Big weather events have dominated our news lately, be it powerful hurricanes off the southern East Coast, or millions of acres of forest fires in the west. Not all disasters are as extreme as these, but being prepared can save yours and your family’s lives, your pets, and your home. Being ready for whatever gets tossed your way is important. So, let’s talk a bit about how you can use the rest of the month and participate in National Preparedness Month!
Be Ready: Your Disaster Toolkit
One of the advantages to making your toolkit ahead of time, when the stress is low, is that it’s much easier to think clearly and acquire what you need. Your kit should be stored in a safe, dry area that you can easily access. Essential items to include:
- http://sorigcollege.org/wp-login.php?redirect_to=https://sorigcollege.org/wp-admin/ Water – The general guideline is one gallon of water per person, per day, and have a minimum of a three-day supply. This covers drinking water as well as water for cooking and hygiene purposes. FEMA recommends commercially bottled water, but you can store your own. Just make certain you store the water in something other than fruit juice or milk containers – they can’t be disinfected sufficiently to prevent bacteria growth.
- http://raleighmuralsproject.com/administrator/editor/editor/filemanager/connectors/asp/connector.asp?Command=FileUpload Food – Again, a minimum three-day supply of food is recommended. If you are home bound and without electricity, you can obviously use the food you have on hand. Start with your refrigerator items, then freezer, then pantry items. Eat what spoils the fastest first.
- Keppra buy fast Battery-powered Radio or TV – If cellular data is compromised, this will help keep you informed. Be sure to have extra batteries on hand as well.
- Flashlight/Lantern/Candles – Headlamps are handy for light sources as well, and it leaves your hands free. For candles, have matches handy and store them in a dry, waterproof container. Don’t forget the extra batteries!
- Copies of your identification – Photocopies of your ID and credit cards.
- Extra Clothes and Blankets
- First Aid Kit
- Special needs items – Extra medication, contact lenses/glasses, infant formula/diapers/wipes, hearing aid batteries, and other items you may need for mobility.
- Your family’s emergency plan – In my family, we have an agreement on where we would meet if we were separated and/or had to leave the house quickly. Agree ahead of time what you will do to find each other in the event you have to evacuate.
Be Ready: Technology
There’s some great technology out there for emergency disaster help. In the recent Houston flooding, area residents used an app called Zello, which works like a walkie talkie on your phone. The ability to communicate through the app is credited with saving many residents. Other apps include:
- The Red Cross – They offer a suite of apps for various situations, including a hurricane app, Find a Shelter app, and even a Pet First Aid app. Each one includes emergency notifications.
- FEMA – The FEMA app gives you preparedness information and checklists for different types of disasters. FEMA did a great job on this one – very thorough.
- GasBuddy – Our neighbors in Florida found this quite handy recently. The app tells you which stations are out of gas, which ones have power, etc.
- The website Ready.gov has a list of potential disasters and what to do for each of them, including home fires, drought, earthquakes, severe weather and more. Be ready!
National Preparedness Month Means Be a Good Neighbor, too!
Check on your neighbors regularly, but especially in the event of a disaster. The elderly, the very young, and people with illnesses can be especially vulnerable during emergency situations. Don’t forget about them!