Preparing for an emergency disaster could save you and our family’s life in the event a hurricane or other type of natural disaster hits. While the essentials are just that, essential to have, there are other ways you can prepare yourself and your family in the event an emergency strikes. Being prepared is only one step you will need to take. You also want to be able to respond after the disaster strikes as well as be aware of what you will need to do to ensure you and your family recover this from this unfortunate situation.
Some commonly known emergency situations are listed below and would be easier to handle if you take the necessary actions to prepare yourself for the repercussions they all carry.
- Chemical emergency
- Power outage
- Wild fire
- Winter storm
Want to know what you should do before, during, and after each of these types of emergencies? You can become informed by clicking here and visiting the Red Cross website.
What should I have in my disaster supply kit?
A disaster supply kit is something every individual and/or family should have in their home. Some things that should be included in it include:
- Water- The Department of Homeland Security suggests you have at least one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. It can be used for drinking and sanitation.
- Food- At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Battery powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio that comes equipped with tone alert.
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask
- Moist towelettes
- Garbage bags
- Wrench or pliers if you need to turn off your utilities
- Manual can opener
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Prescription medications
- Infant formula, diapers, wipes
- Important documents
- Cash or traveler’s checks
- First aid kid
[Source: Department of Homeland Security].
You can access an additional supply list with other supplies you may need based on your particular circumstances.
Aside from the last four supplies mentioned above, you can maintain your kit by:
- Keeping the canned food in a cool, dry place.
- If you purchased boxed food be sure to store it in a tightly closed plastic or metal container.
- Replace expired items on an as needed basis.
- Update your kit based on you and your family’s needs.
What should I have in my first aid kit?
You should carry your first aid kit with you in your vehicle and have it at home in the event a disaster is forecasted to strike. The American Red Cross suggests that your first aid kit contain the following which would suffice for a family of four:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 blanket (space blanket)
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- First aid instruction booklet
What if my family and I have become displaced after a disaster hit?
If you are in need of immediate assistance, you can contact the American Red Cross or FEMA. The American Red Cross can be contacted by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS and you can find an open shelter by clicking here.
FEMA may also provide Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) to anyone who is unable to return to their primary residence because their home has become “uninhabitable or inaccessible due to a Presidentially-declared disaster.” If you are a disaster survivor, you can contact FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362 and apply for the assistance they offer.
What do I do if someone has eaten something that could be hazardous to their health?
Learning that a child or someone in your family may have eaten something that might be poisonous or hazardous is yet another type of emergency you should prepare for. If they appear to be suffering from a reaction to whatever it is they ate, call 911 immediately. If not but would like to confirm whether they need immediate medical attention, contact Poison Control by calling 1-800-222-1222. Your call will be rerouted to your local poison control center.
When a natural disaster or another type of emergency disaster presents itself, the most important thing to do is be prepared for the worst. You should be aware of who to call and keep a record of these numbers somewhere safe. Having the necessary supply and first aid kits can be a matter of life and death so be sure to create yours today if you have yet to do so.