Disasters like Japan’s recent earthquake and then tsunamis are hard to shake. You may not be in an area that has to worry about tsunamis (my closest body of water, Lake Erie, is certainly not a threat) but there are other emergencies that may send you into a flight-pattern. Just in this past two weeks my own home has been threatened by flood (emergency phone call from the school saying they might not be able to get the kids bussed home) and fire (neighbors house)! All of this has me thinking about how my own family is prepared for a natural disaster. Are you prepared?
An Emergency Kit – or more like 5 Gallon Emergency Tub
Here are some things that http://www.ready.gov/ suggests you have in your basic Emergency Kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. If you have a baby think about formula and bottles as well
- 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
- 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
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Keep in your tub a folder with important phone numbers and information as well:
- You will need the Red Cross phone number, (877) 272-7337. Your bank’s phone number. Include the phone number(s) of family or friends that do not live in the area that you could contact for help or just to let them know you are ok.
- Write down your service-members full name and rank. 2. Where he/she is stationed. (State AND post! Example: Fort Knox, Kentucky.) 3. His/her Social Security number. These are things you will need to know if you ever have to reach him if he is not home during an emergency. You may know these things but in a state of panic you will appreciate being able to refer a piece of paper with all the necessary information.
- In an envelope at the bottom of your tub keep some cash and an extra checkbook.
I suggest buying a large-tub with a lid and storing these items in your hall closet, somewhere easy to grab if you need to move out of the area quickly. (Not like in the instance of a fire or gas leak where you would just get out! but in the instance of a hurricane or flooding where you have time to gather some things before leaving the house.) Every six months open up the kit and make sure everything is there that you would expect. Food and batteries are still good. Nothing that has been taken out. Written information has not changed.
Take the time to educate yourself.
Tornadoes in Hawaii? Not often. Hurricanes in Kansas? Not a concern. With each duty station you will have different natural disasters to be aware of. Learn what you need to do in the event of a disaster in your new area. What kind of emergency warning system is used in the area? Where should your family go? How will schools communicate with you if there were a large-scale emergency at school? A little preparation now will save you much stress and worry.
Do you know how to shut down your home’s electric, water main and natural gas? A frantic call to my dad once, while my husband was gone, taught me real quick how to shut off the water. It is best to know how to do these things before there is half a foot of water in your basement and more spewing from the hot water tank. (Do I sound like I’m talking from experience here?) There are a lot of great reasons to know how to “shut down your home” in case of emergency. Take the time to do it!
More Materials to peruse
Some other articles that you should take the time to read while thinking your emergency plan through:
- Getting Your Finances in Order Before a Natural Disaster How much should you have on hand? Where should you keep your home inventory? Should you keep your receipts if you are driven from your home? All important questions talked about in this article about what to do before an impending storm.
- Family Emergency Plans Available Through Fleet and Family Support Program An important discussion about how to handle a disaster if your loved one is deployed. Having a plan will take away a lot of unnecessary stress.
- USAA: Don’t Let Natural Disasters Become Financial Disasters Review all current insurance policies; Store important documents such as credit card receipts and statements, wills and tax records electronically either online or off site; Set up automatic bill pay in order to take away the worry of being late on auto loan or mortgage payments.
- Printable list from Ready.gov to put in your emergency-kit Print up this list to and put in your “5-gallon tub” so that you know if it is stocked correctly.
It is nice to think your kit will go unused, that the time you spend planning for your family will be wasted, but being prepared for the ‘just in case’ could be a life saver. Being prepared is the name of the game!
– Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.combyUnknownonWednesday, March 16, 2011Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestMilitary Life:Disaster Response,Leanne,Natural Disasters,Prepared