Archive for February, 2013
It’s often been said, “It’s not a question of if, but a question of when.” Never before has this adage been more appropriate when referring to a natural disaster. No matter where you live in the United States, it is likely you will endure the fury of nature. Different regions of our country must contend with the threat of potential catastrophes that are very real possibilities but rarely considered. The wrath of nature may come in the form of a hurricane in the Southeast, a tornado or flood in the Midwest, or an earthquake in the Southwest. Whatever the threat may be; knowledge, preparation, and a plan of action are paramount in terms of your survival.
The first thing you can do in preparation for when nature unleashes a violent fury is to learn specific details about whatever peril you could possibly face. Each emergency is unique and knowing what you should do will chart the course of action you can take. It is recommended that you must have an emergency action plan that you and other members of your family can implement after the event occurs. Then prepare by gathering food, water, a first aid kit, medications, and other things you and your family will need to survive for at least 72 hours. This is very important because it may take three days before emergency rescue personnel can get to you.
There are some simple guidelines that can help to gather the necessary emergency supplies you will need for you and your family. According to the web site ready.gov, they recommend one gallon of water per person each day for drinking and sanitation. This may vary depending on the climate where you live, warmer climates may require you have more than one gallon per person. Also, children, nursing mothers and people with chronic illnesses may require more water.
If the electricity is out it is important that you reduce the number of times you open you refrigerator door. The general rule is the food in your fridge will be the first to spoil, so it should be eaten first. Things in your freezer will have a longer period of time because their frozen. However unless you have additional ice you can pack food in, you should probably eat the food in your fridge first, then the food that was in the freezer.
The non-perishable foods that you should include in your emergency preparedness kit should be easy to eat foods that do not require cooking. Ideal food choices should include salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content. Avoid foods that will make you thirsty like salted nuts and potato chips. Snack bars that are high in protein, and fruits you must peel and good choices.
Supplies that include tools will be very helpful in the event of a disaster. You may want to include screw drivers, a hammer, handsaw that doesn’t require electricity, a flashlight with batteries, and a transistor radio. It air quality is compromised due to dust; you may want to include plastic sheets and duct tape. With no water you will not be able to flush your toilet. It is recommended you have moist towelettes and kitchen sized plastic bags with twist ties for personal sanitation.
Keep in mind during a natural disaster, communication will be compromised not just because of electrical outages. Phone lines will become overloaded with those calling out of the area and those calling into the area to check on loved ones. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends people text loved ones to let them know you’re ok instead of trying to call. With land lines down cell phones will be overwhelmed with the volume of calls. Texts require less space than phone calls do. This will also free phone lines for law enforcement.
No matter where you live in the United States, odds are, at some point, you and your family could be in an emergency situation due to the forces of nature. Understanding, preparation, and a plan for the worse possible scenario during a natural disaster could be lifesaving measures you can take now.