- September 11, 2017
- Posted by: Dr. Elise Cohen Ho
- Category: Community & Friendship
On this sad day in American History, I will usually write a post about 9/11.
This year I am not doing that.
You see, I hardly ever depart from what I said in my original post. The fact is that I find it a painful subject to write about and you can read the original post HERE.
Today, I felt most compelled to talk about disaster preparedness.
As we follow news of the latest happenings in our world, we are fully aware that every area of the world has the potential to be affected by some type of disaster.
We know this as Houston attempts to dry out, Hurricane Irma storm surges still threaten and we face tornado, wildfire and blizzard season.
In addition to the potential for natural disaster, we may also be faced with a man-made disaster.
Whether man-made or nature caused, a disaster can leave one with many issues.
- loss of electricity
- restricted fuel
- limited food
- lack of clean drinking water
- limited communication
- loss of home
- inability to access cash or credit cards
- restricted access to medicine and/or medical care
These situations and others are the exact reasons why it is crucial to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Your first step in your own disaster preparedness should be to find out what types of natural disasters you need to get ready for.
Unfortunately, no one can fully know what the potential is for man made disasters but there are some points of consideration.
If you live near a dam, you may need a plan of action for flooding. Perhaps you have to consider disasters related to hazardous materials, spills or even a kid throwing a firecracker in a canyon.
What disasters we prepare for may be different but many of the basics of how to prepare are the same.
Your families Emergency Preparedness Plan is key.
Where Will You Go?
The first question you need to ask yourself is where you will go if an emergency arises. Will you stay at home and shelter in place? Will you head out of town and evacuate? If you are heading out, where will you go and where will you stay?
These are important questions and you don’t want to make those decisions when you are in the middle of a disaster.
A big part of your emergency preparedness plan should be to think through possible scenarios and then get the information you need ahead of time. For example, figure out what routes you can take to get out of the area, determine where you want to go, and then get the contact information for a hotel or the people you’ll be staying with.
How Will You Stay In Touch?
There is nothing scarier than not being able to get in touch with loved ones during a disaster or emergency event.
Just as important is being able to get news and emergency alerts or announcements.
Think about how you will stay in touch with loved ones and get important updates whether you are at home, a shelter or on the road.
- Making sure everyone has a mobile phone is a great start. Don’t forget that these devices need to be charged. Having chargers, including car chargers, is a must. An additional battery or a backup power supply will come in very handy as well.
- Be conservative when using electronic devices. You need the battery power to last as long as possible.
- A traditional battery operated radio will be a handy addition to your disaster preparedness kit. This may very well be your only connection to follow the news, weather and get other important information.
- Designate a meeting point or a person that everyone contacts when you can’t get a hold of each other. You should have designated people both in your state and outside of your state.
What Supplies Do You Need?
The more prepared you are, the safer and more comfortable you’ll be. Depending on what disaster you face, where you live, your family members, and simple things like the weather will determine the supplies you need.
Food and Water.
Having food and water is your top priority in any disaster situation.
Emergency food storage doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, it can be mainly comprised of items your family is already eating. Having at least a week’s worth of food and water stored up can be a great idea during a natural disaster.
- Start with your water supply. Buy water bottles and fill as many jugs as possible with clean drinking water. Store at least a gallon of drinking water per person per day.
- Buy water purification tablets to make water drinkable.
- Purchase non-perishable food such as crackers, peanut butter, canned beans, tuna, soups, jerky, protein bars and such items. You may also like to buy MRE’s (Meals Ready To Eat).
- Don’t forget about utensils including a manual can opener for your kit.
- If you have a camping stove or a grill outside, you may also be able to heat and cook some foods. Purchase the fuels you need and simple nonperishable foods to prepare.
- If you have a baby, even a breastfed baby, pack formula in your disaster kit. I suggest powder and canned. If you have to be on the move you will not be able to carry the cans.
Medical Supplies And First Aid
- Stock up on prescription medication as much as possible. If your area is under current threat your pharmacy may be able to dispense a few extra days of medication than is the norm.
- Do not forget basic first aid items such as pain reliever, bandages, and antiseptic.
- Add an emergency blanket, multi purpose tool, whistle and any other medical supplies that may be needed such as glasses and hearing aid batteries.
Personal Care Items
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Baby wipes and Diapers
- Toilet Paper
- Feminine Products
- NOAA Weather Radio (battery-powered, solar, or hand-crank)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Extra batteries
Other Important Items
- Spare house and car keys
- Area maps
- Copies of insurance cards, immunization records, birth certificates, drivers licenses, and passports.
- Copy of the family emergency plan complete with contact information.
- Any pertinent medical information including blood type of each family member.
- A recent photo of each family member should the family be separated.
- Plastic bags, tarps, and duct tape
Don’t forget about your pets.
- Food and Water
- Bathroom Supplies
- Medicines and medical records
- Pet Frist Aid Supplies
- Transport supplies
- Comfort Items
- Photo of pet
- Owner Contact Information
From there, start thinking about creature comforts like light, entertainment, and such things. Having a headlamp and a good book can make waiting out a power outage a lot more pleasant.
Be prepared and you’ll greatly increase your chances of making it through the emergency or disaster just fine.
I tried to be very thorough with this post but, inevitably may have forgotten something.
If you would like some tips on Talking With Your Child About Difficult Subjects please check out my post at South Bay Mommies and Daddies.
Please offer your comments below and let us know what you keep in your emergency preparedness kit.