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: