Prepare Yourself For H1N1 Emergency

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

On the heels of dramatic flooding and with preparations for H1N1 flu gearing up, the Montgomery County Commissioners are urging all residents to use September as National Preparedness Month to get themselves and their families ready in the event of an emergency.

There are a few simple steps everyone can take to be prepared in case of emergency.

Be Informed

One way to be informed is to sign up for ReadyNotifyPA, a community alert system that sends information to your e-mail, PDA or mobile device. Subscribe now at

It's also important to learn more about the potential emergencies that could happen where you live and the appropriate way to respond to them. One way to do that is to learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your local municipality. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference.

Get a Kit

All families should be prepared to survive in their home without outside assistance for at lease three days if an emergency occurs. The following list is a starting point and can be modified for a given family or individual's unique needs.

• Water –one gallon of water per day per person, for three days, for drinking and sanitation

• Food – at least three days of non-perishable foods

• Radio – a battery-powered or hand crank radio and extra batteries for both

• Flashlight and extra batteries


• First aid kit

• Manual can opener for food

• Local maps in case known routes are inaccessible

• A list of your family's medications and doses

• Infant formula and diapers

• Pet food and extra water for your pet

• Important family documents such as insurance policies, in waterproof, portable container

• Change of clothing

• Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper for water purification (do not use scented, color-safe or bleaches with added cleaners) Use 16 drops per gallon

• Books, games, activities for the family

Make a Plan

Make sure you have a family emergency plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations?