We’ve lived near five major cities in the U.S. and while we haven’t experienced any life-threatening disasters, we’ve had some minor things happen that required us to use our emergency supplies and food storage in every place we’ve lived. While living in Chicago the water supply was contaminated so they shut it off for 2 days. We were so glad we had water stored! In Houston there was a chemical spill on the interstate highway so the roads were closed for a couple of days. People went crazy buying out everything in the store. Fortunately we had extra food and supplies on hand. While living near Denver there was a huge snowstorm and people were snowed in. My sweet elderly neighbor begged us to use our SUV to go buy him a can of coffee.
42% of people don’t have an emergency preparedness plan and are not preparing for disasters. But individuals need to be prepared to care for themselves and their families during and immediately following a disaster for at least three days until other resources are available.
Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster BEFORE it strikes and if you’ve gathered supplies in advance, your family can endure an evacuation or home confinement. It’s difficult to know where to begin, so each month in 2015 we’ll give ideas (from experts) for helping your family be prepared. A little bit each month makes a big difference!
So, let’s get started!
1. Water – The recommended amount for stored water is 1 gallon per-person per-day. (2 quarts for drinking, 2 for food preparation/sanitation) A two-week supply is the suggested minimum. Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break such as milk cartons or glass bottles. It is also important to have a water filter to utilize secondary water sources.
2. Create a family disaster plan. Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by disaster. Ready.gov has made it simple for you to make a family emergency plan. Download the Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids (PDF) and fill out the sections before printing it or emailing it to your family and friends. Discuss your plan and practice it with your children. We even practiced climbing out of a two-story window using an escape ladder. Our kids thought it was really fun. Our neighbors probably thought we were a little crazy!
3. Put flashlights with batteries in several places in your home for easy access. Make sure everyone knows where they are so they can find them quickly.
Resolve to be ready in 2015! (We’ll be back next month with more ways to prepare!)