Are You Prepared For An Emergency Like A Hurricane? Making An Emergency Kit To Get You Through.
Get Prepared. Here Are Some Useful And Easy Suggestions On Preparations From People Who Have Survived Hurricanes.
Hurricane Season is upon us and it's time to get your supplies in order. While the frequency of Hurricanes hasn't increased, the intensity of the storms has and they are causing much more in property damage than in the past.
Here is a brief list of suggested items and just the basic necessities that are recommended. While the list isn't comprehensive, it should help in any emergency weather situation. Please note that this list is a work in progress and may include items that are not necessary for every situation. Please note that the list is in no particular order:
Check your First Aid Kit. If you do not have a First Aid Kit in your house/car, it's time to get one. This is essential, as debris can cause all sorts of nasty cuts.
Have all medications filled in advance. It's very important to place them in an airtight container/baggie so that water and moisture do not penetrate the containers. While pill bottles are designed to keep out moisture, not all do.
Have cash on hand, enough to sustain the family for two weeks or more. When disasters hit usually the first utility to go down is electric. You won't be able to get cash out of an ATM if the electric is out so be prepared. It's important to take enough out that can find you immediate food and shelter for the entire family.
Fill your gas tanks in all of your vehicles. Gas stations rely on the electric company to pump gas. When flooding occurs, water can infiltrate the underground tanks and render the gas useless. It's very important to have enough gas in the car to evacuate. Running out in a flooded area that has been decimated isn't a good situation. DON'T FORGET THE GENERATOR!
Car chargers for ALL electronic devices. Now that the car has enough fuel, having a car charger can be a lifesaver. Cell phones will be essential in most situations and having them charged is important.
Be sure to unplug all of the electronics in your home. Surges can kill appliances and anything plugged in, even with surge protectors. The safest and sure way to keep them protected is to unplug them. This can also stop an electrical fire.
Any electronics, especially your computer, should be wrapped in trash bags and placed on your countertops. Adding some dry rice to the bags may help with moisture, but isn't a guarantee. The higher that you place these items, the better chance that they will have of surviving a flood.
Your dishwasher, although not completely watertight, is a great place for your valuable paperwork. Be sure to gather up your insurance policies, will, titles to vehicles, and any paperwork that might be needed in an emergency. Place them into any type of watertight container or Ziplock baggie, as water can still infiltrate the dishwasher. You'll know that they are safe in place, as dishwashers are fixed to the walls.
Plastic milk containers are great for making ice, so have a few ready for any storm. Remember when filling not the containers to not fill to the very top, which will allow for expansion when the water freezes. These are great for keeping food cold and will last a long time.
Designate one cooler for drinks and fill it with ice. This will help with keeping the refrigerator closed after you lose power. I know that this has helped my family, as my son loves to browse with the refrigerator door open for several minutes.
When you know that a storm is coming and that you are in harm's way be sure to turn your refrigerator and freezer up to the highest possible settings. Keeping food cold is key in this situation as salmonella can kill.
Cook some food in advance of the storm. Cooking meals and placing them into ziplock or airtight containers can help during the storm, especially with children. Cook high-protein foods to keep your energy levels up. Chicken and pasta are perfect for easy storage. Have canned items and non-perishable items, along with enough water for the family.
WATER. One gallon per person for five days is recommended. We purchased the 5-gallon jugs. They're inexpensive and we've used them for drinking, cleaning, and flushing the toilet.
Grill accessories and Propane can help cook food items and heat up food. Having your propane tank filled can help you cook if your electricity is out.
Lawn and Leaf bags in bulk. Great for storage and cleanup.
Hand sanitizer and baby wipes can be your best friend. Dry shampoo is also an often forgotten item that will come in handy if the power goes out for an extended time. While its hard to find bleach during a major storm, it can be a lifesaver for any bacteria that may be present in standing water. Always refill if they are getting low. Don't forget the paper towels.
Stash some clothing in a bag that is ready to go and easily accessible. Having clothing packed in advance and placed in a designated area is very helpful. Remember, you aren't packing for a cruise so clothing that is weather appropriate is what you are looking for.
Disposable plates, cups, utensils, and napkins are an understated item in your emergency kit list. It's recommended that you have enough for the family for at least a week. You can easily dispose of used items, but you can't always wash dishes without water or power.
For those with wells, it's very helpful to fill your bathtub with water to use for your toilet. Most toilets use at least 2 gallons of water, so fill to the top.
Place outside furniture in the pool to stop the furniture from becoming an item that can fly in heavy winds and cause more property damage. Placing them in the pool weighs them down. Wind chimes and any outdoor accessories that can fly in the wind should be taken down so that they don't become dangerous.
DON'T FORGET THE PETS. You might have to take the pets with you to a shelter so have leashes, collars, medicine, and any vet records with your important papers. I strongly suggest having them Microchipped prior to the storm.
Have all flashlights in a central and accessible location (not near windows). Check that the batteries are good and that the flashlight has not corroded due to storage. Extra batteries are recommended.
Designate a safe room in the house, one without many windows, and with enough room for all to fit.
Games for the family to play. Gather up a tote of your favorite games to pass the boredom. Puzzles, Card Games, and plastic toys work well.
Crank radios or Crank TV's can help keep you informed in an emergency. They are inexpensive and easily found at most big box stores.
Outdoor Solar lighting does work well for lighting in the home. Be sure to recharge them outside during the day and use them inside to light your rooms without batteries. These work well if the weather will cooperate.
Unscented candles. There are many unscented candles on the market in case of an emergency.
Generators can be a wonderful addition to your disaster plan but you must use them with care. NEVER use a generator inside of a house or building. Keep all generators away from any doorway or window where fumes can come in and harm others. Generators emit carbon monoxide which is a silent killer. Generators can be very difficult to use, especially if you have a generator with a pull cord. Have a plan in place on where to use one safely, and fill the gas cans prior to the storm.
It's critical to have a plan before the emergency. Have a designated meeting place after the storm just in case you are separated. Know where to meet and get there when it is safe.
Be Safe! Puzzle on...
Donna Brown, Puzzle Queen
Donna Brown, Puzzle Queen is the owner of The Missing Piece Puzzle Company and is passionate about making high-quality custom jigsaw puzzles "Made In America FAST". www.themissingpiecepuzzlecompany.com
Her love of the product shows in every puzzle that she makes.
A retired teacher of Special Needs students and a widowed Mom to an amazing son with Autism, life tends to be like a puzzle with each piece an important part of who Donna is.
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