Can You Handle the Storm? Your Survival Kit Checklist
July 12, 2017
Almost without fail, when a hurricane is in the forecast or a snowstorm is on the horizon, the one common, reoccurring visual in the news is of empty store shelves. Rather than stocking up on emergency supplies hours before an anticipated storm, it's a good idea to keep a 72-hour kit at home. Emergency preparedness can make the anticipation of a big storm less stressful. Prepare for disasters ahead of time, and you won’t have to worry about running all over town to try and find the supplies you’ll need for your safety and comfort until the emergency has passed.
Prepare for Power Loss in Your Home
The Federal Emergency Management Agengy (FEMA) recommends keeping a gallon of water per person, per day in a 72-hour kit. Also include non-perishable food items in your kit, as they don't need to be cooked or prepared. Foods such as beans, chili, tuna fish and peanut butter are all suitable emergency supplies. However, do keep in mind any allergies or potential reactions and always err on the side of caution. Pick up these types of items in advance, perhaps when they're on sale to build up a supply of emergency foods without breaking the bank.
Purchase a few flashlights with LED bulbs, which last up to 10 times longer than regular ones. Also, keep some long-burning candles and matches ready. A first-aid kit with all the essentials, and any necessary medications round out the home emergency preparedness kit. Of course, it's also important to prepare for an evacuation.
Pack a Go Bag for Emergencies
The National Resources Defense Council suggests packing a Go Bag in case of an emergency requiring evacuation. A Go Bag should be packed in an easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack or a suitcase with wheels. Each household member should have his or her own Go Bag. Be sure to include important documents, such as insurance cards, photo IDs, passports, deeds and bank information. It's also a good idea to make and pack a list of emergency contacts, including physicians, family members and friends.
The practical emergency supplies to put in the bag include extra sets of car and house keys, non-perishable food supplies, bottled water, lightweight waterproof blankets, matches, a first-aid kit, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio,and a whistle. Also include dust masks, moist towelettes, a flashlight, a wrench or pliers, a solar cell phone charger and a complete change of clothes. Consider the diapering and formula needs of infants, or special medical needs and pack accordingly. Include cans of pet food for your pets. It's also suggested to keep $50-$100 in small bills packed in the Go Bag.
Once you have this all together, or even while doing so, be sure to get everyone together so you can outline your emergency preparedness plan.
Create an Emergency Preparedness Plan
Pick a person out of state for every family member to text or email in case of an emergency. Put these names on the emergency preparedness plan so they are aware of what's going on if they receive your texts and email messages. If for some reason, family members are separated, text rather than call. Phone calls can tie up the lines for emergency workers.
If your home is damaged and immediate evacuation is required, pick a spot nearby as the go-to emergency spot. Choose another spot outside the neighborhood as well, in the event the entire neighborhood is impacted. Each family member should have a list of the meeting spots, and there should also be a list in the Go Bag.
Be sure to inform any childcare providers of your emergency plan. Talk to your neighbors and ask if they have a similar plan in place for their family members. There might be opportunities to help each other with emergency supplies in these situations.
When there's an emergency preparedness plan in place and a stocked pantry, the impending threat of disaster is much less stressful. All it takes is a minimal financial and time investment, calmness and communication.
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