needs during an emergency. After your plan is complete, make sure to practice it. Show household members where the emergency supplies are stored in the house and make sure they know how to turn off the water, gas and electricity in your home.
Build an Emergency Kit
Keep an emergency kit in your home and in your car. Items to include are:
Battery operated, handcrank or solar flashlight;
A weather radio;
A first aid kit;
A three-day supply of food that will not go bad for each member of your household;
Three gallons of water for each person in your home;
A seven-day supply of important medications; and
Items for pets and children.
Prepare your home
As part of your spring cleaning, remember to clean out the drains and gutters on the outside of your home. Trim trees and remove dead limbs and branches so they do not fall off during a storm and damage your home or a powerline. Check your insurance policies to make sure you have enough coverage for damages caused by weather. Most homeowner and renter insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Call your insurance agent to see what coverage you have.
Be informed with emergency alerts
Public safety officials use many systems to alert you in the event of a disaster or emergency. Sign up for your county’s emergency alert system to stay informed during an emergency or disaster. Contact your local fire department to find out how to sign up for the Code Red or Reverse 9-1-1 system in your community. Always listen to local officials. If advised to evacuate, do so.
Severe spring weather is a risk every year in Northern Nevada. Do not be caught by surprise this year. Know the weather risks in your area and prepare yourself, your family and your home for the unpredictable. If severe weather occurs, you’ll be ready. For information on preparing for severe weather in any season, visit www.ready.gov/severe-weather.
Carson City Health and Human Services urges everyone to take an active role in preparing for a disaster or emergency. For resources and information about Department programs and services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cchhs, call us at 775-887-2190 or visit us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.