Emergency Preparedness - What to do ahead of time.
Natural disasters come in all shapes and sizes from winter storms, hurricanes, tornados, floods, timber fires to earthquakes. All of these things are emergency situations. How we get through them depends on how we have prepared for that emergency.
Emergencies are not scheduled events. In many cases you only have a few moments notice before one occurs. Being prepared increases a person's ability and chances of survival.
In my research I have found useful information on emergency preparedness and some suggestions for items that you may want to include in your emergency/survival pack.
The best emergency supplies are those that are well thought out and on hand when needed. So be prepared to protect your family with good "pre-emergency" preparations.
Photo credit google images creative commom domain.
An Impending Storm - Tune In and Stay Alert
Our government has put in place, the "Emergency Broadcast System". You know, that annoying beeping or shrill screeching sound on the radio when they test it periodically. It usually comes on in the middle of your favorite song. But when there is an impending storm or emergency situation, that sound is anything but annoying. It can be a life saver.
After the alarm sounds, you will be given directions on where to tune in or where to go for more info and for your safety. They don't sound this without good reason, so don't blow it off like you are invincible or something. Tune in, take heed, take cover or get out. Whatever directions they give, follow them.
You should have a good radio on hand. One that will operate on batteries should the power go out. Also one with NOAA channels is extremely important in emergency situations. NOAA stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In short they monitor the air, the earth and the sea. (Photo credit: NOAA)
The items that I have selected below are good for short and long
The hand cranks are extremely vital to long term usage and
some will even re-charge
a cell phone.
Tornado Alley Live says:
"Buy a weather radio - the BEST way to protect your family"
Having a weather radio will help you to stay ahead of severe weather to keep your family safe. By staying informed of the weather changes you can quickly get your family to safety with the items you will need to weather out the storm.
If a severe weather condition is about to hit your area, the NOAA weather-alert radio can alert you or even wake you up so you can get prepared right away.
When you are not prepared. - "Preparedness is the key to surviving the storm itself, and for those days after the storm." (Says Meteorologist Andy Wallace, a fo
This is a video taken during the Joplin F5 Tornado. You will notice that no one was prepared even though the siren was sounded. These individuals were out shopping when the tornado hit and had to gather in the back of the store until all the glass shattered by the force of the wind. They then had to find shelter in the walk in storage refrigerator. They only had a matter of seconds to get into position.Thankfully everyone was alright, but the aftermath was another "storm" they would have to deal with right after the tornado hit.
The visual part of the video is not very good, but listen to the storm and the voices of people saying "I love you" as they faced the unknown.
To read Andy's article on Five Important Lessons visit http://www.tornadoalleylive.com/dpp/weather/weathe...
NOAA Emergency Alert Radios - Your First Line of Defense...Notification
Hear the warning signals as they are issued. Immediate response can save your life. These are necessary items for your home or office.
I spoke in a church a few years back that was out in the country and couldn't hear tornado sirens that would be sounded in a nearby town should a warning be issued. So they had one of these warning devices hooked up and at the ready should they need it. Good planning!
Today's weather radios come in several different designs, with additional features from which to choose, including: Tabletop or portables, AC with battery backup, or hand-cranked power (no battery or external power source required) or Two-way radio, so you can communicate with a family member or friend in an emergency.
Why Crank Radios?
Crank Radios - For Continued Awareness in an Emergency Situation
Having a crank radio is important when there is no power source.
You can crank the handle on this type radio for power, and it will give you emergency information you need at the time. There is no need for electric or batteries.
Take the Warnings and Information Seriously - Joplin, Missouri May 22, 2011
The emergency broadcast system went into alert mode. The tornado sirens sounded. In spite of all the high-tech devices in service, the people of Joplin, Missouri only had 20 minutes advance warning of the devastation that was heading their way. That devastation came in the form of an EF5 Multiple-Vortex Tornado with winds in excess of 200 miles per hour.
Many found their way to shelters and followed the warnings. For whatever reason, still (according to reports) many were caught off guard.
Heed the warnings. Don't take chances with your life and the lives of your family. Use the best emergency facilities and plans at your disposal.
(Photo credit: NOAA)
The Back to Back Blizzards of 2010 - This is a picture of my inlaw's home in New Jersey during a snowstorm.
In February of 2010, my wife and I were at her parent's in New Jersey. The week we were there a blizzard was predicted.
There was plenty of food in the house and I went to the store to get a couple items that we might need. The stores were just about out of milk and bread. Even meat and canned goods were going fast. I got back in the truck just as the snow started falling heavily.
The first storm left us with 28 inches of snow. Then two days later the second blizzard arrived, dumping an additional 20 inches. Unheard of for that portion of NJ. (It never snowed like that when I was in school!)
Thankfully, we never lost power and had plenty of food and my father-in-law had enough of his medications until the roads were cleared. Finally the state of emergency was lifted allowing us to get on the roads again. It wasn't until 10 days later that we were able to travel safely, and on our trip home we had to make an emergency stop because of another snowstorm that closed the major highways.We can't count on the stores for last minute emergency preparations. They do their best, but too many people are doing the same thing so shelves get cleared real fast. Advanced planning is the way to go. While others are in the panic of preparation mode, you can go over your plans again and make sure that nothing is overlooked.
Photo credit Senditondown/family.
In case of emergency, FEMA recommends that you have your own
food, water and other supplies
in sufficient quantity to last
for a least 72 hours.
Remember to do this for
each person in your family.
FEMA is set up to try to reach people in emergency situations within 72 hours.
However, conditions may dictate otherwise.
So be prepared.
It is better to be overprepared than undersupplied.
Canned fruit, vegetables, meats, soup.
Canned foods are a great source for meals in an emergency. Most can be eaten cold if necessary and all take very little preparation. Stock up on canned pastas. They are usually a whole meal in a can. And please don't forget to provide for your pets. Even though they may be accustomed to a dry food diet, they will do very nicely in an emergency with good quality canned food. Here are a few things to keep in mind when storing canned foods of any type.
1. Check the expiration date on all canned foods. Most have the date stamped somewhere on the can. Still others will have a stamped code.
2. If all you have is the code, call the Customer Service Dept. of the manufacturer and give them the code as it appears on the can. They in turn will be able to give you the expiration date.
3. Canned foods set aside for emergency use (or any food that has an expiration date) should be periodically rotated into your regular meals, and replaced with the same item. Put a sign in your food storage area, "ROTATE AND REPLACE" as a reminder to do just that.
4. Not every canned food has a pop top. Make sure that you have one or more of these openers to get your cans opened. The military ones are small enough to fit on a keychain. It sure is better than trying to beat a can open on a rock!
Photo credit google images creative commom domain.
Can Openers - Click on product for details.
Have a good non-electric can opener on hand.
Canned foods set aside for emergency use (or any food that has an expiration date) should be periodically rotated into your regular meals, and replaced with the same item.
Put a sign in your food storage area, "ROTATE AND REPLACE" as a reminder to do just that.
Poll: Are You Prepared?
Do you have at least 72 hours worth of food, water and supplies stored up for an emergency?
Drinking water supply systems can quickly become unusable due to power outages, or undrinkable due to contamination by flooding.
Make sure you have plenty of bottled water on hand and these very innovative devices below to provide a continuous supply of fresh drinking water even in adverse conditions.
Water is the most essential emergency supply to have on hand.
Water Purification - Water is the first thing to be contaminated during a storm. Within 24 hours of the tornado in Joplin, officials put out a warning that all
Water that is usually safe to drink often gets contaminated during any natural disaster. There is no getting around it, we need safe water to drink to stay alive.
These products are made to filter out any impurities making your water safe to drink.
If you live in an area where floods are a potential hazard, store your supplies in water tight containers.
Once that is done be sure to secure the containers so that they won't float away should the water get to them.
Don't let all your hard work take off down stream on you!
Waterproof Storage Containers - Click on product for details.
Make sure to have a place to keep things watertight.
Flooding and... - PFD's (Personal Flotation Devices)
It may seem unusual to see life jackets (personal flotation devices) among emergency preparedness items designed for dry land. But I started thinking about the floods seen in recent years here in the U.S. In all the news footage, I don't remember seeing one person that was being rescued wearing a life jacket. They were hanging on to trees, debris, each other, but not safety devices.
You make think it strange, and think that I'm weird, but I decided to include them here. It is up to you whether or not you add them to your supplies.
Photo credit google images creative commom domain.
Disaster takes no prisoners.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Let's not forget our pets. Many can swim, but will be much safer with a life vest. This vest comes in a larger size as well.
Life Jackets - Click on photo for details.
Keep life jackets for the entire family in a location they can quickly get to the,
Essentials Checklist - Personal Survial List
Before putting everything together, make an essentials check list. You know, the things that you really need and that will make you more comfortable in an emergency situation. Have each person compile their own emergency kit with their individual personal items and then store them in an airtight/waterproof container. Be sure to label each person's packet. Mine would include items like these in this list.
Survival Kit Checklist
- A Bible
- Clean undergarments such as socks and clean underwear.
- Hand sanitizer
- Toothbrush,toothpaste, mouthwash
- Paper products such as: toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates (plastic silverware)
- Seal them up in a Zip-Loc bag, and they are ready when you need them.
- First Aid Kit and necessary medications
- Washcloth or hand towel.
- Brush and comb.
- Items to clean contact lenses or glasses.
- Personal small hand cranked flashlight.
Where do you live?
Do you live in an area that is prone to...
Don't stumble around in the dark! Keep the lights on with these great emergency lighting options.
Tools and Cooking Gear - To Help Keep the Home Fires Burning: Click on photo for details.
More Lighting Options - Flashlights, Candles, Matches
Do you have any kind of emergency tools in your home?
Are you tool ready?
Be "Extra" Prepared With These First Aid Kits - Click on products for details.
Keep a watertight first aid kit fully stocked and in place for easy access.
Meals Ready to Eat (MRE's)
Ready made meals in case of emergency.
A Roof Over Your Head - A Warm and Dry Alternative
Tents as Emergency Shelters - Shelters for the Time After the Storm
Look for tents in all sizes on this link.
Selecting the Right Size Tent
You have the food, water, first aid kit, radio and other essentials taken care of. Now what if you need a roof over your head?
The practical answer would be a tent. A good camping tent will serve the purpose of getting you out of the weather and under cover until more permanent arrangements can be made.
Shown below are an assortment of tents, sleeping bags and emergency blankets for you to consider for your family's emergency kit.
Product photo by Amazon.
Sleeping Bags - Click on products for details.
Sleeping bags for each person.
Are you a storm survivor?
What storm or disaster have you experienced? Please share your story.
For more information from FEMA
and some closing thoughts.
FEMA and local authorities do their absolute best to deliver help as soon as they can. However, they have no control of the weather or the aftermath of a huge storm.
There may be a time when it takes longer than 72 hours for help to arrive. It is at that time when your family is relying on what you have prepared in advance for them. FEMA is not the first line or front line defense. You are!
So be the good scout that I know you are and be prepared. Put your best emergency supplies together today. May God bless you and your family. (Click on the photo to FEMA)
For more information on FEMA go to: http://www.fema.gov/plan/index.shtm