(AFP) – Dec 8, 2009
WASHINGTON — Imagine tearing open that large present under the Christmas tree with your name on it and finding inside... a fire extinguisher.
Or a foldable ladder.
Or a smoke alarm in that smaller box.
Those, plus a home disaster kit including food, water and prescription medications for 72 hours, or a first aid certification course are just some of the gifts that the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is suggesting Americans give their loved ones this holiday season.
"Giving a gift of a fire extinguisher might not be the first thing that springs to mind, but for the guy who has everything, it might be perfect," FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate told AFP.
"For tech geeks, you might get one of those emergency crank-up radios. And I'm a big fan of those little flashlights as stocking fillers. You can never have enough flashlights when there's a power cut," Fugate said.
"You're giving them a gift that can save a life and keep them safe in an emergency," he said.
FEMA also advised that, in addition to reading "The Night Before Christmas" to the kids, you take the occasion of having the whole family together to "develop a family disaster plan."
"I'm not trying to be a Scrooge and saying that this Christmas should have disaster as the theme," said Fugate.
"What we're saying is that the holidays are the only time families really get together. So it's the ideal time to talk about a family communication plan in the event of a disaster," Fugate said.
The talk could always wait until Boxing Day, he added.
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