Tragedy is all around us. And for many it has hit us hard. Natural disasters like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Nate, the horrific fires in both Northern and Southern California, Cyclones in Zimbabwe, Flooding in China, Sri Lanka and Peru, Avalanches in Afghanistan, the Earthquake in Mexico, Flooding and Landslides in Columbia, Sierra Leone and South Asia have left thousands dead and millions without life’s essentials to manage after these disasters. And there are 2 months left in 2017.
The question is, how prepared can you be for a disaster? You can start with a disaster preparedness kit. This is something you can work on today. With all the events that have happened of late, your really never know when you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have to manage without power, internet, or the ability to head out to the store to buy what you need. Especially if you are in an area where supplies are not easily obtained such as is the case with many of the aforementioned areas of the world.
This checklist is your starting point:
Food And Water
Store at least a gallon of drinking water per person per day. Aim for supplies that last you three to eight days depending on the situation you’re in. In the case of a major weather event or other natural disaster, it may take a while for rescuers and supplies to make it to your area.
The same goes for food. Stick with non-perishable food items that you can eat without any cooking or preparation required. Protein bars, bread or crackers with peanut butter, nuts, and canned goods are all great choices. Don’t forget about utensils including a manual can opener for your kit.
Medical Supplies And First Aid
If you require prescription medication, stock up as much as you can ahead of time. You don’t want to risk running out. As you put together a basic emergency kit, include some first aid items so you can treat minor aches and pains as the need arises. While you’re at it, throw a few wet wipes and some mouth wash in there. Being able to clean up will make you feel much better.
Clothing And Bedding
If you are getting on the road, or sheltering somewhere outside your home, it’s important to have clothing and bedding to make it until you can get back home. And especially when you cannot go home. Since many natural disasters can pop up quite quickly, it’s a smart idea to make a small pack of clothing part of you emergency kit. Throw in a couple of piece of underwear, a pair of pants, a couple of shirts, and you’re good to go. Remember, this isn’t your travel wardrobe. This is the dire emergency stuff you have in your kit “just in case”.
Adding a small pillow, a sheet, and a light blanket is also a good idea. Keep it in your car when the situation warrants it.
Aside from food and water, communication will be your biggest concern in an emergency event. You need to know what’s going on and you are going to want to get in touch with loved ones. Start with cell phones and chargers. They should be a high priority item that makes it into your emergency at the last minute. You may also want to keep a backup power supply or extra batteries for your phones in the kit. Make sure they are charged as well.
Don’t rely on just your smart phone. Having a weather radio in your kit along with some spare batteries is always a good idea. You should also keep a list of emergency contact information including addresses and phone numbers in there along with some old-fashioned maps. They will come in handy when the wireless system fails, or your phone dies.
Last but not least let’s talk about some miscellaneous stuff that will come in handy. If you have a baby or pet, make sure you have plenty of supplies to keep them happy and healthy. Stock up on diapers, make sure you have a pet carrier and leash, and don’t forget about food and water for everyone, including pets. If you’re traveling or evacuating with a pet, check on places that will allow you to bring your furry friends.
A small kit with some plastic bags, tarps, duct tape and a few basic tools will also come in handy if you need to fix a leak or broken window. In short, be prepared and ready for anything.
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