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Terrorism and Other Public Health Threats - Getting Organized

Assembling an emergency supplies kit continued...

Visit the American Red Cross's website at www.redcross.org for a checklist to use as you gather supplies. Store everything in one place, preferably a cool, dark location. Consider putting together a smaller version of your emergency kit that you could take if you had to leave home or shelter in place.

After you've assembled your emergency supplies, remember to check and replace them periodically:

  • Bottled water that has remained sealed and unopened needs to be replaced once a year. Water in containers that you filled yourself needs to be replaced every 6 months.
  • Follow the Red Cross's guidelines (www.redcross.org) on how often to replace food supplies. Even "nonperishable" items may need to be replaced.
  • Remember that both nonprescription and prescription medicines have expiration dates.

Information on disaster readiness

It is hard to prepare for a terrorist attack because no one knows what form it might take or when or where it may occur. But being prepared for general emergencies—including fires, natural disasters, power failures, fresh-water shortages, and similar events—makes sense and will help to reassure you and your family.

The following agencies provide extensive information about disaster planning and terrorism:

  • The American Red Cross has specific disaster-readiness guidelines, including instructions on how to build a disaster supplies kit and how to make a disaster plan. You can access this information at www.redcross.org.
  • The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides extensive information about national security emergencies, including chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks. You can access this information at www.fema.gov.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides answers to frequently asked questions about chemical and biological agents, such as toxic gases and smallpox, and nuclear attacks as well as advice on how to protect yourself. You can access this information at www.cdc.gov.
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security urges citizens to be prepared and stay informed. Many helpful links are available from its website at www.dhs.gov/disasters or at www.ready.gov.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 27, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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