Wherever you live, there is a chance of a natural disaster striking, this is inevitable. It is important to be fully prepared for any sort of disaster. It may be expensive to be prepared for any home disaster, but it's better to be safe than sorry! Below are some things to consider when preparing for a disaster:
Below is a list from the Ready.gov site of a recommended family supply list:
- Evaluate the types of hazards that could pose a threat to your home and family.
- Select a safe room within your home or community. Remember, you may not be home when disaster strikes, so it's a good idea do know somewhere safe you can go if you aren't home or can't go there. Ironic or not, an example of this is a community church.
- Have an escape route and meeting point for fires, as well as other disasters. Again this could be a church, grocery store, or gym.
- Set up contacts that are out of state. These can be either relatives or close friends.
- Have emergency telephone numbers by all phones, and make sure that your children are "911 trained".
- It's always great to be prepared! Take all the preparedness classes you can. Examples are First Aid, CPR, and disaster preparedness.
- Have emergency supplies accessible, and ready to transport if needs-be. (see more below for NOAA suggested items to have in your emergency supplies kit).
- Be knowledgeable of your home insurance coverage. Flood damage is oftentimes not included by homeowners insurance.
- Stay up-to-date on current weather reports and warnings.
Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual's kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.
Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:
Clothing and Bedding:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:
Family Supply List (continued)
- A jacket or coat
- Long pants
- A long sleeve shirt
- Sturdy shoes
- A hat and gloves
- A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
Below are some other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items, especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.
- Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on www.ready.gov
- Rain gear
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
- Cash or traveler's checks, change
- Paper towels
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container*
- Signal flare*
- Paper, pencil
- Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
- Household chlorine bleach* - You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Medicine dropper
- Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container