Be Prepared

First Aid Kit

I attended a seminar today about Emergency Preparedness by the Red Cross. It’s a subject I’ve never really given any thought. I realized that I don’t even know where my flashlight is, and if I could find it, I’m sure the batteries are dead.

Here are some tips I learned today:

  • bottled water in plastic only keeps for a couple of months.
  • candles are not the preferred light source during an emergency because of the fire hazard, but also because gas mains could be broken.
  • statisics say that everyone will choke at least once before the age of 50.
  • as we learned from Katrina, emergency help could take a full week to arrive.

With these things in mind, you should have an emergency kit that can last 7 days.

Some things your kit should include:

  • one gallon of water per person per day (for drinking, hygiene, cooking)
  • first aid kit
  • flashlight with extra batteries or one that recharges through motion
  • non-perishable food that requires no refrigeration or preparation
  • non-electric can opener
  • can of sterno to heat food
  • medications (prescription and non-prescription)
  • personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, contact lens supplies, feminine supplies)
  • plastic garbage bags with ties (for personal sanitation)

Other ways to be prepared:

  • take a first aid course
  • learn CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver
  • plan an emergency escape route like a fire drill
  • keep a smaller emergency kit in your car
  • backup personal records to another location (insurance, mortgage, banking, identification, medical records, emergency contact info) It could be a while before you can prove you are you.

Some helpful Web sites:

ready.gov
redcross.org
fema.org

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