When I was a child my mother always kept extra water in 2 liter bottles under her sink and would call them her “Earth quack” water. Little did I know that I grew up on what is called the New Madrid vault which is well over due to happen again, the last time it released was in 1933. I never understood why she did this till I learned through the McCracken County rescue squad and DES, which I was a member of and a USAR trained member, how important it was to keep a survival kit for at least 72 hours, because that is how long that it would take to get any assistance there to help us because of all the rivers and bridges. From personal experience and living through hurricane Ivan and losing everything my self-prepared disaster kit was the second best thing I had done prior to the storm, only coming in second to evacuating. Down south before the season starts, all insurance companies, schools, and newspapers put out a check list as to things to keep in your kit. I know it was at least 2 days before the military came in with MRE’s for us and the fire department came around handing out ice and water the same day. If it had not been for my kit I have no idea what my family and I would have done.
Assignment: Develop a personal preparedness plan for a family of four that would support a the family for three days if the family did not have public utilities and was cut off from supplies
There’s not one place on this earth that are not subject to one natural or manmade disaster or another. Each individual needs to know what natural disasters are more prone to their area and prepare for such. The natural disasters are: floods, hurricanes, thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, winter storms, extreme cold, extreme heat or heat waves causing water shortages, earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and debris flow mudslides, tsunamis, and wild land / forest fires. Then there is the man made hazards like: hazardous materials incidents like chemical emergencies, nuclear power plants, and national security emergencies, such as terrorism, chemical and biological weapons, nuclear and radiological attack, and home land security advisory systems.
Disaster Supply Kit
Disaster Preparedness helps individuals prepare for any type of emergency conditions rather it is man-made or of natural. Depending on where you live, will also determine what kind of preparedness you may need. There is also the basic preparedness packs that all individuals needs to have.
FEMA and the Red Cross offer several different suggestions to help one prepare for any type of disaster. Nearly every community in the US is subject to some kind of natural disaster, so it would make sense to prepare all homes for all the different kinds of disasters.
Disaster Supply Kits
Individuals need to gather water, food and emergency supplies to last at least three days or longer if possible. The only issue I had was where to store these supplies and in what. If you stored the supplies in your house and lost it you would not be able to get to the supplies you had stored. So I ended up taking a large trash can that could be sealed and putting it in the garage, sealed all the openings and used sealed Rubbermaid or other similar manufacturer’s plastic. The following is what FEMA suggests people store for a disaster of any kind;
Supply of Drinking Water
- A minimum of one gallon of water per person per day, either buy bottled water or store tap you can use it as-is if it has been commercially treated. For well water or untreated public water, follow treatment instructions provided by your public health service. Seal the water containers and store them in a cool dark place and change out every six months with fresh water.
Choosing Food Supplies When storing your food you need to make sure and date your food and replace them every six months. Pack foods in watertight bags or sturdy plastic containers.
- Canned foods and ready-to-eat meats, fruits, and vegetables, such as peanut butter, crackers, granola bars, cereals, trail mix, boxed or canned juices, milk and soups, instant coffee and/or tea, sugar, salt, and pepper. One needs to remember to bring a manual can opener to open several of the above foods.
First Aid Supplies
- First aid manual, scissors, sterile bandages, gauze pads, cotton balls, safety pins, latex gloves, antibiotic ointment, cleansing agents like isopropyl alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide, germicidal soaps, moistened novelettes, needles, tweezers, scissors, thermometer aspirin, antidiarrheal medication, antacids, vitamins, and enough of your medication to last for those three days, esp. medications for diabetics, heart patients, and transplanted medications.
Essential Tools and Emergency Supplies
It is very important to also keep readily available things such as: batteries, battery powered radio, a weather radio, flashlight, matches, wrench, pliers, shovel, duct tape, scissors, plastic sheeting, fire extinguisher, paper, pens, pencils, needles and thread, plastic trash bags, hand sanitizer, bleach, household documents with contact numbers and important documents.
Other Items you may want to put in but is not essential is something for the kids to do, like books, games and toys. Comfortable clothes and shoes, blankets, bedding and sleeping bags, as well as supplies for babies, elderly, and pets.
FEMA’s Four Steps to Safety.
Fema has four basic steps to develop a family disaster plan which can be applied on any disasters. The first step is to find out what could happen to you and the risk of injury that could occur if you stay in your home. With that in mind you also need to figure out what type of disasters most likely to happen in your area, and how you should prepare for each individual disasters. One also needs to know what their workplace, their children’s school or day care center, or other places where your family spends time disaster plan is.
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The second step is to create a family disaster plane by talking to your family members as how to respond if one occurs. Pick two places to meet if it occurs at a time that everyone is not at home and stick to it. One should also develop an emergency communication plan so if you are unable to meet up, you should have a single person designated outside of your disaster are where all family members can call to pass on information about their health and where about. One should know their easiest most convenient escape routes to take if evacuations are needed.
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