Is your family ready, in case of an emergency? If you are not, now is the time to make a family emergency preparedness plan. September is National Preparedness Month and there are some great resources available to help us think through the details and get going on it.
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We can all start by examining our cupboards and garages to see what important items are not there so that we can get them. In addition, as a family discuss these 4 important details : how to sign up for alerts, have a shelter plan, make an evacuation plan and determine family needs.
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What really got me thinking about this was when I read latest Presidential Proclamation about preparedness. It emphasizes the importance of every family taking strides toward having important supplies and a family plan in place.
Have you ever gone through a natural disaster? Our community has faced blizzards, windstorms (one blew a freight train off its tracks) weeks-long ice storms and rain-induced floods.
In recognizing the many disasters that our nation has suffered recently, the president also shared his deep appreciation for those who help us all in times of need. First responders work tirelessly to clear roads, get the lights back on, rescue the stranded, bring medical assistance to the sick / injured and get the community back on track. Words are not enough to say just how wonderful these people are.
Sometimes we forget that in many cases the first responders live right in our communities. They are helping us while their own families are suffering the ravages of the same storm.
The proclamation mentions all kinds of disasters that have afflicted us in just this past year including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wild fires and even volcanoes. No area is exempt and it behooves us to be as prepared as possible.
No fear here! If you are like me, the thought of having my family prepared for something horrible that might happen is unnerving. There is that looming feeling that you can never do enough. It is expensive to buy things you will not be using and many families are living paycheck to paycheck. So what do you do?
Do not worry about doing all of it in a day, just get started! Keep a list and check off the items as you buy them. Get something from the list every week and start stashing it away. Who knows, if trouble comes something that you have a lot of may help someone else and they, in turn, may have something you were not able to get. People pull together in difficult times. And, on the bright side, you may never need to use any of it. That is what I am planning on: never having to use any of it.
So, here are some of things to have on hand:
Batteries – all kinds!
Battery powered candles
Battery powered radio
Books, games, paper, pencils, coloring books & crayons … to pass the time.
Can opener – manual
Cash or travelers checks
Chlorine bleach & medicine dropper to purify water
Documents – keep important paperwork in waterproof/fire proof cover (take a picture of each page, too, for digital copies)
Emergency Kits for car and work
Gasoline for generator with stabilizer in it
Matches – waterproof are best.
Medications – prescription and non-prescription
NOAA weather alert radio*
Non-perishable foods – canned and dry foods in water-tight containers for everyone in your family, including pets.
Paper products – paper plates, cups, plastic ware, napkins, paper towels
Propane tank for grill
Propane gas grill
Sleeping bags / warm blankets
Wet Vac for storm cleanup
Things to do now:
- Arrange for help for your pets.
- Discuss where to go if you get separated.
- Insurance – verify your coverage now.
- Medic alert bracelets/tags for those with health conditions
- Sign up to get emergency alerts on your cell phone.
For a very complete list of items and ways to plan for the unexpected, visit:
Emergency Planning For Your Pets
Now, while you are planning for possible emergencies, remember your furry friends. Your pets should be an important part of your emergency preparedness plan. Corey from Golden Retriever Love has written a great post to tell you how to do it: Emergency Pet Preparedness – Prepare Your Pet for Disaster