Emergency Preparedness

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 09:08 AM

Emergency preparedness is something we all need to think about. An emergency situation could arise at ANY time. I admit, that I have slacked on the subject myself. After Katrina, everyone in the U.S. should be overly aware of what could happen. I’ve been through a few hurricanes. I lived in southwest Florida when hurricane Andrew hit Homestead on the east coast of Florida. We got lucky because the storm weakened after landfall. I did have refugees from the storm stay with me for a time, as their own apartment had been destroyed. Not all disasters or situations are always predictable by the weather service. A tornado can pop up without very much warning. Some earthquakes of late have been quite noticeable, some not. There were some small quakes in Oklahoma just last week. Not a place you would really consider earthquakes to be. An ice storm in Maine could leave residents without power for weeks. Floods, volcanoes, tsunamis. Our mother earth can be quite unpredictable. You should be prepared!

Any good tailgater or camper is prepared for cooking at a moments notice. A bin of supplies, a grill to cook & bake with, a cast iron dutch oven or skillet that can be used over an open fire, but there are other things to consider. I mean,  any good barbequer will have extra propane or charcoal on hand any way. But, what about power outages. All that food in your freezer could go to waste. If you’re in an ice storm, chances are if outages last a long time you can put your food out in the snow and it will be ok. What if you’re in a summer heat wave black out? Having a gas powered generator & extra gas on hand is a great consideration.

As I said, I myself have been slack in my preparedness efforts. My sons were both Boy Scouts. We have an emergency bin. I know I have not replaced batteries, checked flash lights, or checked on change of clothes for size. I need to change out some canned goods, etc. We have a hurricane or two looming out in the ocean right now. They are somewhat predictable, but, not very at the same time. This is something that I should do at the beginning of every hurricane season, or maybe twice a year, when I change the batteries in my smoke detectors. We should all make a set date to redo, replenish, check our stocks & stores. Anything could happen at a moments notice.

You want to keep your family prepared. If you don’t have an emergency bin. Start one! It can be a family project. Make a list, get items together & start a pack, bin, box, whatever! In case of evacuation, you want to be able to grab it and take it with you. It may not come to that extreme , but it is a thought to keep in mind. Always make sure you have extra fuel, propane, charcoal, firewood. Know where there are candles and something to light them with. If you are depending on canned goods, make sure you have a hand can opener that works. Water bottles. If you know a storm is coming, stock up. Fill some empty jugs. Worse case scenario, fill the tub! If you live in an apartment and don’t have a grill or outdoor propane fryer…get yourself something. Even a little hibachi or table top grill. A small table top grill can pack away & fit right in your emergency bin! Think ahead! A change of clothes, dry dog food, a roll of toilet paper, a first aid kit. Make a plan. Every family should have an escape plan out of a burning house. The same should hold true for any emergency. Have a meeting spot. The neighbors house, the big oak tree on the other side of the yard. If you are unsure, go online. Get a list. Ask an Eagle Scout. Ask your local fire department. Maybe there is something on their list that you may not have thought of. The point is, just do it! You want your family safe and prepared!

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