In honor of National Preparedness Month, we’re tackling an unpleasant subject – Disaster Prep! Nobody wants to think about disaster preparedness, but if a calamity strikes, you will be glad you were ready. The news always has reports of natural and man-made disasters. Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and fires happen on a regular basis. Water or gas main breaks can happen, and even riots. So, take a little time and put together your emergency kit.
Here are the bare basics you need to have on hand:
Water: You need to have one gallon per person per day. If you have to evacuate you would want a 2-3 day supply. Keep a 2 week supply on hand at home, in case you are stuck at home during a catastrophe.
Food: Think non-perishable and easy to prepare items. Canned goods and peanut butter are a couple of good choices. You also want to follow the water guidelines above for how many days/weeks to have on hand.
Light: A battery-powered or hand cranked option is obviously the best. If using a battery- operated item, have extra batteries on hand as well.
First Aid Kit: It is always a good idea to have a first-aid kit in your car and at home. If you don’t use it for a long time, make sure there is nothing expired in the kit. You can always buy (or put together) a new one yearly and use up the supplies inside of it.
Medication: Don’t wait until your prescription is out to get refills. Try to keep 7 days of medications on hand, and order your refills as early as you can.
Hygiene: Have enough on hand to last a week or two.
Tools: A mini toolkit is a good idea, as well as a manual can opener, knife and utensils.
Cellphones & Chargers: Invest in a bar charger. With one charge, you can get 2-3 recharges on your phone. Have one for every family member, and use the phone sparingly.
Important Documents: Having copies of important documents is a must. A fire-safe is wise, but any container you can easily take with you is fine. Have copies of medications, ID, property deeds, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies. Also keep a list of emergency contacts. Your family should always have an out-of-area contact that you all can reach in case of separation.
Extra Cash: Depending on your financial situation, stash whatever extra money you can. Aim for at least 1 weeks’ worth of grocery expenses.
Miscellaneous: Blankets, baby items, pet supplies, spare eyeglasses or contacts, hearing-aid batteries, and extra car keys.
If you prepare in advance, you can be ready to face a disaster that comes your way. Have a family plan and stock up on these supplies. Hopefully you never have to use them, but if disaster strikes, you will be glad you were ready.