Do you freak out a bit when the power goes out for more than 20 minutes at your house? If so, chances are you might not be prepared in the case of disaster. We get so busy with our lives; it’s easy to put off doing a little prepping for disasters and the unexpected. But you can change all that with these simple tips you can take action on today.
A little planning goes a long way especially when it comes to disasters. Take a second to read through this list and get prepared and get some peace of mind. Although there are many ways of preparing for disasters, your family could prepare a disaster plan where everything from escape routes and emergency communication can be discussed. However, the most important thing in this disaster plan should be the family’s disaster kit.
By design, a disaster kit should be able to help you survive until help is at hand or until the disaster has abated. In case of floods (where you could be confined inside your home), a disaster kit should be able to provide for food and source of power while waiting for help; during earthquakes, power lines could be severed so your kit should be able to bridge those few days that you are without electricity. Your disaster kit is there for your survival.
But what’s IN a disaster supplies kit? Take a pen and paper and start jotting down:
1. The most basic necessities during a disaster are: water, food, supplies for first aid and sanitation, extra clothes and beddings.
2. Keep in mind that the best time frame for any disaster kit would be AT LEAST 72 hours. So when you are planning for food that you would include in your kit, you should always multiply that by three.
3. Remember to put the necessary supplies inside an easy to carry bag (a backpack or duffle bag will do). The key here is for you to be able to get it immediately during a disaster and to carry it around with you if you have to.
4. For water: Remember to buy bottled water in advance. They are the safest and the easiest to carry. Keep in mind that different people have varying needs for water. For mothers who are still nursing their children, people who are ill or even children all have varying needs. Remember also that when the weather is hot or humid, the body would need more water so better be prepared for it.
5. For food: Keep in mind that what you should bring with you are non-perishable foods. Store at least a 3-day supply of the following: canned meat or vegetables, canned soup or juices, salt, sugar, pepper (if you must), vitamins, and foods that provide energy (energy bars!). If you have kids in your family, better bring cookies and candies, too.
6. For your first aid supplies: Better bring bandages and gauze in different sizes, tweezers, scissors, wet towelletes, needle, any brand of antiseptic, thermometer, petroleum jelly, latex gloves and soap. It is also advisable to include non-prescription medicines such as aspirin, antacid, anti-diarrhea drugs and laxatives.
7. Sanitation provisions include: toilet papers, soap, garbage bags, disinfectant, chlorine and personal hygiene supplies.
8. Regarding clothing, it is necessary for each person to have at least one set of clothes and shoes (for one change). If you would need heating (and the disaster has severed that, too), then you could include a jacket and some bedding for each family member.
9. One very small but very important tool is a Swiss Army knife. This has everything that you would need during a calamity. With this, it is highly important to also bring spare batteries for your radio or TV.
Together with all the above, be sure to know some items that are not in the list but are necessary for some members of the family such as: nursing formula for infants, feeding bottles, diapers, medications, and important personal documents. For the documents, be sure that they are kept in a durable plastic envelope, plastic bag or plastic container.
These are the most basic and absolutely the most important things that you should include in your disaster kit. When you have put them all in your bag, be sure to store them in a place where you have easy access even during emergencies. Remember, be prepared in advance to lessen the panic!