Emergency preparedness encompasses four important steps:
· Get or create a disaster preparedness kit (Check out this kit list from the CDC: http://www.ready.gov/document/family-supply-list)
· Make a plan so your family knows what to do when disaster strikes (Check out this family communication plan from FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/34330)
· Be informed so you know what to do when disaster strikes your area (Sign up for alerts in your area: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/preparedness/informed/)
· Get Involved in the community preparedness (FEMA shares ways you can get involved: http://www.fema.gov/volunteer-donate-responsibly)
How can the Poison Control Centers help during disasters? Here’s a list of ways:
§ In the event of a chemical or biological attack. The staff at each poison center has extensive knowledge of healthcare resources and work with hospitals to ensure that patients get the right treatments needed. Experts are able to identify what antidotes can help and provide education to both the public and healthcare professionals.
§ They handle acute and chronic poisonings as well as environmental and occupational exposures. This is an important resource because specialists in poison information are also experts in toxicology.
§ They collect data. The data collection system can assist in detection of diseases and help track individuals who might have been exposed. This information is vital when it comes to issues of a bioterrorist attack.
§ They alleviate fears. As a 24 hour resource, you can contact them at ANYTIME with concerns or issues that you would like more information about.
The Poison Control Hotline is such an important resource to the community and the best part is it is available 24/7 for FREE! Call 1-800-222-1222 and put your mind at ease when dealing with any natural disaster or emergency. They are here to help!