Sunday, October 28, 2012

Emergency Preparedness

With Hurricane Sandy coming, I am seeing posts all over my facebook about needing to buy this and that, not knowing where (or if) certain supplies exist in their house, how crazy the store are, and so on.

I am amazed to see all of these people who live in "prone" areas who are not prepared. I can understand needing some stuff cause you ran out, or needing to buy new food items to replace old ones (a lot of food items should be replaced every year). But people will admit to not even having flashlights or candles.

People NEED to have at least a basic emergency kit in their house and car. If you don't want to, or can't afford to go all out, that's understandable. But everyone should have at least the basics. We are missing MANY things that I really WANT in our emergency kits, but we usuall have everything we would NEED for 3 days with no way to get help or even get to a store.

I always had something super simple, but when Brianna came home to homeschool I made it part of our curriculum so to say. Each fall, before winter has a chance of starting, we check through our kits, bringing into the kitchen anything that is with in a year of expiry to be used in everyday life and replaced in the kit, making sure anything we may have had to use over the year has been replaced or is on the next grocery list, and generally checking over everything and adding as needed.

Brianna and I spent Sunday going through our house and car kits. There are many things missing as we used a bunch of it last year when we moved, so I have a list of items on a Need-To-Buy list.

Brianna sorting through our emergency kits
Here's a general list of what everyone should have in their house kit:
- water, minimum 2 litres or 1/2 a gallon per person per day, the more the better
- non perishable foods (canned, dried, ect... get foods your family will actually eat)
- flashlights, batteries, candles and matches
- first aid kit (even if you have a general first aid kit in your house, you should have one in a waterproof container or gallon ziplock bag IN your kit)
- daily medicines for everyone in the house (you can include things like Tylenol in this or your first aid kit)
- baby items if this applies to your house, diapers (in current size, each time your baby moves up a size, switch the diapers, you really don't want to be caught with a 1 year old in an emergency with size 2 diapers lol), wipes, formula, ect...
- cash (ATMs don't work if there's no power. $20 in fives/tens per person is a good amount)
- socks and gloves (ideally a full set of clothing is best, but at least socks and gloves will help protect the body parts most likely to be affected by cold first)
- toilet paper
- dishes and utensils (a plastic picnic kit is great for this)
- garbage bags (for transport and you can also put holes in them and wear them for extra insulation)
- basic tools
- fuel operated stove and fuel (think camping stove)
- whistle
- duct tape
- pet supplies if this applies in your house, food, bowl, medications needed
- sanitary pads (tampons get torn and crushed too easily, plus pads can be used in first aid)
- photocopies of ID, insurance papers, and any other important documents
- backup eye glasses, contacts, contact solution
- pocket knife
- disposable razor (can be broken and razor blades used)
- unscented bleach or water purification tablets
- emergency blankets (these look similar to tinfoil but keep body heat in quite well)
- cardboard and tinfoil (can be used to melt snow for water)
- bags (those reusable grocery bags are better than plastic as they're stronger)

Some of our household kit
Stuff that's nice to add but you won't die without it:
- travel ponchos
- pencil and note pad
- playing cards
- chap stick
- expandable wash cloths (ya know, those little tablet things that when you add water they become a full sized wash cloth)
- light sticks (find them in the camping section, they usually last 4-8 hours)
- kid kit (kid entertainment, couple matchbox cars, coloring book and crayons, ect...)
- toiletries
- generator

Here's a general list of what everyone should have in their car kit:
- water (at least one bottle per seat, even if you only have 3 people in your family, if your car is a 5 seater you could a some point have up to 5 people in your car)
- food (things that won't be affected by heat/cold, granola bars and the like)
- blanket (both regular and an emergency one is a good idea)
- socks and gloves
- first aid kit
- seat belt cutter
- small shovel
- scraper/snowbrush
- candles (preferably in a deep tin), matches and flashlight
- whistle
- basic maps
- non-clumping cat litter
- jumper/booster cables
- basic tools
- cardboard and tinfoil
- something reflective or flares

Part of our car kit
Some good ideas for the car:
- travel ponchos
- expandable wash cloths
- hand warmer packets
- light sticks
- kid kit
- garbage bags

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I've got to add to my own kits. We have a lot of the items already for camping, but it would be good to have it all more convenient in an emergency.