Emergency Preparation Made Easy
Mother Nature does not discriminate. No matter where you live the weather can turn on you and cause a natural, and personal, disaster in an instant. Any weather warning on the news or the city’s own notification system can lead to an event that could leave you and your family stranded without power or electricity.
These past few days, we in Ohio and most of the NorthWest have been threatened with blizzard-like conditions. The initial reports said that 4-7″ of snow could be possible. Given that the weather has been nice, with some days even getting up to the mid-60’s, most of us were not thinking of the possibility of a snowstorm.Don't wait for disaster to strike. Be prepared now! Click To Tweet
Car Emergency Kit
So, first things first. I want to talk about the emergency kit that you should have in your car. About a month ago, we were traveling and were overcome by blizzard conditions. I could not see the road, let alone where any of the lines were. I was sliding all over even though I was only going 30 in a 55 zone. At one point, I felt the back of my car start sliding. All I could do was take my foot off the brake and hold the wheel straight and hope that we would not end up in the ditch. In an area of the country that snow is likely, having an emergency kit in your car is absolutely necessary.
I know that most sites that talk about car emergency kits advise to keep them in your trunk. I disagree with this. In the event that you slide into a ditch, there is a very real possibility that you may slide in at an angle or with enough snow around your doors that you will not be able to exit your vehicle. Therefore, I keep my emergency kit in the backseat of my car. In this box, I have a change of shoes (warm boots) and a clean, dry pair of socks. I also include a blanket, a candle, a lighter, a flare, and water. The candle is a source of heat within the car in case it isn’t running or you are waiting for a while. It also helps to melt water that may be frozen from being stored in your vehicle.
Pet Emergency Kits
Do you have pets? Do you know that they need their own emergency supplies also?
Keeping a small pet emergency kit in your home and car can mean a lot to your pet. Include in this a towel, food, water, a food dish, a toy and any medicines that they may need. This could be in a small duffel bag under your seat or included in your own emergency kit. It just depends on what will work for you and your pet in the case of an emergency.
Now the big kit. The one in your home.
It never ceases to amaze me the lack of foresight most people have for what they need in an emergency situation. They buy what they need for a month (maximum) and think that they will be fine. Just because you do not worry about an emergency does not mean that one cannot or will not happen. I highly recommend that you have supplies stored in air-tight containers in your garage or basement for easy access. You may also want to have a smaller, travel-ready bag on hand in case you need to grab it and go.
Here are the items that you should have ready. This list comes directly from FEMA.
- Three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Three-day supply of water (one gallon of water per person, per day)
- Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries
- First aid kit and manual
- Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper)
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Extra clothing
- Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener
- Photocopies of credit and identification cards
- Cash and coins
- Special need items, such as prescription medications, glasses, hearing aid batteries, etc.
- Other items to meet your unique family needs (climate based. You may need jackets, sleeping bags or other items depending on where you live.)
Choose non-perishable food items that your family normally eats. I have tuna, peanut butter, protein bars and other home-dehydrated and packaged items. They are all dated and I make sure to sort our items semi-annually and replace expired items with new.
You may want to invest in a high-quality water filtration system in order to have the ability to purify water for drinking. I am saving up myself to purchase a Berkley Water Filter.
How to Maintain Your Kit
- Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
- Store food in air-tight plastic or metal containers
- Sort and discard any canned goods that are swollen, dented or corroded.
- Rotate your storage so new is in the back.
- Re-examine and update your kit for your family’s needs annually.
- Be sure to date your containers with the date you added to the kit.
There is an app for that.
Have an iPhone? Check out the Disaster Prep app free for iPhones. You can gain access to disaster kit checklists, personal medical record databases, family emergency plan, insurance and vehicle information as well as basic CPR and first aid information. Speaking of technology and your emergency kit, you may want to invest in external or solar power options to charge your phone in case of a power outage. I have this solar charger on hand for just such a need.
Having an emergency kit can be a matter of life of death to your family when disaster strikes. Taking time to create one is time well spent. If you don’t have time, or it seems too daunting of a task, don’t stay unprepared. The Red Cross sells ready-made emergency kits. Get your’s today.Prepare your family today in case of disaster tomorrow. Emergency Preparation made easy. Click To Tweet
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Emergency Preparation Made Easy: Prepping 101