Prepare Your Household

Every household, regardless of size, should be prepared for the hazards that effect their area. Otter Tail County Emergency Management encourages every family and home to take four simple steps to be prepared:

1. Identify Your Hazards
Talk with your neighbors, local public safety officials, county emergency management, and National Weather Service office about the natural, human-made, and technological emergencies that have occurred in your community, and what other hazards could happen. Discuss what you can do to lessen your impact.

Learn your community's warning signals, sheltering recommendations, and evacuation plans to know how to respond.

2. Have a Plan
Identify what your response activities will be:
  • Who Will You Call? - Identify someone nearby and out-of-state that you can call to let them know you are safe.
  • Where Will You Go? - Identify a primary and alternate location to meet your family, in case you get separated. Consider your options for if you cannot return home.
  • What Will You Do? - Identify what actions you will take if requested to stay in your home or evacuate the neighborhood.
  • Where Can You Get Help? - Identify local, regional, and state resources that may be able to assist you in responding to and recovering from an emergency.
3. Implement Your Plan
Take simple steps to implement your plan:
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones; enter ICE (In Case of Emergency) contacts into your mobile phone.
  • Install safety features in your home, including smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers.
  • Learn to perform basic safety measures, such as first aid, CPR, use a fire extinguisher, and how to turn off/ water, gas, and electrical utilities.
  • Keep enough supplies available to meet your needs for at least 3 days; assemble a disaster supplies kit with items you may need in case of an evacuation.
4. Practice & Maintain Your Plan
Practice your plans to make sure they work, and be sure to update them as information changes:
  • Ask questions to make sure your family remembers safe meeting locations, phone numbers, and other safety measures.
  • Participate in annual statewide tornado drills with your family, school, and daycare.
  • Test your smoke detector monthly, and change the batteries at least once per year.
  • Replace stored water and other supplies every 6 months...don't "raid" your kit for every day needs.

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