September is National Preparedness Month and I would like to help you, my readers, be more prepared. Facing an emergency unprepared can be terrifying and unnecessary, considering how easy it is to start a basic disaster supplies kit. A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. Here are some tips on what every home should include in a basic supply kit to ensure safety and survival in case of emergency.
Basic items to have on hand include:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days
- Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.
Now that you know what do when a disaster strikes, next I am going to give you a few tips on how to handle an emergency situation.
In many emergency situations, timing could be the key to saving someone's life. But it is extremely important to know what to do in these situations, and to do it quickly.
Your brain can't function properly without oxygen. Take long, deep breaths, not short ones. If you begin panting, you will increase the rush of adrenaline. Continue taking deep breaths until you agree to yourself that you can take care of the situation. If you don't think you can handle it, even after one minute of deep breathing, get help. If you don't think you can handle the situation, there's no point in trying, because you'll probably do something wrong. Call your local emergency number if you aren't calm enough to take care of the situation after one minute of deep breathing. Don't continue deep breaths to calm down after one minute, because waiting too long could affect the situation dramatically. In these situations, it's either you can do it, or you can't.
Figure out what you need to do, and do it. Make sure you do it right while still being timely. Run in your head each choice you make, and determine the affects of it. Be fast. Don't rush things to the point you can't remain calm, but don't take your time either. Rushing can lead to pointless decisions that will only waste more time. Before going through with any choice, make sure it's worth the while. And as soon as you start, go through with it.Call your local emergency number such as 10111, 112 or 911.] After you've gone through your choice, call your local emergency number immediately. Your choice could help stall the situation, but no matter how good you think it was, call your emergency number. If you're with other people in the situation, while you're making your decision, yell at someone to call the emergency number. Don't yell generally, yell at one specific person, preferably the first one you see. If you yell at one person, they'll do it. If you yell at everyone, they will all assume someone else will do it.