With the weather so unpredictable, is your family ready for a weather emergency? Do you have emergency supplies on hand just in case of hurricane, flood, wildfire, earthquake, tornado, high wind, thunder, snow or ice storm, etc.? Do you know where to go if you have to evacuate? Preparing kits ahead of time and planning an evacuation route may save a life.
You and your family members are of utmost importance. Put together an easy to carry book bag with supplies for each family member. Include clothes for three days and an extra pair of reliable tennis shoes or hiking boots. Consider the weather and have rain, snow, jacket and other outer wear. Toiletries like soap, tooth brush and tooth paste, baby wipes, comb, shampoo in the miniature bottles to conserve space.
If you have an infant or senior then add the items they will need. For infants you will need diapers, bottles, wipes, formula, baby food and medications. Seniors might need medications, a cane, walker, or wheel chair. Let children pick a book, game, their favorite stuffed animal or toy. A blanket or sleeping bag for everyone may come in handy. Other items would be glasses or contact lenses, hearing aid, feminine products, false teeth, medical alert bracelet and so on.
Plan for animals’ safety
Your pets and farm animals will need food, treats, medications, leashes, harnesses, carriers, bedding, bowls and toys. Please do not leave animals to fend for their self. If you bring pets inside during a storm, make a place for them to use the bathroom by using a kiddie pool with grass inside.
Provide a three-day supply of food that won’t spoil and one gallon of water for each person per day. Put water into gallon bags and put in freezer and this will give you a fresh water supply and help keep food in fridge cool if the electric goes out. Paper plates, bowls, plastic silver ware and cups and a manual can opener. You will need ready to eat foods if you do not have electric, like certain cereals, dried fruit, tuna fish, peanut butter, etc. A favorite snack like Little Debbie Snacks or potato chips will go over well.
A stocked first aid kit is a must for health and safety. Necessities like matches, batteries for electronics and a NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio, cell phone and charger, flashlight, multi-purpose tool, and a whistle to signal for help. Also, a map in case you get lost, paper, pencil, compass, tent and generator.
Keep important documents in a water proof bag to keep from getting wet such as insurance papers, ID, bank and medical information and important phone numbers. Have emergency cash or travelers checks and program contact numbers into your cell phone under ICE, In Case of Emergency.
Make plans for your house, work place and vehicle to cover any weather problems. Do you know how to turn off water, electric or gas at home or have the proper tools to turn them off? Do you know your workplace evacuation plan? Is your car full of gas and supplies if you have to leave the area?
Stock up on cleaning supplies like bleach, garbage bags, paper towels, as well as outside supplies. Use team work to put together kits and check expiration dates several times a year. Emergencies can happen at any time so be prepared, it could save a life.
Sources; http://emergency.cdc.gov; www.ready.gov; www.emergency.cdc.gov
Tami Wenger is a regular contributor to this newspaper.