The Storm Survival Kit
What's It All About?
The Earth is Changing.
Within the last few decades, extreme weather has become more and more commonplace. There have been earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes with devastating effects on the people who live in the regions that are hardest hit. But even in places that have not seen such massive destruction, the weather has been at best a little quirky.
What can happen when that wicked storm hits?
Heed any emergency warnings and be prepared to run. If your local government is issuing an evacuation warning, you should pay attention. In a situation this severe, don't play with your life. You may lose your home and your material possessions, but if you are alive you can rebuild. That is, if you are alive.
Even in a storm that is less severe, you may suffer serious complications. Recently in my neighborhood, a very rare derecho storm blew through. It knocked down trees and caused the power to be out for as much as two weeks for many people. Refrigerators and freezers were not working, and thousands of dollars' worth of perishable food had to be thrown away. For those with electric water pumps, there was no water. There is also no climate control for electric houses.
The advice in his web page is offered to you to help you prepare for unexpected acts of nature. In a world that's only moments away from the next disaster, living in a state of readiness can be the difference between life and death.
Storm Survival Kit
The first thing you have to realize is that the weather can destroy your property, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Absolutely nothing. The weather is the most powerful physical force on earth. It cannot be bought or influenced in any way, and its willingness to take down your home is totally random.
Since you can't stop it from destroying your property, you need to make certain that you have adequate disaster insurance. Unless you live in the middle of a desert where there is no possibility of flood, you need flood insurance. Fire insurance is usually required by law or by mortgage company, and that's good. You also need to be very aware of exactly what your insurance covers in the case of natural disaster. Get the best coverage you can for the payment you can afford, and then comb through it with someone that understands insurance to make sure that you are aware of the limitations and exclusions written into your policy.
Make sure that you have a copy of your policy in a fire safe place. Get a safe or a lock box to keep it in. Your freezer can also be a good place, but you have to wrap it in a freezer safe way so that the paper doesn't get wet. It is also good to keep a copy with a person you trust, such as a friend or an attorney, or keep one in a safety deposit box. If none of these options suits you, then consider using an insurance company that provides service over the internet.
In the event that your possessions succumb to natural disaster, your insurance policy is your safety net. It should go a long way to helping you back to your former life. Make sure that it will do its job before you need it.
Power Outview quiz statistics
Your Survival Kit
What if your house is still standing? What can you do now to help yourself in the event of an extended power outage?
If a storm leaves your possessions intact but takes out your power, will you be sent scrambling to get what you need to survive?
Without power, you will probably not have water, heat or air conditioning, a refrigerator or freezer, computers, video games, TV, movies, and you won't have the ability to cook if you use electric. But you can prepare ahead of time to make your life easier when the wicked storm hits.
Here are some ideas to help you:
- Generators Purchase a generator. If you can afford a backup generator system for your house, you should get one. If you can't afford a whole system, a small portable generator will supply enough power to run essential systems until power is restored. Your local home improvement store should be able to help you choose one that meets your city's building codes.
- Lights This is one of the easiest problems to prepare for in advance. You should purchase at least one hurricane lamp or camp lamp. You can get oil lamps or battery powered. Either one will supply enough light to illuminate a room. Keep flashlights handy, and make sure that you have sufficient batteries to use them for several days. Keep candles and lighters or matches in a drawer. Buy push lights, that is battery powered closet accent lights, and place them strategically around your house. That way, when the lights go out, all you have to do is find them and push them, and you'll be able to see what you're doing.
- Phone When the power goes out, your cell phone and your cordless will probably not work for long. Consider maintaining a land line. This type of phone will work as long as the phone service is still working.
- Entertainment Your electronics will not work while the power is off. If you didn't get the generator, computers will only work until you run out of battery. So, get at least one backup battery for your laptop and get a backup system for your desktop. Make sure you have some old-fashioned entertainment handy. Keep some books on a shelf that you haven't read yet. Have a few board games and some puzzle books handy. Perhaps some craft supplies would be suitable.
- Cooking The aftermath of a storm is a great time for a barbecue, provided that the winds have died down. A Coleman stove or other camp stove is another good thing to have in a pinch. A cooler filled with ice can keep some food cold for a time. If you live near running water, you can put sealed containers in the stream to keep the contents cold. And you should have some canned food and a manual can opener stored for an emergency.
- Water If you have an electric water pump, you will not be able to use it until your power comes back on. This means no drinking or washing water, no water for cooking, and no flushing the toilet. To help yourself with these problems, you should keep a bucket and some sponges handy. You should also store several gallons of bottled water. With this you have your cooking and drinking water. You can wash with a gallon jug and a sponge, and the toilet will flush if you pour the water in the tank manually.
- Hot and Cold Always make sure you have plenty of blankets. To deal with excess heat, use a hand fan. It will also cool you off a little if you put an ice pack on you head or stuff it down your bra. Cooling your pulse points will go a long way toward making you comfortable.
- First Aid You should always have at least the most basic first aid available. To get you started, you can buy a ready-made first aid kit. Or make sure you have at least some bandages, peroxide and antibiotic ointment.
I hope I've given you some ideas. What you need is a plan. Sit down with your family and a pen and paper and decide what you need now and what will come into place over time. And be safe!
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© 2012 Vanessa Kristovich