Get Healthy Carson City: Preparing for the Unpredictable

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This column appears on the health pages of Nevada Appeal Wednesday. It deals with topics that relate to the health of our community.

Spring is the time of the year when many things change, including the weather. Spring weather is often unstable. Temperatures vary between warm and cold days and sunny days can be stormy days. Since the spring weather is so coincidental, you may be unprepared in bad spring weather. If you plan ahead for unpredictable weather, you and your family can stay safe. Know what to do before the storm.

Know your risk

Find out about the type of dangerous weather that affects your area. Then develop an emergency plan based on these weather hazards. Discuss things like:

What will your family / household communicate during an emergency?

Where will your family / household meet if you split up in an emergency?

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When discussing these questions, consider the specific needs of your family members. Plan the necessary supplies you may need in case of unpredictable weather events. Think about how other people in your neighborhood can help those needs during an emergency. After your plan is completed, you should definitely practice it. Show household members where the emergency supplies are stored in the house and make sure they know how to turn off water, gas and electricity in your home.

Build an emergency kit

Keep an emergency kit at home and in the car. Items to consider are:

Battery operated winch or solar flashlight;

A weather radio;

First aid kit;

A three-day supply of food that will not be bad for any member of your household.

Three liters of water for every person in your home;

Cover;

A seven-day supply of essential drugs; and

Articles for pets and children.

Prepare your home

When cleaning the spring, remember to clean the drainpipes on the outside of your home. Drop trees and remove dead limbs and branches so they will not fall off during a storm and damage your home or power line. Check your insurance policies to make sure you are adequately covered for weather-related damage. Most homeowner and tenant insurance cover no flood damage. Call your insurance agent to find out what coverage you have.

Be informed with emergency notifications

Public safety officers use many systems to warn you in the event of a disaster or emergency. Sign up for your country's emergency call system to stay up to date during an emergency or disaster. Contact your local fire department to learn how to sign up for the Code Red or Reverse 9-1-1 system in your community. Always listen to local officials. If you are asked to evacuate, do so.

In northern Nevada every year a severe spring weather is a risk. Do not be surprised this year. Know the weather risks in your environment and prepare yourself, your family and your home for the unpredictable. In bad weather you are ready. For information on preparing for bad weather in any season, see http://www.ready.gov/severe-weather,

Carson City Health and Human Services urges everyone to take an active role in preparing for a disaster or emergency. Resources and information about departmental programs and services can be found on our website at http://www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or "Like" us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/cchhsCall us at 775-887-2190 or visit us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.