Emergency Preparedness, Are You Ready?

Have you created your emergency preparedness plan? Disaster can strike us at any time. What needs to be part of your plan? We can help you with our list depending on your situation.

Identifying the Emergency

The first step in Emergency Preparedness is identifying what you need to potentially prepare for.

Possible natural disasters include:

  • Hurricanes
  • Tornados
  • Floods
  • Earthquakes
  • Wildfires
  • House Fires
  • Tsunamis
  • Volcanos
  • Landslides
  • Extreme Heat
  • Thunderstorms with lightning & thunder
  • Winter Storms, including Blizzards
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Building collapses

Creating an Emergency Preparedness Checklist and Plan

Now that we have identified the various situations that can be life endangering, we need to take it to the next step. Create different checklists and plans so we can handle some of the unknown ahead of it actually happening. For example, the basic supplies include flashlights and batteries in case of power outages. This could happen in almost every single Natural Disaster. Now of course, I did not include some of the other disasters like terrorism and wartime situations.

A Basic Necessity

Another basic item we all tend to take for granted is water. Whether we are simply out in the woods on a hike, a long weekend of camping or a natural disaster, running out of water is not usually first on most people’s minds.

After being without power this past winter for about a week, we were told by the city we need to boil water. Our stove is electric so boiling it in the house was not going to be possible. The water heater is also electric so just running hot water was also, not an option. With 3 dogs in the house at the time, we need water. There was none on the stores shelves, so we got creative. Using Sterno burners, the kind that caterers use, we created a stove like area. We also used this as a heat source and a way to cook up some hotdogs for a dinner.

An Emergency Preparedness Supply Location

Now we have found a great way to filter water and also to store water. The company we found is a true survival and outdoor gear that is perfect for those trying to do some prepping. They have a single water bottle that will filter 100 gallons of water, which is perfect for personal drinking while on a hike or campout. Then there is a 50 gallon water storage tank that is FDA approved and BPA free. This is perfect in a water shortage situation that when combined with the water bottle can make a longer time without fresh water a bit easier to manage.

Stay in Contact with the Happenings

What we mean by this is, if you are in a Hurricane, tornado or other weather event, you need to be able to find out further warnings, watches and alerts. The best option is a battery powered NOAA weather radio. Get one in your home now and learn how to find your area before disaster strikes.

The one we have in our home got us through several Boy Scout campouts where bad weather was approaching at night. Several times we evacuated our tents thanks to the alert system and ran for better shelter. The one place you do not want to be in a bad thunderstorm or tornado is in a tent. Falling trees and the high winds make you susceptible to many life endangering situations.

Know your Evacuation Route, Cover All Routes for Escape

There is nothing worse than feeling helpless and not knowing where to go. In the event of a hurricane, look up the evacuation routes. Contact your local authorities for specifics if you are new to the area. More often people wait till the last minute to evacuate. Believe it or not, evacuations occur more frequently than one realizes.

In addition to knowing the route, make sure you have a full tank of gas and be ready to leave early enough to leave the masses behind you, not stuck behind them. In the event you have to evacuate, be sure to grab your emergency supplies. Also, wear sturdy shoes, long pants and shirt and a cap. You want as much protection as possible.

Emergency Preparedness Includes Prepping Your Home Before You Evacuate

If you should have to leave your home suddenly due to evacuation, unplug everything you can except the freezer and refrigerator. In the event of expecting floodwaters, then you will want to unplug these as well to minimize electrocution when wading through the waters.

Be sure to lock all your windows and doors. And let your neighbors and family know your route you are taking and your end destination.

Our Animals Are Family Too

And bring your pets with you, but do some prep work. We always see on the news how families neglect to prepare for emergencies when it comes to your pets. Make sure you bring supplies such as food, medicines and a familiar comfort of a blanket or toy. Animals can sense our stress and the more you are ready with emergency preparedness the smoother it will go for everyone. And keep them on a leash at all times. Animals are more easily spooked during times of emergency and getting lost or injured is more stress no one wants.

In addition, call ahead of time to hotels and shelters to make sure they accept your pets. Typically service animals are the only ones shelters will permit inside. You do not want to have to make a life-changing decision because you didn’t fully prepare for this emergency.

If you are in a rural setting and have livestock or outdoor animals, help secure them in a safe location where they have less risk of drowning or getting an injury. However be sensible about it too, self preservation should be first.

Making Your Emergency Preparedness Kit

When preparing your kit, make a plan for a minimum of 3 days worth of food and water for each person and pet with you. When a disaster hits, you will likely be on your own until help arrives. So if you are in your home, they recommend planning on at least a gallon of water per person. You may not seem thirsting during an emergency, but staying hydrated is key to survival. When it comes to foods, think of foods that do not require refrigeration for storing and are water tight.

Some ideas for food include freeze-dried veggies and fruits, canned meats, even MRE’s or Meals Ready to Eat. They are typically going to take up less space and can be prepared for consumption with as little as boiling water. If you have a grill, keeping the propane tank or charcoal supply ready for at least a week’s worth of cooking would be a great idea. You can also, in the cold, use it as an outdoor heat source to stay warm.

Try to avoid cardboard and glass. Cardboard is not water proof and glass can break causing other emergencies. Foods that you should avoid are those with salt and other thirst provoking items. Try high grain cereals, salt-free crackers and high liquid content can foods. Don’t forget that manual can opener to make your life easier.

Prepare for Unexpected Emergencies During the Emergency

You know it is going to happen, someone is going to suffer an injury of sorts. Pack a full medical kit with plenty of bandages of varying sizes, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, matches. Also include extra toilet paper and moist towelettes for keeping up on hygiene. Other things to keep in a water tight container are photocopies of your identification, credit cards, bank accounts and prescriptions.

If you are in a trackable storm path such as a Hurricane, pull prescriptions out from the cupboards and just put them in the bin. Better safe than sorry as you head down the road for evacuation. It may even appear going overboard, but a campstove with cooking utensils, firestarters and a tent may just come in handy as well. Sometimes when you reach safety, there is no availability.

Final Emergency Prep

No matter what prep work you do, you will likely not be able to remember everything. But staying calm will take you farther than you will understand. No one likes helping a panicky person. If you need help on focusing, I have the perfect product just for you and it is actually in our Emergency Prep Kit as well. You can check it out here and know you are being your best you in the event of an emergency.