We live in a comfortable age – much of our lives are electronic, automated, and wireless, from our office work to our communications with friends and family. But even though our well-insulated air-conditioned buildings keep out most of nature’s inconveniences, sometimes nature still gets the better of us.
Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes can all strike with little to no warning, leaving us without power or a place to keep food, and unable to communicate over cellphone networks jammed with emergency calls. Unless you’re prepared, an emergency can be completely disorienting. Luckily, you can get prepared for an emergency by thinking ahead.
After making it through an emergency, even if your house is standing and undamaged, there most likely won’t be power or gas lines, any nearby grocery stores will be closed, and even the sewer system might be damaged. To keep safe and healthy, here’s what the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) recommends for a basic preparedness kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
You might never be in a situation where you need to deal with a natural disaster. But it never hurts to organize for every possibility. For more info, visit http://www.ready.gov/.