Guest Author - Sherrie Knoller
Nature has put us through major disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and fires. These types of disasters have left many homeless and some have lost their lives. It is important to prepare ourselves for the unexpected or an impending disaster.
So how do you prepare for a disaster? Depending on where you live if your area is prone to floods, hurricanes, or earthquakes every household should have an emergency kit. Websites such as the American Red Cross and FEMA provide ways on how to prepare yourself for a disaster.
As military families we are always preparing for deployments and homecomings but are some ready for an emergency. Ask yourself, Do I know the evacuation routes in my area? If you are not sure, it may be time to get familiar and create a plan for your family.
Creating emergency kits is easy. You donít need to run off and buy everything at once. I created my emergency kit a little each payday. Make a list first of what you will need. Sites like the American Read Cross have a prepare section that can help you figure out what you need in your kit.
Your emergency kit should be based off how many people you have in your household. Also, taking children in consideration is very important. If you have an infant make sure you have plenty of formula and baby food to last for days. When you take your infant out you bring with you a diaper bag or you take books, toys, and snacks to keep your toddler busy. In fact, you are creating an emergency kit and may not realize it.
So in creating your emergency kit make sure you have plenty of water for each person. For infants, you may need extra water for mixing formula. Have blankets, extra sets of clothing, and non-perishable food. Some commissaries may have a section for emergencies that may have MREís and kits that have candles and burners to cook your food.
If you have a gas grill keep an extra gas tank for emergencies. This came in handy for me when I went through a hurricane years ago on the east coast when all the power was knocked out for over a week. If you have a fire place have extra wood handy for your emergency.
Every emergency kit should have a radio that way you can stay updated on what is going on. When buying a radio look for one that is battery operated and solar powered. Make sure you have enough batteries for flashlights and for toys for your kids. You should also have medical supplies such as bandages, ointments, and pain relievers, etc. Check your kits periodically for expiration dates and clothing sizes. Keep all your documents and clothing in plastic bags so they do not get wet. Keep plenty of wipes for washing to keep clean and keep infections from occurring. Also, have extra sanitary napkins and toilet paper in case you have to leave your home. A great tip I learned is to keep your emergency kit near your door so you can make a quick exist with all of the stuff you need to get you through the disaster.
Preparing for a disaster should be part of your routine. If a disaster occurs being prepared will help you and your family get through it safely.