How to prepare for an emergency

Many establishments, such as shops, pharmacies, and banks, may be closed in an emergency. Therefore make sure you have a supply of food, water, medicine, cash, and the things you need at home. For tips on this, see the sections “How to prepare a water supply,” “What food to stock up on for home and a survival kit,” “How to prepare a first aid kit.”

The supply of electricity, water, gas, heat, telephone, mobile, internet, ATMs and bank terminals, shops, and pharmacies may be entirely or partially blocked in the event of military actions.

How to prepare your own home

Make sure you have:

the stock of long-term storage products;

drinking and technical water;

first aid kit;

cash;

flashlights, spare batteries or accumulators for them, candles;

gas burner with extra cylinders for cooking;

fire extinguisher;

warm blankets, sleeping bags, thermal underwear (in case of the cold season);

survival kit in case of evacuation or transition to shelter;

If you live in a private house, equip the simplest shelter in your basement.

Offer older neighbors or people who cannot move on their own to help prepare a home and a survival kit and take them to the shelter if necessary.

What to do in case of flooding?

Due to the hostilities in Ukraine, there is a threat of dams, reservoirs, and locks being breached or deliberately destroyed by Russian troops. In the event of an emergency – flooding – it is important for the population to prepare in time.

The most dangerous places in cities and villages are

  • river basins
  • tributaries of rivers

First of all, it is necessary to follow the instructions and recommendations of local authorities and rescuers.

Flooding as an emergency situation

In the event of sudden flooding or the destruction of hydraulic structures, rescue services and local authorities will notify the public with sirens or loudspeakers.

If you hear such a warning or see water approaching, follow these rules when you are in the house:

Stay calm, don’t panic

Turn on the radio

Dress appropriately for the weather and take an emergency suitcase. It is advisable to put documents in airtight bags (see this section for what should be in an emergency suitcase)

Help children and the elderly get ready

Inform relatives, friends and neighbors about the emergency

Move domestic animals/birds to safe places or open doors for free exit

If possible, leave the flooded area immediately

Move important items to upper floors or attic, if possible

Close windows and doors of the house, seal them with boards if you have time

Turn off the electricity and gas supply in the house

Go to the upper floors or attic

Call the rescuers and let them know that you are stuck and where you are:

  • 112 – Single call number for all emergency services
  • 101 – Fire and rescue service

Stay on the upper floors until the rescuers arrive. Signal them so they can find you faster.  This can be done with a flashlight or by hanging a bright cloth on the window.

Check if there are any injured people nearby. If possible, help them.

While in the car:

never risk driving through a flooded road

If it’s impossible to drive any further, quickly get out of the car, find a safer place on an elevated area and call for help

If you get into the water

take off heavy clothes and shoes

check for floating or elevated objects nearby that you can grab onto and use until help arrives

don’t swim near electric poles: the wires may be energized, stay away from them as far as possible

don’t overcrowd rescue boats or rafts

If you see a person who has fallen into the water, act carefully:

when rescuing, don’t enter water that is higher than the knee, because a strong current can knock you down and carry you away

find objects that can help: a rope, a stick, a boat

If possible, pull the person to the shore

  • If the person is conscious, turn him or her over onto his or her back and fix the cervical spine so that he or she can breathe freely. Cover the person to keep them warm. Call the rescuers.
  • If the person loses consciousness, call rescuers and start cardiopulmonary resuscitation

If you have been informed of the flooding in advance and have time to prepare, listen carefully to the emergency information and keep your radio or TV on. Warn your neighbors and find out from the local authorities where to gather for evacuation. Prepare an emergency suitcase, turn off the electricity and turn off the gas. If possible, move things from the ground floor to higher floors and move cattle to a safe place. Put fuels, oil and hazardous substances in a safe place on higher ground so that they don’t contaminate the environment.

Seasonal flooding: how to prepare?

In the fall, winter, and spring, some regions of Ukraine suffer from seasonal flooding. If you live in a risk area or have been warned about flooding in advance and are unable to move to a safe place for a while, you should

  1. collect enough water for yourself and your cattle: it is strictly forbidden to drink water from flooded wells
  2. Prepare sandbags to block the entrance to the premises and exterior walls up to a height of 1 meter
  3. Keep valuables on the upper floor

What to do after a flood

After the water has drained and rescuers allowed to return home, check the following and follow the rules before entering and staying inside:

make sure the house hasn’t been damaged

Don’t use open flames (matches, candles) because of the danger of explosion of gasses accumulated in the room

Don’t live in a house where there is still standing water

don’t turn on the electricity until specialists check the condition of the network (don’t touch the gas and water supply until official permission is given)

make sure that electrical cables don’t come into contact with water

report damage to water, gas, and sewer lines to the utility companies

All property that has been flooded must be disinfected

Be sure to boil drinking water, especially from water sources that have been flooded

dry the house, clean it thoroughly and disinfect contaminated tableware

Drain basements: remove about a third of the total volume of water daily

don’t eat food that has been flooded, and get rid of canned food that has been under water

Drain basements: remove about a third of the total volume of water daily

Дізнайтеся в місцевої влади контакти організацій, що допомагають потерпілим.

Rules of behavior around water

Water bodies in some regions of Ukraine have become dangerous because of mines. They can be carried by the current for several hundred kilometers. However, you should be careful around water not only because of explosive devices. According to rescuers, in recent years, about 1,500 people have died in the water during the season. Most often, such cases occur in water bodies that are not equipped for swimming.

To ensure that your vacation ends without such accidents, you should follow the rules of behavior around water.

Choose places that are specially equipped for water activities. Local authorities check them in advance.

Avoid going into the water at night.

Pay attention to the weather. The best is non-windy with a water temperature of at least +18°C.

Do not go into the water after you have eaten. Swimming is allowed 1.5 – 2 hours after a meal.

Enter the water slowly to allow your body to adapt to the temperature change.

Do not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes.

Avoid steep and bushy shores.

Before diving, make sure that the depth is deep enough and the bottom is flat.

Do not swim alone. It is best to have someone with you to help you if needed.

Use air mattresses carefully, as the wind and current can carry them far from the shore.

If you are caught in the current:

  • do not panic;
  • swim with the current, gradually and smoothly turning to the shore;
  • if you are tired of swimming, roll over on your back: this way you can rest and regain your strength.

It is strictly forbidden while swimming:

  • swim beyond buoys, warning signs;
  • jump into the water from boats, motorboats, structures that are not designed for this purpose;
  • dive from bridges, dams, trees, high banks;
  • use boards, logs, car tire tubes – anything that is not intended for water activities;
  • swim up to whirlpools or watercraft (motorized vessels, sailboats, rowing boats, etc.)
  • drink alcoholic beverages.

If you are on vacation with children, do not forget to

  • talk with them about the rules of behavior near the water;

  • do not leave children near water or in water without adult supervision;

  • If a child does not know how to swim, do not let him or her go into water above the waist.

In addition, when parents teach their child to swim, he or she may swallow water. In this case, you should immediately take the child out of the water and allow him or her to cough.

When a person quickly runs into the water or swims for a long time, a cramp can occur. It also occurs due to a sudden temperature change or after physical activity.

If you have a cramp in the water

  1. Your thigh cramps – bend your leg at the knee and strongly pull back on the ankle joint with your hand.
  2. Calf muscle cramp – grasp your toes with your hand, pull them strongly toward yourself and hold them despite the pain.
  3. A prick with any sharp object helps to regain muscle elasticity, so you can attach an English pin to your swimsuit in advance.
  4. Vigorous massage of tense muscles helps. As a rule, cramps disappear in 3-5 minutes without any outside influence. So, you should not panic and stay afloat during this time.

During water recreation, it is not always possible to immediately recognize that a person is drowning. After all, in this condition, a person lacks air and cannot scream or call for help, even with his or her hand. Instinctively, they stretch their arms out to the side as if to press the surface of the water.

The main signs that a person is drowning

  • the head is low in the water or occasionally pops up from under the water;
  • the person is trying to catch a breath of air, so the mouth is open and the head is tilted back;
  • the gaze is unfocused, the eyes are glassy or closed;
  • hair is chaotically falling on the forehead and eyes;
  • the person is suffocating or breathing very actively;
  • the person tries to swim but remains in place;
  • the person tries to roll over onto their back.

If you see that a person in the water needs help

  • Call for help, ask to call the rescuers.

  • If there are no rescuers nearby, find an object that will help the person stay afloat: a life ring, a rubber chamber, anything the person can grab onto.

  • If you are a good swimmer, confident in your abilities, and you know how to save a person, swim to help them. Do not try to pull the person out of the water if you are in danger. Remember: a person in a state of panic is not in control of their actions and can harm you.

  • Swim to the victim from the back.

  • As you approach the victim, ask him or her to calm down and explain that you can help.

  • Help the person to stay afloat and swim to safety.

  • When pulling the victim out of the water, involve those who are willing to help, while securing the cervical spine with your hands.

Once a person is on the shore, you need to give him or her first aid.

Ask to call an ambulance (103).

If the person is unconscious, ensure the airways are clear: clean the person’s mouth of sand and seaweed.

If the person is not breathing, tilt his or her head back and start artificial respiration.

If there is no heartbeat, perform indirect heart massage: 30 chest compressions for 2 breaths.

When the person regains consciousness, immobilize them until the ambulance arrives and cover them with a blanket.

How to prepare a water supply

Calculate the stock for home use according to the number of members of your family. One adult needs per day:

3 liters of drinking water (including liquid consumed with food);

10-12 liters for hygiene and cooking.

Ensure that you have a water supply for yourself and your family for at least 72 hours.

If you are not sure about the quality of drinking water, we recommend having supplies for additional cleaning — filter jug ​​for mechanical water purification or tablets for quick disinfection of water.

How to prepare a vehicle

If you have a car, check in advance:

its technical serviceability

whether the tank is full of fuel

the expiration date of the insurance policy

the presence of additional fuel in the canisters

What products to stock up for home and a survival kit

Take care of nutritious foods for long-term storage. If needed, you can take them with you to a shelter. In addition, these products should not require much water for cooking.

Also, think about what foods you and your family eat. Make a three-day food supply for the home.

Even in the absence of electricity, keep food in the refrigerator: it will retain cold for several hours after turning off. Try to open the door as little as possible. Eat perishable foods first.

If the temperature outside is low, you can keep food there.

Продукти для тривожної валізи:

sublimated products (porridges, soups, noodles)

canned meat, fish, vegetables

bread and cookies

nuts

chocolate

dried fruits

How to prepare a stockpile and store food for a long time

Power outages, nuclear threats, occupation – all of these things encourage people to create a strategic stockpile of food at home in case of an emergency. To ensure that the supplies do not spoil for a long time, you should take care of their proper storage.

The following products have a long shelf life:

cereals (more than 3 months);
beans (up to a year);
pasta (about a year);
nuts, seeds, crackers (2-3 months);
canned food (from 1 year).
Rules for storing cereals

After purchasing the product, pour the cereal into a clean, dry container.
It should be stored in a container that can be tightly closed (e.g. a glass or plastic container).
Place the container in a dry, dark place (e.g., a cupboard).
Pasta can be stored in its original packaging or in the same way as cereals.

For storing beans, the following is important

dry environment, as humidity can cause fungal growth;
convenient packaging: box, bag, container, sack.
A dry, cold, dark place is best for nuts and seeds. You can put them in a sack or container made of thick plastic. It is important that the nuts are fresh, then the storage time will be longer, and the seeds should be bought in non-transparent packaging.

Most fruits and vegetables are best stored in the refrigerator, but potatoes, carrots, beets, apples, and onions can be stored in a dark, dry place for a long time. The most important thing is to ensure that the room is free of moisture, as fungus will start to grow on the fruits and vegetables.

Watch more about food storage in the video of the Dovidka.info project

You can store food for a long time not only in its raw form. For example, fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat can be canned. To prevent canned food from bloating, make sure that

  • all dishes necessary for canning are sterile;

  • completely clean products;

  • fresh products, without signs of spoilage;

  • the product is fully cooked (the dish should not be undercooked or raw);

  • spices have been heated in a frying pan over low heat before adding to eliminate possible bacteria;

  • the lid is properly and tightly closed (it is advisable to check vegetable canned food by turning it upside down)

  • Canned fish and meat are properly cooled after cooking (the room should be up to +20°C)

For canned meat and fish, it is important to

  1. Choose glass jars with glass lids with a rubber rim. They close more tightly than jars with iron lids.
  2. Thoroughly clean the fish from scales and entrails.
  3. It is best stored in a dark, dry place at a temperature of up to +12°C.

For canned fruits and vegetables you need

  1. Choose a dark, dry place to store the cans.
  2. The best storage temperature is up to +20°C.

You shouldn’t

  • store the canned food under the influence of sunlight;
  • change its temperature abruptly.

Important! If you have the slightest suspicion that the canned food is of poor quality, do not eat it. Never eat food from blown cans.

Meat can be stored raw-dried at room temperature for a month, and in the refrigerator for up to six months. For example, you can prepare a chicken filet for long-term storage using the following recipe:

  1. Marinate in spices and salt for 12 hours.
  2. After marinating, roll the filet in a mixture of spices to your taste.
  3. Wrap in a sterile cloth.
  4. Hang in a well-ventilated place (in summer, you can hang it on the sunny side of the balcony, and in other seasons it is better to place it under a cooker hood or above a radiator).
  5. The ready product can be eaten after 3 days. If you want to store it at room temperature, you should dry the chicken for a few more days.

Watch more recipes for raw-dried foods in the video of the Dovidka.info project:

How to prepare a first aid kit

Prepare two first aid kits – one for emergencies (for example, in case of injury), the other for your household needs (pain relief, elimination of symptoms of poisoning, elimination of allergic reactions, etc.).

Emergency first aid kit:

a valve with a film for artificial respiration;

supplies to stop bleeding (tourniquet or hemostatic bandage with hemostatic agent);

chlorhexidine or alcohol for wound disinfection;

hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes;

gauze napkins of different sizes, non-sterile gauze bandages;

elastic bandages with the possibility of fixation;

two pairs of rubber gloves;

special atraumatic scissors for quick cutting of clothes on the victim;

a large piece of cloth that can be used to fix the victim’s limb;

thermal blanket

Do not put those drugs and medicines you do not know how to use in the first aid kit. If you still want to take them, learn how to use them properly in advance.

Keep prescriptions for your medications (follow the expiration date), as well as the names and phone numbers of your doctors.

First aid kit for household needs:

patches of different sizes

activated charcoal to treat intoxications

medicine to reduce fever

painkillers

antiallergic medicine

diarrhea medication

gastrointestinal infection medicine

drops in case of infectious and inflammatory eye diseases

the medicine you are taking (dosage for at least a week) with a description of the method of application and dose;

the stock of masks.

What to put in a survival kit

A survival kit is a capacious durable large comfortable backpack or bag. Put the necessary clothes, hygiene items, medicines, tools, and food. A survival kit is needed for a quick evacuation, not to waste time collecting things.

Put in the survival kit:

passport and copies of all necessary documents in plastic packaging;

money (bank cards and cash; distribute banknotes to different places);

the paper version of the COVID certificate;

house and car keys;

a map of the area, as well as information about the method of communication and the agreed meeting place of your family;

chargers for mobile phones and power banks (portable chargers);

small radio;

flashlight, matches, lighter, candles;

spare push-button telephone, set of walkie-talkies;

compass, digital watch (preferably waterproof);

spare batteries;

multifunctional tool (multitool) with a knife blade, awl, screwdriver, scissors, etc;

sharpened knife, ax;

signal supplies: whistle, hand flare;

garbage bags;

a roll of wide tape;

notebook, pen, pencil, or marker;

water purification tablets;

threads, needles;

synthetic cord 4-5 mm thick, about 20 m long;

first aid kit;

warm clothes;

underwear and socks;

reliable, comfortable shoes, preferably waterproof;

tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag (if space allows);

hygienic supplies;

utensils (cast iron pot, flask, spoon, mug);

two liters of drinking water per person (this amount should cover your minimum need for two days, and at the same time will not make your survival kit too heavy);

food for two days;

scanned archive of photos and documents.

Put a tag in your top or side pocket with your name and contacts if you lose your backpack. If possible, bring photos of family or friends with you — this will help you find them if the group splits.

After packing, try to lift your backpack and walk with it. If it is too heavy, optimize its contents: it is crucial to bring it to the shelter without problems.

Put a label with the child’s name, year of birth, home address, planned destination, and information about the parents – names and contacts in the backpack and pocket of the child’s clothes. Explain to your child when and how to use this note.

How to agree with relatives and friends on an action plan

Discuss all possible scenarios with relatives and friends: if the whole family is at home together and if one of the family members is absent.

An emergency can happen when you are in different places. Therefore, agree in advance on the meeting place, routes, and general action plan. In addition, decide on how you will communicate if the connection is lost (prepare walkie-talkies, arrange a meeting point or a place to leave a note with information).

Make a list of important numbers for each family member: write them down or print them out. Then, arrange for each family member to carry it with them.

How parents can take care of their child’s future in case of death

As of April 1, 2023, more than 8,500 children in Ukraine were left without parental care due to Russian aggression. This information comes from the National Social Service of Ukraine. Of these, more than 1,500 children have become orphans. These figures are approximate, as the exact number cannot be determined due to the hostilities and partial occupation of the country.

In Ukraine, parents have the opportunity to take care of their child’s future. They can provide financial support by getting insurance or opening a special bank account.

Who will take care of the child in the event of the parents’ death? 

The law currently sets out the following rules:

If one of the parents dies, the other retains the right to custody. What matters here is whether the person has the physical ability to care for the child.

If both parents are deceased, custody can be taken by:

  • grandparents;
  • older siblings who are of legal age
  • other relatives;
  • persons willing to take care of the child.

Who exactly will take care of the child is determined by the court. And here the issue may be delayed, because several people may express a desire to take care of the child at once.

 

If there are no relatives or people willing to take care of the child, the court will appoint a temporary guardian for the child. Then the child’s case is handed over to the guardianship authorities, where a permanent guardian and the place where the child will live are determined.

n order for a child to be cared for by someone whom the parents trusted, it must be proved that this is what the parents really wanted. After all, according to court practice, judges give preference to relatives in matters of custody. And if the parents wanted their child to be cared for not by relatives, but, for example, by their best friends whom they fully trust, such a wish must be formalized in advance:

  • make an application with a notary who will certify the signatures of the parents;
  • draw up a will, where the wishes of who can become a guardian will be indicated;
  • keep photos and videos showing that the person has contact with the child (this will be additional evidence during the trial);
  • talk to the child about the possible guardianship, as the child’s desire is the most important point to which the judge will pay attention when determining the guardian.

All of this will increase the chances that the court will take into account the wishes of the deceased parents regarding the guardian, although it does not guarantee it. After all, in Ukraine, unlike in some other countries, parents cannot officially determine who will take care of their child in the event of their death.

Also, a person who wants to take care of a child must meet the following criteria:

The person has never been deprived of parental rights.

The person has full legal capacity and is able to raise the child.

The person has no criminal record.

Their behavior and interests do not contradict the interests of the child.

The person does not live with people who have health, behavioral or lifestyle disorders.

The person has a permanent place of residence

To get custody of a child, you need to

  • contact the local service for children

  • provide a package of necessary documents:

    • an application
    • a health certificate;
    • a certificate from a narcologist and psychiatrist for persons living with the applicant;
    • income statement for the last 6 months;
    • certificate of the presence or absence of a criminal record;
    • certificate of completion of a training course on the upbringing of orphans and children deprived of parental care;
    • a document confirming the ownership of the housing;
    • copy of passport, marriage certificate (if married);
    • written consent of all adult family members living with the applicant.

During the period of martial law, relatives and godparents need to submit a simplified package of documents to the guardianship and custody authority at the place of their residence or the child’s residence:

  • application;
  • a copy of your passport;
  • documents confirming family ties with the child;
  • a certificate from a narcologist and psychiatrist;
  • a certificate on the presence or absence of a criminal record.

In addition to the right to guardianship, parents can take care of the property that their child will receive in advance. To do this, it is necessary to draw up a will. The following steps are required:

go to a notary with a passport and identification code;

draw up a will and designate heirs;

the notary will register the document in the inheritance register;

the person will keep one copy and the notary will keep the other;

a person can change a will or draw up a new one at any time.

This way, parents will be able to pass their property to their child. After all, in a will, a person can give the right for inheritance to any person. The content of the will is formed by the person independently. In addition, there are several categories of people who cannot be completely disinherited. They are entitled to a mandatory part:

  • minor children
  • underage children;
  • disabled children;
  • disabled widows (widowers);
  • disabled parents.

In any case, regardless of the text of the will, they receive half of the share that would have been due to them in case of inheritance under the law.

If there is no will, according to the law, there are 5 lines of inheritance. And each subsequent line receives the right to inherit if there are no heirs of the previous line or they have refused it. If there are several people in the same line, the heirs receive the inheritance in equal parts.

Inheritance lines:

  1. Children, other spouse, parents.
  2. Siblings, grandparents.
  3. Uncle and aunt.
  4. Cohabitants who lived with the deceased for at least 5 years.
  5. Other relatives up to the sixth degree of kinship, dependents who were not family members.

How to draw up a will at the war front or in evacuation?

For military personnel:

  • A will of a serviceman can be certified by his commander and submitted through the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ministry of Defense to the Ministry of Justice or its territorial body. The latter registers the will in the Inheritance Register.

  • Registration in the Inheritance Register is mandatory.

  • A serviceman may write a will by hand on a plain sheet of paper with the title  “Will”.

  • The following must be indicated in the will: Full name, passport number and series, address, date and place of writing.

  • It is necessary to clearly indicate what property will go to whom. Add everything you know about the heir: Name, address, etc.

For IDPs abroad:

  • you need to contact the consulates or embassies of Ukraine.

Watch the video by the Dovidka.info project to learn more about adoption during the war:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmHUGl4MwQk

To take a child into a family during the war, use the chatbot “A Child is Not Alone” https://t.me/dytyna_ne_sama_bot The bot was created with the participation of UNICEF, the Office of the President of Ukraine and the Ministry of Social Policy. Write to the chatbot if:

  • you want to temporarily shelter a child in a family;
  • you see an unattended child;
  • your child is lost.

How to raise a child without a father, explains Svitlana Arefnia, PhD in Psychology. You can watch the video at the link

The material was created with the help of Gennadiy Dubov, PhD in Law

How to take care of pets

prepare a supply of dry food and water;

prepare a carrier, leash, and muzzle;

make sure the animal is vaccinated against rabies;

put the animal’s passport in the survival kit;

hang a token with the name and contact of at least two people;

animals’ essential medications.

Please note that it is forbidden to take animals to shelter. If possible, arrange in advance with friends or family members who live in a safe place to hand over the animal.

Important information for the media, bloggers and all citizens who photograph or write about war and the army

What is categorically prohibited to be covered by the mass media during wartime:

  • names of bases and subdivisions, as well as their locations
  • the number of soldiers in bases and units
  • the number of weapons and equipment, their condition and place of storage
  • conditional marks of objects

Any information about:

  • operations carried out or planned
  • system of protection and defense of military units
  • available military protection such as: weapons and equipment(except visible or obviously expressed)
  • procedure for engaging forces (military) and facilities (weapons)
  • intelligence gathering
  • movement and deployment of troops (names, numbers, routes)
  • military units and their tactics, methods of action
  • unique operations and their execution methods
  • the effectiveness of the enemy’s electronic warfare
  • postponed or canceled operations
  • missing or crashed aircraft, ship and search and rescue operations
  • plans for the security of our troops (disinformation, camouflage, countermeasures)
  • informational and psychological operations carried out or planned
  • propaganda or justification of russia’s large-scale armed aggression against Ukraine.

Do not post on social media:

  • consequences of hits by enemy’s missiles or projectiles or moments of their flight in the sky. By doing so you will help the enemy to adjust the fire.
  • time and place of “hits” (neither in publications nor in comments)
  • information about the work of the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces
  • a photo showing numbers, special markings and markings on destroyed or downed enemy equipment.
  • unverified information about victims or dead.