The Somerville Health Dept. along with other first responders coordinates our citywide disaster response planning. But there are simple steps you can take at home to prepare should there be an emergency, such as a natural disaster or disease outbreak from contaminated food or water.
You can start by taking the Emergency Preparedness Survey posted here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PFZ2VMQ. Fill out the survey by July 15 for a chance to win an Emergency Kit for your home.
Next, visit the City's emergency preparedness page here: http://www.somervillema.gov/departments/health/emgergency. You'll find information on city disaster response planning there as well as links to home emergency planning guides, a family emergency contact planning sheet to print and fill out, hurricane readiness information, and more.
Then, be sure to sign up for 311 city alerts:
Just dial 311 and ask to sign up. You can choose to receive only safety and emergency alerts or also sign up for community event notifications. You also have the choice to receive alerts by phone, email, or text message, or sign up for social media alerts via Facebook and Twitter as well. Whether we experience water contamination due to a water main break or if the police issue a public safety alert just for your neighborhood, 311 will alert residents as soon as the issue is known--and often before you would be alerted via the news.
And for now, here's a list of items that the Center for Disease Control recommends be included in your Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Cash or traveler's checks and change
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) - PDF, 277Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children