Monday, March 1, 2010

Are you and your family prepared for a disaster?

The earthquakes and tsunami news this weekend got me thinking about how prepared my family and I are for a disaster. I have some food and water but is that enough? In doing some research I found quite a few websites with good information on how to get prepared for an emergency situation. The FEMA site had a tone of good information.
Here's a breakdown of the most important things to have for an in house emergency like a blizzard or heavy storm:
  1. Have emergency food and water for 3 days- 1 gallon per person per day. 
  2. Non-perishable foods for 3 days- Pick low salt foods liked canned vegetables, cereals, shelf stables milk, snacks, protein bars, granola bars, canned fruits and main dish items that don;t have to be reheated. Rotate these food items with fresh ones before the expiration dates so that the emergency kits is always fresh.
  3. A manual can opener
  4. Flashlight and a hand or battery powered radio 
  5. If you have a gas powered grill- have an extra propane tank so that you can use to cook on for a number of days.  
  6. Have a meeting place in your neighborhood in case you get separated. 
I knew what to have on hand in our house but I had never really heard of having a Go Bag packed for emergencies where you might have to evacuate quickly in cases like fire, hurricanes or earthquakes. In Colorado we don't really have too many unanticipated emergencies but it's still something that I'm going to do. You should have bag packed for each family member and keep at least a basic kit in your car. 
Here is what to have in your Go bags.  This information is from a site called 72 Hours
Put the following items together in a backpack or another easy to carry container in case you must evacuate quickly.  Prepare one Go-bag for each family member and make sure each has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work, considering what you would need for your immediate safety.

  • Flashlight
  • Radio – battery operated
  • Batteries
  • Whistle
  • Dust mask
  • Pocket knife
  • a small tarp to use as shelter if needed
  • Emergency cash in small denominations and quarters for phone calls
  • Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, and a warm hat- In cold climates warm coat, boots mittens and socks.
  • Local map
  • Some water and food
  • Permanent marker, paper and duct tape
  • Photos of family members and pets for re-identification purposes
  • List of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers- Remember that in certain circumstances, you cell phone might not be able to make or receive calls but it may still be able to do texting since that service uses a different system than phone calls do.
  • List of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food
  • Copies of health insurance and identification cards (Driver's License, passports, social security cards)
  • Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
  • Prescription medications for at least 5 days and first aid supplies
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Extra keys to your house and vehicle
  • Don't forget to pack a go bag for your Pets. 
  • A small tent for your family 
  • Any items you need for babies or seniors in your family. 
  • A deck of cards to help pass the time
  • a toy for each kid
I'll be putting a go bag together for my daughter who will be going to college in California next year for her to use in case of evacuations because of earthquakes or fires and I'm making one for my hubby and I too.
Are you prepared for an emergency? I'm off to find a couple of backpacks in the basement to fill up.


ThingsToDoWithKids said...

I think this is a great idea. I am a procrastinator, but this is something I really need to do.

Anonymous said...

What a great and informantive post!
I've kept an emergency bag and kept my pantry stocked in case of a disaster.
Friends and family have come over and laughed at me, but I don't care.
We'll see who's laughing when something happens and they haven't prepared!

Tamara aka Cheapskate Mom said...

WOW you are way more prepared than I am! I rarely think about disasters, probably because I get anxiety, lol!

Your suggestions are great, I'll have to keep them in mind!

Michelle said...

always good to be prepared! i need to do this.