Are you prepared?
There are some who say that “It won’t happen to me” but the truth be told “IT CAN HAPPEN”. When a disaster strikes, our city and government agencies will not be able to respond to our needs immediately. Their buildings, equipment, personnel, communications, and mobility may be severely hampered by the event. They will most likely be overwhelmed.
Experts warn that we should be prepared to be on your own for a minimum of three days after a disaster. One of the most important elements of this preparedness is the 72-hour kit for your home. The contents of this kit will vary, but in every case it should contain the things you need to survive for at least three days.
Your 72 hour kit should contain at least the following items (as gathered from the web):
- One gallon of water per person per day. This means at least three gallons of water per person. A good portable (e.g., for hiking/camping) water filter is also a good idea
- Sufficient non-perishable food for three days. Ideally, these foods will be lightweight and high in energy. If you pack canned foods, remember a can opener!
- Prescription and non-prescription medications. Include a spare set of glasses, if you need them.
- Battery powered portable radio. This may be your only source of information during a disaster.
- Self-charging or other LED flashlight (can be purchased at camping or emergency supply stores).
- First aid kit. The small camping kits work well. Remember to get enough supplies for the number of people who may be using them.
- Personal hygiene items.
- Clothing and bedding. A spare pair of socks and a space saver blanket would be a minimum, especially keep in mind the climate that we live in.
- Special items such as baby needs or contact lens supplies, etc.
- Personal comfort items. Books, games, personal electronics, etc.
- Provisions for your pets
- A backpack or other bag that will allow you to quickly and easily “grab and go.”
Remember, this is only a bare bones kit. You can add things to this list that you or your family will need. There are many commercial kits that can be purchased such as Emergency Kits; Water Filtration; First Aid; MRE (Meals Ready to Eat); Survival Kits or Camping Gear, etc.
No matter what you store or how you have prepared you should go over your plan with each family member at least twice a year. One way to do this is to make a night of it. Pick one night to go over the plan, practice escape routes and contact procedures, call your out of area contact (they’d probably like to hear from you), change the batteries in your smoke detector, and cycle the food and water in your 72 hour kit. This is a fun way to ensure that your family is prepared to react in the event of a disaster.
The web is a great source of information to assist in gathering information as we prepare for emergencies. For example, with Hurricane Katrina we saw great tragedy and tumultuous suffering. We witnessed the rewards of being prepared and the sadness of those who were not. In an emergency, it is easy to want to share with others, but also heart wrenching not being able to provide for all those in need. Let’s take a moment to be aware of resources around us. Here are a few links to get you started:
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