Preparedness Beginning Part Two
So in Part One, we talked about the need to just get friends and family to start thinking about the need to prepare. I have a friend who lives in Portland (Oregon) on an island. I have been trying to get him to prepare for years! Just to have just a three day supply of food. He and his family are very health conscious so they go to the store and buy fresh vegetables and fruits and meats every two or three days. Will he ever change? Probably not! Some people need to have a teachable moment to learn from! A small earthquake, flood or winter storm, something small that discomforts them enough to start thinking about the what ifs!
Hopefully some of the people you talk to about preparedness will start to do the basics. They may ask for additional information! So in Part Two I will be talking about basic preparedness.
First off we need to talk about planning! There are as many ideas out there as people. I think if you are talking with friends and family who are just starting out….. use the basic and proven methods. I have used Red Cross and yes FEMA material for a long time and people will look at and read it because they have a track record. Remember we are trying to get new people into prepping, not try to have them become monster preppers. Besides the fact that there is a huge backlash against the term “survivalist”.
Make your family plan (this can be used later for multiple emergencies)
- Meet with your family or household members.
- Talk about how to prepare and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play.
- Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.
- If a family member is at work, plan how you would respond…
Plan what to do in case you are separated during an emergency
- Choose two places to meet:
- Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire
- Outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate
- Choose an out of area emergency contact person. Such as grandma in another state! It may be easier to text or call long distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing or programmed into their cell phones.
Plan what to do if you have to evacuate
- Decide where you would go and what route you would take to get there. You may choose to go to a hotel/motel, stay with friends or relatives in a safe location or go to an evacuation shelter if necessary.
- Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on your map in case roads are impassable.
- Plan ahead for your pets. Keep a phone list of pet friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.
When you are making your plans you need to make sure all the info you need is at your fingertips. One of the easiest ways is to go to the FEMA site and print off the plan template. Here is the website address: http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/Family_Emegency_Plan.pdf. It is a great way to help you with the basic plan and get you ready to roll. It will help with organizing phone numbers and important contacts that you will need in an emergency. It will also help with the planning of what to do if you are at work and the kids at school.
Draw a floor plan of the house and mark your escape routes out in the event of a fire. Make sure you have a meeting place outside the house and everybody knows the plan and has practiced it. Have kids go out the windows and not try to crawl thru the house. Think about a possible need for a roll up ladder on second floor windows. (I know…. I know…. hard to think about those with teenage kids huh???)
Make sure that people know how and where to shut off water, gas and electricity. If you have questions there are the local utilities and fire departments that you can call for help.
Also you need to plan for your pets. Pets are not allowed in public shelters! You need to have your pet get used to getting into and being in a kennel. They will be safer and so will you!
Another big part of the plan is to look around the neighborhood. Maybe the next door neighbors are elderly and can help watch the kids if you can’t get home. Also maybe you can help the elderly neighbors with some type of preparedness project. Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers to aid you and them in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows what to do.
Okay…. Here is where things get a bit contentious! A 72 hour kit, a bugout kit, an evac kit…. whatever you like to call it kit! Just so long as it has what you need for at least 72 hours. Again a quick reminder this is just for a starting point. We are trying to teach new people how and what to prepare. I know there are a lot of kits and supplies we can use and should have in our bags. I have found that the easiest way to explain is to start with the basics.
- First Aid Kit
- Sterile bandages in assorted sizes
- Safety pins
- A cleansing agent (isopropyl alcohol, germicide, or soap)
- Antibiotic ointment
- Latex gloves
- Petroleum Jelly
- 2-inch and 4 inch gauze pads
- 3 Triangular bandages
- 2-inch and 3-inch roller bandages
- Cotton balls
- Moistened towlettes
- Tongue depressor blades
Remember if you have any prescription meds that it may become very difficult to obtain what you need during an emergency so try to have extra on hand. You should also have items like aspirin or ibuprofen as well as antacids and vitamins to help keep you healthy.
2. Tools and Emergency supplies: If you have to leave home in an emergency it helps to have these items available to leave in a hurry.
- Portable, battery operated radio
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Shut off wrench, pliers and shovel
- Duct Tape
- Plastic sheeting
- Small ABC fire extinguisher
- Tube tent
- Paper, pens and pencils
- Needles and thread
- Kitchen Items
- Manual Can opener
- Mess kits or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
- All-purpose knife
- Sugar, salt and pepper
- Aluminum foil and plastic wrap
- Replacing plastic bags
- Small cooking stove and fuel
- Manual can opener
- Sanitation and hygiene items
- Washcloth and towel
- Towelettes, soap, hand sanitizer and liquid detergent
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoos, deodorants, comb, and brush, sunscreen, insect repellent, contact lens solution, mirror, and feminine supplies
- Heavy duty trash bags
- Toilet paper
- Medium sized plastic bucket with tight fitting lid
- Disinfectant and household bleach
- Household documents
- Personal ID, cash and travelers checks and a credit card
- Copies of important documents, birth certificate, marriage certificate, driver’s license, social security cards, passports, wills, deeds, inventory of household goods (video), insurance papers, immunizations, account numbers, Be sure to store in a waterproof container.
- Emergency contact list
- Map of area and phone numbers of where you might go
- An extra set of car and house keys
- Clothes and bedding
- One complete change of clothing and footwear for each person in the house. Remember to dress for the season and where you live or are going to.
- Blankets or a sleeping bag and a pillow for everyone
- Specialty Items
- Cell Phones with chargers
- Computers with chargers
- Items needed for babies
- For the elderly
- For pets
Sooooo….. yeaaaa…. long list huh? Well this only a start of a list. I know my own personal equipment has some of this and then some other things. It all depends on where I am going or am at that time. I also have a smaller kit in the car and another at work. So when I leave for work I have my personal kit as well as the other two ready to go.
The only left is to figure out how to put it all together. I have done this multiple ways but one of the easiest i have found has been a worksheet
(you can find it here http://www.ocem.org/pdf_resources/Prep_Calendar.pdf) This will show you what to buy and what skills to learn for every month for a year. When you are done you will have a very nice emergency kit and be very proficient on multiple skills.
Okay I will see you folks later and we will think about Evacuation and Recovery. Keep preparing folks!