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Disasters happen and there is not much we can do about that. Disasters that can occur in Illinois are Earthquakes, Fire, flooding, severe thunder storms, tornados, and winter storms. We saw that last year with the flood in Carroll county and families having to evacuate their homes for safety reasons. But there are things we can do to protect ourselves and our families.

Every family needs to plan for what might happen. You should sit down with your family and talk about what types of disasters might happen, what you should do to prepare, or what to do if you are asked to evacuate (which means to leave your home). Parents remember your children are affected by disasters too. They may be frightened because they are out of their routine, reassure them and let them know what’s going on.

 

You should talk to your family about where to meet away from your home in case of a fire, or where to meet outside your neighborhood if you must evacuate and where to call to "check in" if you become separated from your family during a disaster. You should memorize the phone number of a favorite aunt or family member who lives in another state. You would call there to report where you are so your family can find you.

Also, be sure your house has a smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector. Remember to change the batteries twice a year (a good time to change them is when we set our clocks in spring and fall). It’s also a good idea to take a first aid class so you will be prepared to help others. Every family should have a Disaster Supply Kit in their home. The kit will help you and your family during a disaster. In a tornado, flood or winter storm for example, you might be without electricity and the water supply may be polluted or you may not be able to leave your house for a few days. In times like this, you will need to rely on yourself. Your disaster supply kit will make it easier. Remember, your family will probably never need to use your disaster supply kit, but it's always better to be prepared.

A disaster supply kit should include water, food ( hand can opener to open canned goods), battery powered or crank radio, flashlights with extra batteries, first aid kit, whistle to signal you are trapped, cell phones with chargers. Also include, medications, money, diapers, formula, pet food, etc. A kit should also be prepared for each child to help occupy your child; things included might be coloring books, colors, books, and games.

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