Sunday, March 4, 2012

Emergency Preparedesness



What is the saying for March? "In like a lion, out like a lamb?"

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My Sunday post is normally  dedicated to all things garden, landscape, and plant related and while  I typically try to keep my content lighthearted I must acknowledge the catastrophic events that occurred this weekend. This past Friday (March 2) the Midwest experienced some awful weather as a tornado (or series of --waiting on the final determination) tore through towns to the east of  us with an evil ferocity.  Destroying property, homes and lives. There are several towns that were literally obliterated from existence.  I have family (near and extended) as well as friends in the affected areas. Miraculously-all are ok. My heart certainly goes out to all of those experiencing  the impact of this natural disaster.

These events got me thinking about what would I do in the event of an emergency. Would I be prepared?  Sadly , no.

I came across some great  references outlining steps we can take to prepare for emergencies.

The Family Handyman briefly touches on topics of wild animal, flood, kitchen fire, power outages and more.
The Family Handyman
http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Projects/Home-Safety/Home-Emergencies/home-emergency-preparedness-guide

Ready.gov provides in depth information for before, during and after an emergency.
Ready.gov logo
http://www.ready.gov/

The CDC provides information for public health emergencies.
CDC 24/7: Saving Lives. Protecting People. Saving Money through Prevention.
http://www.bt.cdc.gov/
Some of this is pretty scary intimidating reading. It also made me realize exactly how unprepared I am. Here's the gist to at least get started. Please go to CDC or Red Cross for specifics. What I am providing is  just a general overview.

1. Make an emergency kit
  • Water—enough for each family member, pets and sanitation
  • Food—non-­perishable, easy ­to ­prepare items (3 ­day supply for evacuation, 2­ week supply for home)
  • manual can opener
  • Flashlight with hand crank or batteries
  • Battery ­powered or hand­crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra working batteries 
  • First aid kit (you can get a basic kit for under $10)
  • Medications  and medical items
  • Multi­purpose tools
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Extra cash and copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies) Stored in watertight Ziploc bag.
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Emergency blankets/ sleeping bags and pillow (stored in a space bag or plastic tote)
  • Map(s) of the area 
  • extra set of keys
  • Extra clothing and shoes appropriate for the weather (store in plastic totes)
  • Candles and matches/lighter
2. Make a Plan
  • Designate a meeting spot for all family members both within and outside of home in event of emergency
  • Make a plan that encompasses your animals care and well being
  • Create a checklist
  • Practice your plan
  • Check your supplies at least every 6 months . A great time to do this is when time change occurs in March and November
3. Be Informed
  • Know the warning sirens and alerts in your area
  • Know the local emergency services numbers
  • Learn CPR and basic first aid measures
  • Enable SMS on your cell phone. Voice service may not always be available but there is a good chance SMS (text) is available for limited operation.
  • 2 way radio/ walkie talkies/ a CB for communication
  • Know where shutoff valves and breaker box/ circuit breaker are located in your house
Lastly keep a positive mental attitude and try to maintain control of the situation. Believe that all will be okay and help is on the way.

These lists and articles can be overwhelming. If nothing else try to do a few items a week and in no time you will be on your way to being emergency prepared.

Stay safe my friends!


4 comments:

  1. Ha you beat me to it! I was about to start working on a similar post for the same reason, after seeing all the tragedy this weekend. Great advice. Maybe I'll put ours off until closer to start of Hurricane season as a reminder then. But this is very timely advice, especially with the worst part of the 'storm season' yet to come. Stay safe and thanks for sharing the valuable info!

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  2. You are welcome! Don't put off what you can do today is the old adage right? After this w/e hitting so close to home I am definitely working on a plan! You stay safe too!

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  3. With tornado season now upon us, you're right. It is a good idea to think about being prepared. I always think about how, if we have to run down to our basement, how the cold cement floors and drab lighting will feel. I put it off because it's not a comfortable place to be. That's so silly isn't it? I am now following your blog too.

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    1. Hi Kelly,

      Thank you for visiting, commenting and following! Not silly. I (myself) find I can easily avoid doing, talking or implementing things which I find unpleasant or arduous. Maybe you could begin with an area rug (or carpet remnant) a small bookcase to hold some supplies and add to it periodically? Maybe be that can be a 2012 project and you could have the entire year to work on it. Rah rah goooo team. Haha. Sorry my old quasi cheer leading days overtake me at times.

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