Whether it is the next earthquake, tornado, hurricane, or any other disaster, it is crucial to be prepared, especially if you are the head of a household. Emergency preparedness can help you and your family feel secure even in the most stressful times, because you will know that you are ready to face adversity, even if there is no power or access to shopping.
Being prepared has 5 components that should be considered:
- First Aid/Safety
With these 5 things in mind, you can prepare an emergency supply kit.
Emergency Basics: Unsure of where to start?
Getting ready for a disaster means creating space in your home, your office, your vehicle, collecting the items you will need to survive, and storing them in clean and secure containers. Plan to store enough supplies for each person in the family for 2-3 days. This way, even if there is no power, no communication, and no access to a store, you and your loved ones will be able to survive at home.
Here are the basics of what to include in your at-home emergency storage:
- Food: Non-perishable foods such as canned vegetables, fruits, pastas, and any other item that will provide a variety of nutrients but that can be stored for a reasonable time. Be sure to change these out every 6 months to make sure nothing is expired.
- Water: 1 Gallon of water, per person, per day is a great start, but you can also use water filtration systems, like a LifeStraw, to filter out impurities from water that is not in stored containers.
- Shelter: Pack a tent, tarps, sleeping bags or blankets, hats, and any other items that can be used in case your home is not safe to stay in. Along with the “shelter” items, in a dry container with no liquids, you should include copies of important documents, extra sets of keys, local maps, batteries, and an emergency contact list. (Cell phones have all but eliminated our ability to remember phone numbers.)
- First Aid: Pack any medications you may need including something for allergic reaction, bandaids, sutures, cleaning items such as astringent and gauze, insulin, and any other first aid equipment you see fit. Safety items include a knife, flashlights, flares, matches, hand radios, etc.
- Sanitation: Consider these items the same way you would pack for a camping trip, including but not limited to toilet paper, feminine products, diapers, wipes, toiletry items like toothpaste and toothbrushes, a multi-function soap (preferable one that is environmentally friendly incase you are cleaning outside) and clean under garments.
Planning Provides Peace of Mind
Although there is quite a bit more to emergency preparedness than having supplies, they are a very important part of having peace of mind in the face of emergencies. In areas where there are known risks, such as earthquakes in California or hurricanes in Florida, emergency preparation is a necessity. It may seem overwhelming, but knowing the basics of what to pack can help.