I am still deeply saddened by what happened in Texas the just passed Hurricane Harvey and am now trying to emotionally prepare myself for what damage the East Coast will have to endure due to Hurrican Irma. While my husband is making sure that my mother-in-law (who is living in Florida) is ready for what is about to come, I am contemplating on the need for every family to have a disaster preparedness kit
Whether you are in places threatened by storms, or wildfire, being prepared is a good thing. Scrambling for last minute resource is hectic, nerve-racking and often times not possible – especially when there is a shortage on bottled water, batteries and non-perishables. That is why I wanted to share with you my personal way of being ready for those times – having a disaster preparedness kitDisaster Preparedness Kit - Don't Forget Your Pets Click To Tweet
Food And Water
You should store at least a gallon of drinking water per person per day, for each healthy adult, adjusting the water need to more if you have people in your family that suffer from chronic illnesses. Check with their health-care provider for exact minimum water requirements for them. Also, add additional water for each of your pet – depending on size and breed of pet. I count on half a gallon a day for my smaller animals and a gallon for my larger dogs. Again, check with your vet just to be sure. In the case of a major weather event or other natural disasters, it may take a while for rescuers and supplies to make it to your area.
Of course, the same applies for food. Stick with non-perishable food items that you can eat without any cooking or preparation required. Protein bars, bread or crackers with peanut butter, nuts, and canned goods are all great choices. Make sure not to forget to keep the options for those with allergies, or other illnesses in mind. Label them specifically to be eaten by those who can not eat anything else, by using a permanent marker – labels can fly off, get pulled off, or water damaged, so use markers instead!. Don’t forget about utensils including two manual can opener for your kit. Trust me, with this – two new manual can openers are essentials – these things break relatively easy, and you don’t want to be stuck with not being able to get into your food supply, when necessary.
Medication and medical supplies
If you require prescription medication, stock up as much as you can ahead of time. You don’t want to risk running out. As you put together a basic emergency kit, include some first aid items so you can treat minor aches and pains as the need arises. While you’re at it, throw a few wet wipes and some mouth washes in there. Being able to clean up will make you feel much better.
If you are in an evacuation zone and choose to stay with relatives, you may want to find out if your medical supply company can deliver your standard supplies to their house directly, instead of you having to bring it with you. Call ahead, and see if they are flexible, so that you only have to make a short phone call in case of an upcoming natural disaster, such as the hurricane.
Pet Food And Supplies
Don’t forget enough food for your pets! Make sure that you have enough food for them to last a while as well. Include some of their favorite treats, in order to make them more comfortable in an already stressful situation. Make sure you have dry bedding, and extra towels available for them as well.
Clothing And Bedding
If you are getting on the road or sheltering somewhere outside your home, it’s important to have clothing and bedding to make it until you can get back home. Since many natural disasters can pop up quite quickly, it’s a smart idea to make a small pack of clothing part of your emergency kit. Throw in a couple of piece of underwear, a pair of pants, a couple of shirts, and you’re good to go. Remember, this isn’t your travel wardrobe. This is the dire emergency stuff you have in your kit “just in case”.
Adding a small pillow, a sheet, and a light blanket is also a good idea. Keep it in your car when the situation warrants it.
While you should not count on your cell phone during a disaster, you should still make sure that your electronics are charged, and that you have an external battery charger (also fully charged) available to you.
I would also include a weather radio, which is a lot more reliable during natural disasters, and of course, make sure you have plenty of the correct fitting batteries in your home for this radio.
While I hope that you – my dear readers – will never encounter such a disaster, I would rest much more peacefully knowing that you are prepared, just in case.