If A Disaster Strikes – How Prepared Are You?

Now that the snow is melting and causing rivers to rise there is a danger of flooding in some parts of the country.  Some people are being asked to evacuate their homes.

Everyone thinks that it couldn’t happen to them but I know several people that have had to leave their homes in the past due to flooding or approaching forest fires.

Personally, I can’t wrap my brain around constantly being prepared and I don’t like the idea of having an emergency bag of food and water for everyone in the family.  I think it would be too much trouble to keep the food rotated regularly – water has a sell-by date, granola bars and other snacks go stale.

For all situations I find lists very helpful to me (without a list I invariably forget to pack some essential item even when I go on vacation), and if I keep my house orderly and clutter free I think I should be able to retrieve what I need quickly, if necessary.

Important Papers - You should have all your important documents in a safety deposit box and only keep copies at the house.  Keep a folder or large, professional zip-lock type bag with your chequing account numbers, credit card information, birth certificates, Social Insurance Numbers, driver’s license, proofs of insurance, health care cards and vaccination records.  Stuff it in your purse or bag along with some cash.  You should keep a stash of cash accessible for emergencies.  You may not be able to use an ATM in the event of a power outage.

Clothing - Keep a list of clothes you may need according to the weather conditions.  You may need boots, sweaters, gloves and hats – things easily forgotten.  Remember diapers if you have babies, as well as your child’s favourite blanket, stuffed animal or toy.  A travel game or a deck of cards could keep them occupied too.

Pets - Keep pet carriers and leashes readily available to lead pets to safety.  Also make sure to take pet food with you.

Pictures - Keep negatives and CD’s of pictures in your safety deposit box.  If you have photo albums, keep them in one place ready to grab and go at a moment’s notice.

Prescriptions - Take your family’s medications with you, and don’t forget the ones that have to be refrigerated.  Remember baby formula and pet med’s.

Car - Make sure your car always has at least half a tank of gas, the spare tire is inflated and your emergency roadside kit is fully stocked.

Phones and Radios - Always keep your cell phone charged up and have a charger in the car or an extra battery.  They may not work in a power outage, but again they might.  Keep a battery powered radio tuned to a local radio station that has emergency bulletins and have plenty of batteries for it.

At Home - You may not have to leave your home but you will need an emergency kit in an easily accessible place in the event of extended power outags that can last several days.  Keep a couple of flashlights with lots of batteries, candles and matches.  Have some food available that doesn’t have to be cooked.  Hunker down with lots of blankets.

You may have several days to leave your home, but sometimes you have to get out in a matter of hours.  Keep your lists and overnight or gym bags in a handy spot.  Have a drill and time yourself to see how long it would take you to get ready.

Don’t be in a state of denial with the “it will never happen to me” attitude.  We all make sure our computers are constantly backed up but how prepared are you for an emergency?


3 Responses to If A Disaster Strikes – How Prepared Are You?

  1. As the old saying goes:

    Always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.

  2. hgstern says:

    This week’s Cavalcade or Risk is up, and your article’s in it:

    http://christianpf.com/april-roundup/

    Please let your readers know.

    While we haven’t made it mandatory to give a link back, it’s the way that carnivals work best. If your submitted post has been included in this edition, please remember to post about it on your blog because it helps us all.

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