Emergency Preparedness

By Toni C - Feb 7, 2012

Introduction

Food Storage

Although it is human and normal to think that it will never happen to you, emergency situations do occur and often times when you least expect it. No matter how strong your human denial reflex is, the rational, responsible thing to do is to try to be as prepared as possible. The following list of emergency preparedness related suggestions is merely a starting point.

Food Storage

There are many different emergencies that could take place which makes it nearly impossible to be absolutely prepared for all of them. One of the first things to consider is a food and water storage plan. If the personal resources are available then both long and short term plans should be mapped out and implemented.

Food storage for the short-term would be for scenarios that require being displaced from your home or place of residence. A two to three day supply of food you take with you would ideal in that it also provides enough time for an emergency response from government agencies. Long-term emergency food storage would cover the option or need to remain in the home for an extended period without normal or typical access to common resources like grocery stores or utilities. Ideally, food for the long-term should have a shelf life of at least a few years or a rotation scheduled that maintains constant freshness.

Backup Power

Power outages and blackouts are a common occurrence during storms, floods and other natural, accidental or human initiated disasters. There is a wide variety of portable electric power available to suit the basic needs of most homes. Selecting the appropriate portable generator will depend on which appliances or devices will need to remain powered on either temporarily or continuously. Add up the wattages of all the devices that need power in order to size the right generator. Higher wattage generators can be used to power multiple devices or even the entire home but at a greater cost.

Emergency Kit

An emergency kit allows for a rapid response to an emergency call for action. For example, in a pending tsunami or hurricane situation, a pre-packed 72 hour emergency kit saves precious time when the need to evacuate is eminent. Besides enough food and water to last you at least 72 hours, your emergency kit should also include a first aid kit, a flashlight, battery operated radio, cash, medicine, an extra pair of glasses if needed and a change of clothes. Other useful items that you may want to keep in your kit include respirator masks to filter smoke, dust, and other airborne contaminants, an emergency whistle to attract the attention of your family or rescue personnel, and possibly a tarp for use as a make shift shelter or ground covering. Self-defense items such as mace or pepper spray may also be worth considering as a safe-guarding measure for you and your loved ones.

Family Emergency Plan

An agreed upon plan of action should an emergency situation arise can help to relieve the anxiety of not knowing the status of separated family members. The basics should include a rendezvous point or designated shelter and a centralized contact person preferably outside the affected area. A working family member may want to consider keeping an additional emergency kit available in the office or work place.

List of Local Resources

Compile a list of local resources and emergency service phone numbers, and print enough of these lists for each member of your family. Give each family member one to keep in their wallet, purse, or backpack at all times just in case.

Conclusion

Although you have little control over the events that happen to you, you can control your level of preparedness. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it, so begin making your emergency preparations today.

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