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Where do you begin with Disaster Preparedness? Whether it’s an earthquake, flood, tornado, hurricane, or brush fire, we’re all encouraged to be prepared.
And what better way to ensure your family’s wellbeing than to have the emergency supplies you need always at hand?
When people feel prepared, they cope with emergencies better. So make it a family project to assemble what you need.
Disaster Preparedness: Before disaster strikes
Although you can’t always know in advance when a particular disaster will strike, seasonal or regional patterns can often tell you what to expect. Be sure to have on hand the supplies your family will need.
You should store at least one gallon of water per person per day, for a minimum of three days. A normally active person needs at least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking. Other needs include washing, cooking, and sanitation. Children, nursing mothers, and those who are ill need more water. High temperatures can double the amount of water needed.
To be prepared with the safest emergency supply, it is recommended you purchase commercially bottled water. Keep bottled water in its original container and don’t open it until you need it. Store the containers in a cool, dark place, and rotate them every six months.
Include a three-day supply of non-perishable food per person, avoiding items that will make you thirsty. Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned foods with high liquid content. Stock canned foods, dry mixes, and other staples that donít require refrigeration, cooking, water, or special preparation.
Individuals with special diets and allergies will need particular attention, as will babies, toddlers and elderly people. Nursing mothers may need liquid formula, in case they are unable to nurse. Canned dietetic foods, juices and soups may be helpful for ill or elderly people.
Other Emergency Supplies For Disaster Preparedness
Include these items in your emergency kit.
- Emergency Radio such as the Kaito KA500
- Emergency Sanitation Supplies
- Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener
- Shovel and other useful tools
- Emergency Lighting
- Household liquid bleach to treat drinking water
- Money and matches in a waterproof container
- Fire extinguisher
- Gas and Water Shutoff Tools
- First aid kit and manual
- Photocopies of credit and identification cards
- Special needs items, such as eyeglasses, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries
- Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers
- Other items to meet your unique family needs
If you live in a cold climate, you must think about warmth since you may be without heat for a time. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including:
- Jacket or coat
- Long pants
- Long sleeve shirt
- Sturdy shoes
- Hat, mittens, and scarf
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket
Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:
- Keep canned foods in a cool dry place.
- Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend shelf life.
- Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented, or corroded.
- Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the storage date on all containers.
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family needs change.
- Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack, or duffel bag.
Ensure you are ready for future events by restocking your emergency supply kits now. Then, if things go wrong, you’ll be prepared.
As the world changes the need to be prepared is becoming more and more apparent. Ensuring that you have enough basic supplies to last a few days, is no longer just for the survivalist types. For those of us who live in cities these supplies may be needed to get out of the area to a safer location. For those of us that live in a rural area, they may be needed to hunker down for a few days.
Evaluate what potential situation you would need the supplies for and plan around that. Exploring becoming closer to nature may be an additional set of skills that will be helpful. The article on Why Plant Identification Is Important For Your Rural Life is just as valid for disaster preparedness. Knowledge weighs nothing and the ability to forage for food and medicine could be invaluable during a disaster.
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