It’s a beautiful sunny day that’s like any other as you pick up the dry cleaning before work, get a cup of coffee at you favorite spot, or at home sitting down to a meal with your family, that’s when the unexpected strikes to turn your world upside down. You know it happens because the news is saturated with floods, earthquakes, landslides and more, but it never really seems something that could ever happen to you- Right? Wrong. It can happen to anyone, anywhere and mostly likely when you least expect it. One minute you are living a normal life, and the next you become an unwilling victim of an unmerciful Mother Nature. Is there anything thing that can be done? Can you be prepared for her raging might? You’re in luck, because there just so happens to be a few steps that can be taken to prepare yourself and family in case of a natural disaster comes knocking on your door.
First of all, get informed. Know what kind of natural disasters are most likely to hit your area and prepare for them. Also alert yourself to local evacuation plans, warning signals and school emergency plans. Also consider what actions you would take in the event of certain disasters and where you can go for safety (shelters, relatives, ect.).
You will also want to assemble a disaster kit that is put in a place that can be easily accessed but away from major traffic areas in the home. There are 6 basic things that should be included in your disaster kit water, food, first aid supplies, clothing, tools and special needs.
You should have at least one gallon a day per person for three days. The best way to store the water is to purchase it and leave in the original sealed containers.
Have at least three days of non-perishable foods for all. Make sure these foods do not require any refrigeration and doesn’t need to be prepared in a stove or oven. Look for ready to eat foods and high energy bars. Also, don’t forget a nonelectric can opener.
First Aid Supplies
Make sure to have a first aid kit on hand. You can make your own, or buy one. Allot the kit only for disaster purposes and purchase a separate one for the everyday use. In fact, having first aid kits stored in multiple locations (car, home, work, and disaster kit) would be the optimum solution.
Clothing, Bedding, and Sanitation
Include at least one full change of clothes and blankets or sleeping bags for each person. You also want to store some basic sanitation items like: toilet paper, soap, personal hygiene supplies, a bucket with lid, disinfectant, and chlorine bleach.
You’ll want to put together a small supply of tools such as: a battery operated radio with extra batteries, flashlight with extra batteries, tent, cash, signal flare, compass, matches or striker, a local map, tape, pliers, and fire extinguisher.
If your child or baby requires any special supplies such as: diapers, formula, or medications, make sure to stock up on that. Also consider special supplies for adults as well that might include: medication, insulin, dentures, contact lenses, hearing aids, and an extra pair of glasses. You will want to have any important family documents in a safe place such as: birth certificates, bank account numbers, any sort of identifications, an inventory of valuable household items, Will, insurance policies, ect. You will also need something to entertain (books, games, ect.).
Check the FEMA website for more extensive information on how to prepare for a natural disaster.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to make your plans. There is no telling what surprises tomorrow will bring, but a little preparation just might give you peace of mind that you did everything possible to anticipate the unexpected. Are you prepared?
FEMA, “Prepare for a Disaster” www.fema.gov/plan/index.shtm