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Natural Disasters: Are You Prepared?

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy many of you might be asking yourselves, “If that were to happen to me, am I prepared?” That is an important question to ask, but acting on it is even more important. Getting your family prepared for the possibility of a natural disaster can be overwhelming. I get that, so I have put together a list based on my experiences what I believe are the most important things you can do to make sure your family is ready.

Talk about it. The lines of communication have to be open. Make sure each member of your family knows what the plan is in case you have to evacuate. Also, choose one friend or family member that lives outside your area (out of state is best) to be the central contact point between you and other family members.

Utilize Social Networking. Many times phone lines will be knocked out, but cell service will still be available. Even if the phone lines still work, utilize today’s technology. Update friends and family via social networking rather than by phone or text. This helps to keep the lines open for emergency calls.

Have an Emergency Kit. Every household should have an emergency kit. We actually have two. We have an evacuation kit (these can easily be purchased online) that is pre-packed with MRE’s, water, radio, flashlight, first aid kit and other emergency essentials. This is what we would grab if we had to leave the house in a hurry; for example, when we were evacuated for a tsunami warning in Oregon. Added to this we have a larger kit. This is for if we have extra time before leaving and/or for if the power is out for an extended period of time.

Every emergency kit big or small should include:

  • Canned goods/MRE’s
  • Water (approximately one gallon per person per day for about three days)
  • Flashlights/battery powered lanterns/candles
  • Matches/lighters
  • Extra batteries
  • Battery powered radio
  • Cash
  • First aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Prescriptions
  • Supplies for pets

Everyone has other things they add to their kits, such as items to entertain children, but these are the basic necessities. Whether you were directly affected by the latest hurricane or you were watching it on TV, you have to ask, “Am I prepared?” Well, are you?

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