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The original item was published from 8/21/2023 3:25:20 PM to 11/2/2023 12:00:01 AM.

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Newton Fire Department

Posted on: August 31, 2023

[ARCHIVED] 30 Tips in 30 Days

30 tips 30 days

September is National Preparedness Month. It's essential to be ready for any disaster that may come our way. Each day in September we will be sharing a tip to help you and your loved ones prepare effectively for any emergency that might occur!

  1. Let's tackle a significant task first – your emergency kit! You might already have some of the items in your home, but organizing them into a convenient backpack or bag will make it easier to find what you need in an emergency. To help you out, we recommend downloading an emergency kit checklist from Use it to identify any items you need to pick up on your next errand. If you already have a kit, take a moment to check for any expired, missing, or low-supply items. Customize your kit with local needs such as warm clothing, extra blankets, and winter gear.
  2. Don't wait for a disaster to strike. Take action now and make a family plan. In an emergency, knowing how to contact each other and reunite if separated is crucial. Choose a familiar location as your designated meeting spot. To ensure a safe escape, your plan should be designed to take up to two minutes to execute. To prepare, gather your family for a 10-15 minute walkthrough of your home and discuss the plan. Then, take two minutes to practice. Click the link for further information:
  3. Understanding the risks of disasters in your area is crucial to ensure your safety. Conduct thorough research on the most common occurrences and educate yourself on what steps to take before, during, and after these events. Share this vital information with all members of your household. Everyone must know how to handle emergencies like thunderstorms, tornadoes, power outages, winter storms, and other potential disasters. For those living in Central Iowa, we've compiled FEMA information sheets on the most prevalent disasters in the region.
  4. To prepare for emergencies, you must create a communication plan outlining how local authorities will reach you. Consider using other communication methods, such as email or text messages, as they may be more reliable than cell phone calls. Moreover, select a friend or relative not in your area as a contact person for each family member so that everyone can check in and confirm their safety. These straightforward actions will help you remain informed and connected during challenging times.
  5. Sign up for emergency notifications on your cell phone to ensure you stay informed during emergencies. Most counties use regional notification systems to send phone notifications to residents and businesses in impacted or potentially affected areas. The State of Iowa's Alert Iowa is the official emergency notification system that provides local control for disseminating emergency and public safety messages to residents. Jasper County participates in this program, and you can receive free alerts via text, email, and voice message by texting JASPERIA to 67283 or visiting Stay safe and informed by signing up today.
  6. Ensure your tech is ready for emergencies. While technology has revolutionized emergency preparation, it can also prove unreliable if your devices are not adequately protected and charged. Consider purchasing power banks and extra chargers in an extended power outage. Make sure to let a lack of preparation leave you stranded when it matters most. Learn more:
  7. It's wise to strategically place flashlights and batteries throughout your home to ensure safety during a power outage following a severe weather event or other disaster. These readily available light sources allow you to navigate your home confidently and securely.
  8. To ensure your safety during disasters, keep your gas tank full and avoid letting it get too low. Unforeseen circumstances, such as long lines, fuel shortages, or structural damage, could impede your ability to refill your tank. By maintaining a full tank, you'll be able to avoid being stranded away from your loved ones or struggling to evacuate due to insufficient fuel.
  9. When disaster strikes, your pets will rely on you for their safety and care. That's why including them in your family's emergency plans is crucial. Ensure you're fully prepared to protect your furry friends by visiting and learning everything you need. Keep your pets safe and secure in any situation.
  10. You should have mini-disaster kits in your car or at your workplace in the event of emergencies. These kits consist of a flashlight with extra batteries, a first aid kit, a cell phone charger (including a car adapter for the car kit), or an external battery pack. It's also vital to keep bottled water and non-perishable food on hand. The car kit should include maps, a tire repair kit, jumper cables, flares, a white distress flag, and a comfortable pair of walking shoes. By having these essentials, individuals will be ready for any situation.
  11. Protect your home from fire by committing to fire safety habits. Following these practices can significantly reduce the risk of a home fire. Always keep an eye on candles and always keep them in sight. When cooking, stay near the stove/oven at all times. Additionally, ensure that appliances are plugged directly into wall outlets and that any frayed extension cords, exposed wires, or loose plugs are promptly fixed or replaced. By taking these steps, you can ensure your home is safe and secure for you and your loved ones.
  12. Protect your family from fires by creating and practicing a home escape plan. Start by drawing a map of your home that includes all doors and windows. Identify two ways out of each room and select an easy-to-find meeting place outside your home. With these simple steps, you can create an effective fire escape plan to keep your loved ones safe. Download these documents to assist you:
  13. It's crucial to discuss disasters with your children. These events can occur suddenly and unpredictably, causing fear and trauma for both adults and kids. Your family may have to evacuate and alter their daily routines in such situations. Preparing your children beforehand and offering them guidance to alleviate their anxieties is essential.
  14. To ensure the safety of your home from the devastating effects of fire, you need to invest in a reliable fire extinguisher and receive proper training on how to use it effectively. Experts recommend purchasing an "A-B-C" rated extinguisher for home use, but it's important to note that some models are single-use and cannot be recharged. To acquire the necessary knowledge and skills, seek training from your local fire department or a reputable manufacturer. It's crucial to note that different manufacturers may have varying operating procedures, and there may not be time to read instructions during an emergency. Therefore, only adults should handle and use fire extinguishers for safety purposes.
  15. Get to know your neighbors and build a strong community by discussing emergency preparedness. In an emergency, it's essential to identify those who may require assistance with evacuation, particularly those with mobility limitations or no mode of transportation. Let's unite to ensure everyone in the neighborhood stays safe and protected.
  16. It is crucial to document and insure your property. To prepare for potential disasters, it is essential that your insurance policies adequately cover the damages. Since disasters are inevitable, it is a matter of when, not if, they will occur. To ensure you are fully prepared, document your property and verify your insurance coverage. Learn more:
  17. Protect your important documents and valuables in case of a disaster. Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a secure location to prevent damage. Invest in a fireproof and waterproof safe to safeguard these items in your home. Additionally, create a "Digital Disaster Kit" by scanning essential documents onto a USB drive and storing it in your emergency kit for quick access. Please don't wait until it's too late to prepare for the unexpected. Here are some more tips:
  18. Prepare older adults for emergencies. It's essential to consider the needs of those who may require extra assistance during a crisis, such as older adults or individuals with mobility limitations. Planning is essential. Taking steps to be prepared and remain vigilant during an emergency can significantly improve your ability to offer and receive help in these situations. Discover more about emergency preparedness tops for older adults at
  19. Disability knows no bounds - it affects individuals of all ages, races, genders, and nationalities. Disabilities can manifest in various visible and invisible ways, making it crucial for individuals and their families to assess their unique situations to prepare for potential emergencies and disasters. To learn more, visit:
  20. To ensure your safety during emergencies, creating a thorough evacuation plan is crucial. Start by identifying at least two ways out of your neighborhood and considering alternative routes in case of road closures. Also, ensure you have a designated destination in mind if you need to evacuate, such as a friend or family member's house. It's also important to familiarize yourself with open shelters in the Newton or Central Iowa area to know where to go in case of a disaster. Learn more about evacuation:
  21. Planning for the locations you frequent is crucial to increase your chances of being prepared for emergencies and disasters. These events can happen suddenly and unpredictably, making it difficult to know where you'll be when they occur. Having plans and supplies for the places you regularly visit, you'll be better equipped to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Planning ensures that everyone in your household knows how to react and has the necessary resources to handle any situation, no matter where you are. Find more tips here:
  22. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe during emergencies, knowing when and how to shelter is essential. Whether it's seeking protection at home, work, or another location, staying informed and following local authorities' instructions can make all the difference. In some situations, sheltering can be brief; in others, it may last for an extended period. Regardless of the duration, managing your food and water supplies is crucial to ensure you have what you need. If you want to learn more about sheltering during emergencies, you can do so by visiting
  23. Help your community be prepared by donating blood. Every day, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood – and in the event of a disaster or emergency, the blood currently on the shelves helps save lives immediately.
  24. To ensure safety during emergencies, knowing how to shut off utilities such as natural gas, water, and electricity at home is crucial. To learn the proper shut-off procedures, contact your utility company.
  25. Make social media work for you. Social media is a quick source of information in a disaster. Follow reputable accounts like local news stations, law enforcement and fire departments, and official government channels for your area. Find local social media accounts for the City of Newton here:
  26. A solid financial plan is crucial for a seamless recovery following an emergency or disaster. It's advisable to establish an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. Despite income levels, anyone may encounter challenges restoring their lives after such incidents. It's vital to have quick access to personal financial, insurance, medical, and other crucial documentation. To learn more about preparing for unpredictable situations, check out
  27. Make a difference in disaster relief efforts. Your support can significantly impact the lives of those affected by disasters. By donating to or volunteering with a reputable organization, you can help provide trained volunteers and crucial supplies to affected communities. Take action today and join the efforts to make a positive difference. Visit to learn more.
  28. Prepare your community or organization for disasters. With the help of FEMA's free training and education tools, you can become equipped to save countless lives by preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a disaster or emergency. Don't wait until it's too late – start training yourself and others now. Visit to learn more.
  29. Consider enrolling in a first aid and CPR class to ensure you are protected under Good Samaritan laws and equipped with life-saving skills. Your local American Red Cross chapter can provide additional information regarding training opportunities. Don't hesitate to take action when someone's life is on the line.
  30. Wrap up National Preparedness Month by gauging your understanding and reviewing what you've gained from our 30 Days of Preparedness! Do you concur with these assertions?: 1) I'm aware of the probable emergencies or disasters that could occur in my vicinity. 2) I have a family disaster plan in place and have rehearsed it. 3) I possess an emergency kit. 4) At a minimum, one family member has received first aid and CPR/AED training. 5) I have made efforts to contribute towards my community's preparedness.

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