Tazewell County Health Dept.

Planning Emergency Planning Your Safety First

Your Safety First

Prepare your family

To protect your family during a public health emergency, it is wise to have an Emergency Supply Kit prepared and in a safe place. Ideally, you need two kits, each stored in a water tight container. Keep one in your basement and the other in the trunk of your car. Your kits should include:

  • A battery-powered radio and flashlight
  • First aid kit, including mild pain relievers and antiseptic
  • Bottled drinking water - a three day supply
  • Additional beverages including fruit and vegetable juice, soda, sports drinks
  • Canned food and a can opener
  • Other non-perishable foods that require no refrigeration
  • Salt and baking soda
  • Sleeping bag, pillow, and blanket for each family member
  • Paper and pencil to write information
  • Small tool set
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Soap and towels
  • Toilet paper and paper towels
  • Bleach
  • Extra set of car keys, credit card, cash on hand
  • Change of clothing and shoes per person
Medicine prescribed for family members

Additional supplies to have on hand include:

  • Paper plates and cups
  • Silverware
  • Matches
  • Tape
  • Needle and thread
  • Hand lotion
  • Extra eye glasses
  • Pre-moistened sheets
  • Cotton balls
  • Toiletry items
  • A cooler and freezer packs

Be Alert

Since the terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001, emergency preparedness has taken on a new meaning. Consider the following safety suggestions:

Know your surroundings

  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings. The very nature of terrorism suggests there may be little or no warning.
  • Be careful when traveling. Be aware of unusual behavior. Do not accept packages from strangers. Do not leave luggage unattended.
  • Learn where emergency exits are located. Think ahead about how to evacuate a building, subway, or congested public area in a hurry. Learn where staircases are located.
Notice your immediate surroundings. Be aware of heavy or breakable objects that could move, fall, or break in an explosion.                 

Suspicious Mail

Characteristics of suspicious letters and packages:

  • Inappropriate or unusual labeling
  • Excessive postage
  • Handwritten or poorly typed address
  • Misspellings of common words
  • Strange version or no return address
  • Not addressed to a specific person
  • Marked with threatening language
  • Postmark different from return address

Source: Surviving Disasters from the Illinois Department of Public Health