Blizzards? Hurricanes? Droughts? Tornadoes? Terrorism? Extended power/water outages?
Pick any one of the above potential disasters and ask yourself if you and your family are prepared.Are you prepared for 5 days of no water, no electricity, no telephone, no heat, disruptions of essential services?
The answer to this question for most of is no, it probably won’t happen here, but there is of course a possibility that it may. For all the above potential disasters you and your family should be prepared to be self-sufficient for up to five days. That is the expected time in which it takes State and Federal Agencies to fully respond to a disaster. If one of the above disasters were to befall us in this area it could take up to that long before the essential services are returned to normal. For all of these potential disasters the preparation is basically the same, have a family disaster plan and disaster supply kit stocked and ready. This is a precautionary action, like an insurance policy, just in case!
Prepare a family disaster plan Have supplies on hand for up to 5 days:
* Water: one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
o One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation.
o Children, nursing mothers, and sick people may need more water.
o If you live in a warm weather climate more water may be necessary.
o Store water tightly in clean plastic containers such as soft drink bottles.
o Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person.
* Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
o Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
o Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water.
o Pack a manual can opener and eating utensils.
o Avoid salty foods, as they will make you thirsty.
o Choose foods your family will eat.
+ Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
+ Protein or fruit bars
+ Dry cereal or granola
+ Peanut butter
+ Dried fruit
+ Canned juices
+ Non-perishable pasteurized milk
+ High energy foods
+ Food for infants
+ Comfort/stress foods
* Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
* Flashlight and extra batteries
* First aid kit
o Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex).
o Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
o Cleansing agent /soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
o Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
o Burn ointment to prevent infection.
o Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
o Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
o Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
o Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies.
o Cell Phone
o Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
o Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
o Anti-diarrhea medication
o Antacid (for upset stomach)
* Whistle to signal for help
* Dust mask: to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
* Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
* Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
* Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
* Local maps
* Prescription medications and glasses
* Infant formula and diapers
* Pet food and extra water for your pet
* Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
* Cash or traveler’s checks and change
* Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
* Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
* Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
* Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
* Fire Extinguisher
* Matches in a waterproof container
* Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
* Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
* Paper and pencil
* Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
You can also follow these additional tips on emergency food and water supplies.