Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September is Preparedness Month

If all utilities were cut off to your home, would you be able to survive without outside help for a week? How about three days? If not, now is the time to start your Emergency Kit.

Think about it for a moment. If we had a violent earthquake.... If we had a repeat of the 1964 windstorm.... If....

Your emergency kit and a family communication plan would be your most important asset. Don't let the thought of creating an emergency kit overwhelm you. You can do it in short segments by visiting the Take Five to Survive website.

Otherwise, you'll need the following in one location, preferably in one or more containers that can be quickly retrieved:

Water - One gallon per person per day for three days minimum (7 days is better if you have the space.) Don't forget your pets!

Food - Nonperishable food the whole family will eat for three days (7 is better). Canned meats, peanut butter, crackers, granola bars and a manual can opener. Again, don't forget the pet food.

Medicines - An additional supply of critical medicines (such as heart or asthma meds)

Radio - Battery-powered or hand-cranked portable radio with NOAA weather radio tone alert and extra batteries.

Flashlight(s) - One for each person with spare batteries.

First Aid Kit - Start with a small one and add to it. Include a first aid book on dealing with common traumas and first aid issues.

Whistle - You'll need it to signal for help if you are trapped or lost.

Protective Gear - Dust mask because that will likely be a major issue following an earthquake. Plastic sheeting and duct tape for sheltering in place for a chemical leak.

Personal sanitation - Moist towelettes and garbage bags for sanitation use if the water and sewer lines are severed.

Tools - Wrench and/or pliers to turn off utilities, if necessary.

Documents - Copies of important family documents (birth certificates, home mortgage and insurance contracts, wills, banking records, etc.)

Cash - With power outages, ATMs and banks may not be able to dispense cash. You may not be able to make credit or debit card purchases. Cash will be your only means of making a purchase of possibly valuable resources.

And finally, the family communication plan is critical, with so many families having two income-earners, active children and distant family members. Visit the Take Five to Survive website.

You will always rest easier if you PREPARE, PLAN, and STAY INFORMED.

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