Crisis Preparedness Checklist

Disasters and emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime. Usually when you least expect it.

Are you and your family prepared for this?

If you were caught out by a natural disaster today, such as a tornado, wildfire, flood, or blizzard, would you have all the necessary supplies on hand to survive the crisis unscathed?

Or what if you are on a hike and an accident happens. Do you have the necessary equipment ready?

These are just some of the reasons why our crisis situation checklist exists. Go through them at your leisure and make sure you have the right gear so you and your family members are prepared for anything. Of course, this article is not a universal shopping list. You have to determine for yourself what is important and what things you need to get through a crisis safely and comfortably.

Whether the disaster is natural or man-made, preparation is key. First, discuss what you are preparing for with your family and create an emergency preparedness plan together.

 

Plan ahead

  • Determine escape routes from the apartment and meeting points. Define places where you and your family can meet in the event of a sudden emergency, such as during a fire. This location should be at a safe distance from your home so that you do not hinder rescue workers etc. from doing their duty.
  • Designate a friend or relative abroad as the family contact who will act as a point of contact for everyone. In the event of a crisis, this contact could act as a link between the individual family members if they are traveling separately. Always keep the person updated so that there is a rapid exchange of information when needed.
  • Plan for pet care in case of evacuation.
  • Hang emergency numbers by the landline phone and also keep them in your wallet or purse. Teach younger children the correct way to call emergency services and what number to dial if necessary.
  • Stock up on non-perishable supplies and an emergency kit.

 

Basic equipment for emergencies

Store supplies in airtight plastic bags, and pack all emergency equipment into one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as a duffel bag.

Your survival kit could include these handy items:

  • Drinking water (4 liters per person per day)
  • portable water filter (in case the drinking water emergency supply is not sufficient)
  • Groceries (a multi-day supply for several days has proven itself)
  • Radio, which is operated by hand crank or batteries
  • flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • spare batteries
  • Whistle to signal help
  • Dust mask (to filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheets and tape (for protection in place)
  • wipes
  • trash bags
  • Cable Ties
  • wrench
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • tin opener
  • Mobile phone with chargers and spare batteries
  • Always charged power bank to supply small electronic devices when the power fails

 

Additional equipment

The list above describes the basic items that should not be missing in any emergency kit. You can of course adapt the equipment to the needs of you and your family members. The packing list could then be supplemented with the following points, for example:

  • Important products in the Corona period: disposable masks, soap, hand disinfectant, disinfectant wipes
  • Prescription drugs. During a crisis, obtaining medicines can be difficult. Not only supermarkets, but also pharmacies are often closed. Organize and protect important medicines. In addition to prescription medicines, you should also have over-the-counter medicines and vitamins in stock at home. Painkillers, anti-diarrhea and laxatives are particularly important. Keep your medicine chest up to date and store it properly.
  • Glasses, contact lenses and contact lens solution
  • toilet paper and paper towels
  • Medical Equipment
  • Baby wipes – these can also be used for adult personal hygiene in an emergency.
  • Personal hygiene items, such as deodorant, soap, hairbrush, toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Toiletries for women
  • A list of general practitioners, essential medical information, and the type and serial number of medical equipment
  • Baby food, bottles, diapers, cream and other necessary toiletries
  • Animal feed and water for pets
  • Cash and/or travelers cheques
  • Keep copies of important family documents, such as birth certificates, identification papers, insurance policies and bank records, both paper and electronically stored on USB drives, in watertight containers.
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Two sets of change of clothes and sturdy shoes, adapted to the climate
  • Matches and lighter in watertight cases
  • Cookware, plastic cups, plates and light plastic cutlery
  • paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles and other toys for younger children
  • Rainwear
  • Portable water filter (as mentioned above to replenish drinking water supplies)
  • Wasserkanister
  • LED Lantern
  • Gasoline (for car and/or generator)
  • Propane gas (if a suitable grill or camping stove is available)
  • charcoal
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Tools
  • Seil
  • Multi tool with pliers
  • Reflective safety vests
  • broom and mop
  • pail
  • rubber gloves
  • Drinks

 

Where the equipment should be kept

Since you don't know where you will be when a crisis begins, prepare emergency kits for your home, work, and car.

At home: Keep your gear in an easily accessible place, so you have it on hand in case you need to leave your four walls quickly. Make sure all family members know about and have access to this space.

At work: Prepare to be at work for at least 24 hours. Your supplies here should include food, water, and other essentials such as medicine. Comfortable walking shoes and a change of clothes are also useful.

Vehicle: Stormy weather can break in quickly and hinder the onward journey. The best preparation for extreme winter weather with high winds and/or heavy rain requires forward planning. Almost everyone has a cell phone with them – keep it charged at all times. A blanket, radio, flashlight, batteries, first aid kit and a supply of food and water should also be in the car. Ideally in an amount that lasts for 3 to 7 days. Don't forget to share your route and duration with your friends and family when you travel. This information can save your life if you're stuck somewhere and can't make an emergency call yourself.

 

disaster management in companies

Even if the probability is relatively low, companies and businesses should also prepare for possible crises and take precautions for their employees. It doesn't have to be the end of the world, but a blizzard or hurricane can force people inside the building to remain in place for long periods of time. In this case, a civil protection kit is suitable.

This is a checklist of items and supplies to help individuals and groups survive a crisis situation unharmed and unharmed. It should contain everything that the employees need.

Businesses can maintain their emergency equipment in the following ways:

  • Change out non-perishable snacks regularly. Especially when they no longer look attractive or are infested with insects.
  • Replace batteries in radios and flashlights, even if they have not expired.
  • Have enough whistles ready and clean them regularly.
  • Check the contents of the first aid kit and make a note of what is missing.
  • Check that the map of the area is up-to-date and legible.
  • Replace dried out antibacterial wet wipes or disinfectant wipes.
  • Check the expiration date of common medications in the emergency kit and replace if necessary.
  • Update the access authorizations or employee ID cards immediately as soon as something has changed.
  • Add additional articles that might be relevant to the current season. Such as gloves, earmuffs and scarves for the winter and sun protection for the summer.

 

Steps to Prepare for a Disaster:

Protect your employees and your business from yet-to-be-anticipated disasters by planning ahead. Follow these steps to ensure you're prepared for any eventuality:

  1. Identify the hazard: First, find out about the common and less common types of hazards that may occur in the vicinity of your business. Location is an important factor, so prepare for known disasters. For example, if you live abroad in an earthquake risk area, you should prepare for both minor and major tremors.
  2. Inquiry about emergency management: Find out about the local emergency services and leave phone numbers and other important contact information where they are readily accessible and visible. Also create an emergency plan for your company. Take into account the guidelines from government agencies and emergency services and adapt them to your security concept. In a larger company, it makes sense to designate employees as security experts and train them accordingly.
  3. Monitoring the company's ability to act: It sounds trite, but it can still be important for you and your company: Assess your company's susceptibility to crises and find out which areas are particularly important for the ability of your business to act. Proactively monitor potential threats and create a contingency plan to outsource these critical business areas. In Germany, for example, you don't have to worry about earthquakes. But floods, fires, landslides and even storms pose real dangers.
  4. Putting together an emergency kit: As mentioned earlier, it's always a good idea to have emergency equipment ready for employees to use. Make sure all employees know where this kit is located. Periodically check the contents and replace any damaged or expired items. Supplement stocks if necessary.
  5. Establish an evacuation plan: In many buildings, it is even mandatory to post or label escape routes. In addition, it makes sense that you let the staff know what to do in the event of an evacuation. This can take place, for example, as part of regular fire drills.
  6. First Aid Training: Where possible, conduct first aid classes and other safety-related training for employees to attend. This ensures that every employee is familiar with the life-saving measures and can apply this knowledge in practice if necessary.

 

Summary

In Western Europe it is still almost unthinkable for many people that a crisis situation could arise that would at least temporarily bring social life to a standstill or even make an evacuation necessary. However, recent events, such as the flooding in the Ahr Valley in 2021 or the massive damage in large cities caused by hurricanes, quickly make it clear that such situations can also quickly arise in Germany and neighboring countries. Taking crisis precautions to a certain extent therefore makes sense and can quickly save your own life.

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