Friday, February 12, 2016

Emergency Preparation Adventure

The last thing we want to think about is disaster.  But, sometimes, a little planning ahead can give you peace of mind.  I hope none of you ever actually need to use your kit.  The start of a new year is a good time to think about such things!

Have a plan:
  • Have an emergency kit and keep it in a designated place. If you do need to evacuate, you will want to take your kit with you and if you may not be able to spend even a few minutes running around and gathering supplies.
  • For us, some of the kit items overlap with what we take camping.  I keep those items slightly separated from the other camping supplies so that I could grab them quickly.  For example: sleeping bags and blankets and our first aid kit.
  • Have a safe meet-up place in case your family is not together when disaster strikes.
  • Fill out the FEMA Emergency Plan and make sure every member of the family knows the plan.
  • Understand the emergency plan at work and your child's school.

Basic Emergency Kit Supplies:
  • Water - You'll need at least three gallons per person -- one gallon per person for three days
  • Food - Enough to live on for three days.  Good ideas are:
    • Canned fruit and vegetables
    • Peanut butter
    • Jam
    • Low-salt crackers
    • Cookies
    • Cereals
    • Nuts
    • Dried fruit
    • Canned soup or meats
    • Juices
  • Baby food and formula if you have a baby
  • Food and water for your pets
  • First aid kit (I keep my normal first aid kit near my emergency kit, no need for two)
    • Various sized sterile gauze pads
    • Various sized  adhesive bandages
    • Adhesive tape
    • Elastic bandage
    • Antiseptic wipes
    • Hand cleaner
    • Antibiotic ointment
    • Antiseptic solution (like hydrogen peroxide)
    • Hydrocortisone cream (1%)
    • Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen
    • Antihistamine
    • Tweezers
    • Sharp scissors
    • Safety pins
    • Instant cold packs
    • Calamine lotion
    • Alcohol wipes or ethyl alcohol
    • Thermometer
    • Plastic non-latex gloves (at least 2 pairs)
  • Blankets and/or sleeping bags -  I leave our camping bedding supplies near the emergency kit.  Ready to go!
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • Pictures of each family member in case you are separated or someone is not home when the disaster happens. (for bonus points, also put these pictures in each family member's go bag).  Don't rely on your phone for this.
  • Basic Tools
    • Manual Can opener
    • Flashlight
    • Radio – battery operated
    • Batteries

Bonus Points:
  • Create a go-bag for each family member and a go-bag for your pets
    • Warm clothes, hat/gloves and rain gear
    • Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer and soap
    • ID
    • Whistle
    • Dust mask
    • Pocket knife (for those old enough)
    • Emergency cash
    • Photos of family members and pets (for identification purposes)
    • Some water and food
    • Copy of health insurance and identification cards
    • Toothbrush/toothpaste
    • Copy of your family's filled out FEMA Emergency Plan
  • Cell phone charger and an extra charge cell phone battery
  • Water Purification system
  • Plastic sheeting, duct tape and utility knife for covering broken windows
  • Tools such as a crowbar, hammer & nails, staple gun, adjustable wrench and bungee cords.
  • Large heavy duty plastic bags and a plastic bucket for waste and sanitation
  • Permanent marker, paper and tape
  • List of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers
  • Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
  • Extra keys to your house and vehicle
  • Check the food, water and batteries every six months to make sure that they are still good
  • Store in a cool dry place.
  • Keep new items towards the back and older items towards the front.