CFAES Give Today
OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

May 19, 2015 - 2:31pm --

With the end of the school year just around the corner that means family members should begin to think about a family emergency plan for a severe weather strike.  Parents, here are some questions to get you to think about that family emergency plan.  If there is severe weather while you are away from home for work would your kids know what to do?  Would you know where to find your kids after a severe weather emergency?  Why would you want to risk your kid’s uncertainty if there is a severe weather emergency?

Here are some helpful tips to consider when developing your severe weather emergency plan for your family.  Proper planning is critical if a severe weather emergency takes place. 

Have a well-stocked emergency supply kit on hand where your family can quickly find it.  This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours.  Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they may not be able to reach you immediately.  There is a possibility that it could take hours or days for help to reach you.  Consider the following things when putting together your emergency food supplies:

  • Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Choose foods your family will eat.
  • Remember any special dietary needs.
  • Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
  • Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.

Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation.  Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils.

The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies.  Many of these items are likely in your pantry.

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants

Water is an essential element to survival and a necessary item in an emergency supply kit.  Following a disaster, clean drinking water may not be available.  Your regular water source could be cut off or compromised through contamination.  Here are some tips on how to build a supply of water that will meet your family’s needs during an emergency.

You should store at least one gallon of water per person for three days.  A normally active person needs about three quarters of a gallon of fluid daily, from water and other beverages.  However, individuals needs vary, depending on age, health, physical condition, activity, diet and climate.

To determine your water needs, take the following into account:

  • One gallon of water per person, per day, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more water.
  • A medical emergency might require additional water.
  • If you live in a warm weather climate more water may be necessary.  In very hot temperatures, water needs can double.
  • Keep at least a three day supply of water per person.

It is recommended you purchase commercially bottled water, in order to prepare the safest and most reliable emergency water supply.  Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open until you need to use it.  Make sure to observe the expiration or use by date.  It is best to store your water in a cool dark place.

If by chance you prepare your own containers of water please follow the recommendations:

  • Use food grade water storage containers
  • Thoroughly clean the containers with dishwashing soap and water.
  • Rinse completely so there is no residual soap.

Now that you have completed your emergency supply kit, here are a few more suggestions for developing a solid emergency plan for your family.

  • Determine a severe weather safe spot like a basement, interior closet or bathroom.
  • Identify an emergency contact in and out of town.
  • Take photos or videos of your home and its contents and keep them in a separate location such as a safe deposit box or a relative’s house.
  • Locate and know how to operate your home’s gas and water shut-off valves.
  • Have emergency cash on hand since running debit and credit cards requires electricity.
  • Fill up your gas tank
  • Make sure pets have their tags and vaccinations up to date in case they get out.
  • Have a weather alert radio with battery backup power and plenty of batteries on hand.

I hope everyone will take the time to prepare their family emergency plan just in case severe weather happens here in southwest Ohio. 

With graduations taking place over the next few weeks, I hope everyone will enjoy those wonderful memories and enjoy a great summer.

For up-to-date program information, check us out on the web at:

News Release provided by Kevin Harris.