Prepare Your Home For Disaster
Disaster can strike at any time. Make sure your family is ready by preparing a disaster kit.
The Red Cross recommends that each disaster kit includes enough nonperishable or easy-to-prepare food for each member of the household for at least two weeks. Relief workers will respond to disaster areas quickly, but may not be able to reach everyone for several days. Having enough food on hand will help keep your family healthy until relief comes. Be sure to check your food supplies regularly and replace any items that expire.
Clean water is just as important as food staples, as treatment facilities may become damaged or destroyed in a major disaster. Store enough water on site for each person to have one gallon per day. The two week measurement is a good goal to work toward. Smaller bottles and containers should be on-hand should you need to evacuate the area.
Each emergency package should include a first aid kit with basic medical supplies such as bandages, aspirin, medical tape, ice packs and scissors. Be sure to keep any personal medical supplies you need with the emergency kit including at least seven days of any medication.
When preparing your kit remember to consider ways to communicate with your family and the outside world. Cell phones can be handy for keeping in touch with loved ones but you could also consider two-way radios. A battery-powered radio is a great way to keep in touch with news and emergency transmissions.
Your kit should also include extra clothing, blankets and rain or cold weather gear to protect you from the elements. Keep tools, personal documents and extra cash nearby in case they are needed. Other essentials include matches, towels and batteries, as well as toys to entertain young children.