Published on: Wednesday, October 3, 2018 Takoma Park Newsletter

Tips for Emergency Preparedness

By Claudine Schweber, Co-Chair, Emergency Preparedness Committee

No, we did not get Hurricane Florence. Yes, we did get periodic heavy rain, some flooding and downed trees. So, don’t applaud too soon. Are you prepared for serious storms, tornados and/ or power outages, which we do get? Here’s a review of some key tips, so you can be prepared, not scared. First, sign up for Takoma Park Alerts at

Make a basic preparedness kit. This is the go-bag that you set up in case you have to evacuate, or you have to stay indoors without power. It should include food for three days, safe drinking water (one gallon per person per day) and a first aid kit. Here’s a video you can watch for more information on what to include in your kit:

Be prepared for a power outage. Make sure you have lanterns, a battery-powered cell charger, a battery- or solar-powered radio, extra batteries, canned food with water inside and pull-up opener. Make sure computer systems are backed up; shut down and unplug systems before the storm.

Make a communication plan. Decide where to meet if you are separated; maintain a list of phone numbers for contact people; determine who contacts whom; keep a list of contact numbers for emergency personnel in your area. Designate an out-of-area contact person.

Be medical care ready. Get an extra supply of medication as soon as you hear there may be a natural disaster (or if you are going away). Make a copy of the prescription and keep it in a safe and easily accessible place along with a list of doctors, medications and health insurance information. Give a copy to your out-of-area contact.

Make preparations for your pets. Do you love your dog/cat and refuse to be separated? Now, while it’s calm, check which shelters take pets, not all do; same with hotels. Create an emergency preparedness kit for your pet. Check out this video, “Emergency Preparedness for Pet Owners.”

Befriend a neighbor. Whether the person is elderly, disabled or alone, this is Takoma Park where we know our neighbors and care about each other. Check in with him or her before the disaster and check to see how well prepared he or she is. Here’s a video on the subject.

Questions or ideas? Contact us at or 301-891- 7126.

This article appeared in the October 2018 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.