Category Archives: Are You Ready?
Last month, my family had an emergency preparedness test run. For three days, we pretended that we had no electricity, natural gas, or running water and that we could not go to the grocery store, bank or gas station. We do this every so often, so we can find the flaws are in our emergency preparedness planning.
These test runs have helped us in numerous ways. We’ve practiced using the supplies that we have; so when a real natural disaster occurs, we aren’t wasting time learning to use items we aren’t familiar with.
We’ve also discovered that some ideas we thought would be really great were actually duds. As Mark Twain said, “The tragedy of today is the comedy of tomorrow.” Many of those “dud” ideas are now some of our family’s favorite funny stories.
One of the new additions to our personal emergency supplies is the Humless Sentinel Solar Generator. This is now on our “we can’t live without it” list! The Humless kept our refrigerator running the entire three days, making our preparedness test so much easier. Ice cream is a wonderful comfort food during an emergency!
We know that not everyone is up to conducting an emergency preparedness test run. If you aren’t, we encourage you to use the following Emergency Preparedness Quiz to help you identify any weaknesses in your family’s emergency plan. A few minutes spent today will mean peace of mind for your family tomorrow.
Emergency Preparedness Quiz
1. Has your family rehearsed fire escape routes from your home?
2. Does your family know what to do before, during, and after an earthquake, natural disaster or other emergency situation?
3. Do you have heavy objects hanging over beds that could fall during an earthquake?
4. Do you have access to a working flashlight in every occupied bedroom? Do you have extra batteries if the flashlights are battery-operated?
5. Do you keep shoes near your bed to protect your feet against broken glass?
6. If a water line was ruptured during a natural disaster, do you know how to shut off the main water line to your house? Can this water valve be turned off by hand without the use of a tool? Do you have a tool if one is needed?
7. Do you know where the main gas shut-off valve to your house is located? If you smell gas, do you know how to shut-off this value? Gas valves usually cannot be turned off by hand. Do you have a gas shut-off tool stored near the valve?
8. Would you be able to safely restart your furnace when gas is safely available?
9. Do you have working smoke alarms in the proper places to warn you of fire?
10. In case of a minor fire, do you have a fire extinguisher that you know how to use?
11. Do you have duplicate keys and copies of important insurance and other papers stored away from your home?
12. Do you have a functional emergency radio to receive emergency information? Do you have extra batteries if your radio is battery-operated?
13. If your family had to evacuate your home, have you identified a meeting place?
14. If an emergency lasted for three days (72 hours) before help was available to you and your family:
• Would you have enough food?
• Would you have the means to cook that food without gas and electricity?
• Would you have enough water for drinking, cooking, and sanitary needs
• Do you have access to a 72 hour emergency kit?
• Would you be able to carry or transport those kits?
• Have you established an out-of-state contact that everyone in your family knows how to contact?
• Do you have first aid kits in your home and in each car?
• Do you have work gloves and some tools for minor rescue and clean up?
• Do you have emergency cash on hand? (During emergencies and especially during power outages, banks may be closed and ATMs nonfunctioning.)
• Without electricity and gas, do you have a way to heat at least part of your home?
• If you need medications, do you have a month’s supply on hand?
• Do you have a plan for toilet facilities if there is an extended water shortage?
These are all questions that need answers if you and your loved ones are to be safe in an emergency. If you answered “No” to any of them, it’s time to work on getting those items done. Start today!
Visit us at http://www.SurvivalSupplies4U.com for all your emergency preparedness needs.
In the last 20 years, according to a report released by the British charity Oxfam. Oxfam The number of natural disasters around the world has increased by more than four times analyzed data from the Red Cross, United Nations and researchers at Louvain University in Belgium. It found that the earth is currently experiencing approximately 500 natural disasters per year, compared with 120 per year in the early 1980s. The number of weather-related disasters in 2006 was 240, compared with 60 in 1980. So, the question isn’t if you will experience a natural disaster; it’s really a question of when.
The recent early winter storms that occurred in the Northeastern United States left millions from Maine to Maryland without power. Even though residents had advance warning, many were unprepared for the severity of the storm. Two months ago, residents were also inadequately prepared for Hurricane Irene, which left extensive wind and flood damage along its path. Again, there was warning, but the hurricane’s severity far exceeded expectations.
Don’t be caught unprepared. Do you have the following items ready to see your family through an emergency or natural disaster?
• Grab and go kits for every member of your family, including pets
• Well-stocked first aid kit
• Emergency gas and water shut-off tool
• Emergency communications plan that instructs your loved ones regarding who to call and where to meet in case of emergency
• Enough non-perishable food to last your family for a minimum of two weeks; it may take emergency services that long to reach you in a severe disaster
• Water for drinking, cooking and hygiene – a minimum of one gallon per person per day and enough to last at least two weeks
• Alternative ways to cook and provide heat and light in case of a power outage
• Emergency kits in your car, at your workplace, and at your children’s schools
• Safety skills, such as first aid and CPR
• Fire extinguisher – be sure everyone in your home knows how to use it and where it is kept
We realize that this list may seem daunting. We encourage you to work on just one category each month. If you already have some items, take inventory to see what needs to be replaced or added. Then, follow through with replacing or adding those items. We talk to a lot of folks who know what they need but don’t take the next step to actually do it.
Take action today. Emergency planning is about preparedness, not paranoia. Knowing that your family can weather a disaster will bring you and them peace of mind.
Credit toMeridianMagazine, Carolyn Nicolaysen
Here are some headlines from the past several days:
“2011 Tornado Season has seen increase in Storms, Record Death
- “Missouri River Flood of 2011 one for the
- “The recent floods and tornado outbreaks mark
the most costly disaster in American history”
- “Food price shock ahead”.
All of these are headlines seen in the past few days in June. Is
the time for preparing past? No, but it will now be much more expensive than it
would have been just a few months ago.
The National Weather Service has announced the forecast for the
coming hurricane season. Although the prediction is for more named storms this
year, that alone is not the most interesting part of the story. What we should
really be taking note of is the fact that we are returning to the weather
patterns of the 1950s and 1960s. During those years there were serious weather
conditions which hit the northeast coast of North America, the jet stream
lowered its path, and temperatures were confused – it was much colder in
normally warm areas, and much warmer in normally cool areas.
We have seen the results this spring with tornadoes not only in
the Midwest “Tornado Alley”, but also in diverse places such as California and Massachusetts.
All of this news means we can expect to have weather only our parents and
grandparents remember well. The time for preparing has not passed, but the
urgency has increased.
The winter of 2010-2011 has seen record snowfall in all the
mountain ranges west of the Mississippi.
Spring in these areas has been colder than normal, setting up a disastrous
scenario for the remaining weeks of spring and summer. Rivers and reservoirs in
some places are overwhelmed, and heat waves may follow the cool spring weather
in many areas. Hot weather will eventually come to the West, and when it does
there may be severe flooding. Four states not part of the Mississippi River
system, where horrific flooding and loss of life and property have already
occurred, – Montana, Idaho,
Wyoming and South Dakota – have already declared a state
of emergency due to flooding.
Are you prepared to remain out of your home for a month or more?
Are you prepared to be without grocery and pharmacy supplies for weeks? This is
already the case in some areas. Do you really still believe natural disasters
can’t happen to you?
We have heard so much about flooding and tornadoes this year that
it should come as no surprise that some North American crops have been
destroyed or not planted at all. The logical conclusion: prices will go up.
On the other hand – are you aware that in some regions there is
still a drought?
New Mexico, Florida,
Louisiana, South Carolina
all have areas of extreme drought or worse “exceptional drought.”
This is also the case on other continents:
“Several submerged sections of an imperial tomb of the Ming
Dynasty (1368-1644) have resurfaced in east China’s
Jiangsu Province as a result of a severe drought
that is still affecting the region. The tomb was built for the ancestors of Zhu
Yuanzhang, founder and the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, in AD 1386, on
the west bank of the Hongze Lake in Xuyi County of Jiangsu.
“The mausoleum was flooded in 1680, when the Yellow River broke
its banks, changed course and converged with the nearby Huaihe River.
Now local residents have got to take their first look at the tomb, which hadn’t
seen the light of day in more than 300 years.
“Stone arches and other parts of the tomb emerged on Thursday as
the lake’s water level continued to recede because of the recent drought. Local
residents also got a look at a paved path leading to the tomb.”¹
725,000 acres of land are drying out causing not only enormous crop loss but
leaving 820,000 people in the region without sufficient food and water. Where
will the food come from to feed these people? Will China
purchase crops normally sold to industrialized nations such as the United States, Canada
leaving them short?
Food riots have already occurred around the world. The United
Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is warning the drought conditions in
China, Europe and Great Britain may lead to the worst food inflation we have
seen to date. Combine this with the loss of crops in Japan
due to the earthquake and tsunami and flooding, plus drought and tornadoes in
the United States
and the outlook is not good for food supplies and food prices. The fear is food
shortages will increase the frequency and intensity of food riots in many more
The price of oil has already gone up making the cost of petroleum
based items rise. The price of cotton has soared making the cost of everything
from clothing to camp tents rise.
Has the time for preparing passed? No, but maybe the time to ask
what we are preparing for has. It is here. Now is the time to gather your
family and to discuss your priorities for the coming year. Summer is almost
here and it is not too late to plant a garden. It is not too late to plan a
stay-at-home vacation to save money for self reliance goals. Summer vacations
from school are the perfect time to clean out used items and sell them at a
garage sale or online.
There will never be a less expensive time to purchase preparedness
items or to learn skills that will save you the money you are now spending on
them. Now is the time. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this won’t affect
you. It will. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it can wait and looking back
months from now and wishing you had taken action when prices were lower.
Check out my Website www.survivalsupplies4u.com
Do You Know How Emergency Personnel Will Notify You
When There’s an Emergency?
When disaster strikes, information is a two-way street. Authorities will be trying to reach you, but you’ve got to help them do so. Communities may use different methods of communication, from low-tech approaches (sirens, loudspeakers mounted on poles and police cruisers outfitted with bullhorns) to sophisticated systems (automated telephone-alert networks that dial 2,000 households per minute with messages and instructions). Some communities issue a text message to cell phones, pagers, or other devices. The Federal government is working on similar technology for national emergencies.
The Emergency Alert System – a national public warning system better know for that piercing test tone over radios and televisions – sends information over major television and radio networks. So, don’t forget your battery-powered or hand-cranked radio or television!
A more targeted technology is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) weather radio, sometimes generically called a “tone alert” radio. The NOAA broadcasts forecasts and warnings for dangerous weather, natural hazards, such as earthquakes, and dangerous incidents, such as chemical spills, 24 hours a day from almost 1,000 transmitters across the country. When one of these events threatens your local area, the system sends a signal that activates your NOAA radio to sound an alarm tone. After the alarm, the NOAA will broadcast a message with information and instructions to safeguard you and your loved ones.
Find out in advance which method your community uses. If it offers special services, such as text messaging, sign up for those services. If they broadcast community specific information over a particular radio station, mark that station on your radio dial. During a disaster, turn on your television or radio. Also, consider purchasing a NOAA radio. It’s a great resource if disaster strikes in the middle of the night.
Use our checklist to help you put together a potentially life-saving kit today
The recent disasters in Japan and New Zealand remind us that any of us could be in a similar situation. We may not experience an earthquake or tsunami, but no part of the world is exempt from natural disasters.
If you had to evacuate your home quickly, what would you do? Are you prepared with a grab-and-go kit? If you have one, great! Be sure to inventory the contents to make certain you have all you need, that the food and water is not out of code, and that every item is in working condition.
If you don’t have a kit, lets get started. You may wish to have a separate kit for each member of the family. Determine what will work best for you. We have ready-made kits, which offer a quick and easy way to begin.
The container should be easy to move and waterproof if possible. A backpack, a rolling suitcase, or a wheeled trash can hold a lot and are easy to carry, roll or drag if necessary.
Your basic kit should include:
o 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
o At least 3 days of food that is ready to eat or requires minimal preparation
o Manual can opener and other cooking supplies
o A change of clothes, sturdy shoes, and rain gear for each member of the family
o Medications/eyeglasses plus copies of prescriptions for each
o A minimum of $50 cash that is in small bills
o Personal hygiene items (teeth, hair, body, feminine)
o First aid kit
o Radio & extra batteries
o Flash drive or external hard drive with copies of important documents, such as
- Contact list with phone numbers
- Insurance policies
- Home inventory with photos
- Family photos
- Birth and death certificates
- Backup of computer files
- Medical records
- Passports, visas
- Banking and investment information
- Wills and trusts
- Pension and employee benefits information
- Court documents
- Mortgage records
- Tax returns
- Business records
o Gum and hard candy
o Flashlight & extra batteries
o Basic tools, such as work gloves, pry bar, N95 masks, duct tape, sheet plastic
o Lotion, sun block, lip balm
o Pocket knife
o Waterproof matches
o Cards, games, books, etc. for entertainment
o Extra house and car keys
If you have children, seniors, pets, or disabled members of your family, make sure that any special items they may need are included in their kits.
If there are items that you may wish to take from your home, such as family keepsakes, be sure to make a list so you know just what to quickly grab. Keep that list with your kit.
Did you know that this month is National Preparedness Month?
Read these words the President:
“During National Preparedness Month, we stress the importance of strengthening the security and resiliency of our Nation through systematic preparation for the full range of hazards threatening the United States in the 21st century, including natural disasters, cyber attacks, pandemic disease, and acts of terrorism. This year marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the most tragic and destructive disasters in American history. In remembrance of this national tragedy, we must reaffirm our commitment to readiness and the necessity of preparedness…By empowering Americans with information about the risks we face, we can all take concrete actions to protect ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country…I encourage all Americans to visit Ready.gov and CitizenCorps.gov for more information and resources on emergency preparedness, including how to prepare a family emergency plan, create an emergency supply kit, and get involved in community preparedness efforts…By strengthening citizen preparedness now, we can be ready when disaster strikes…
I encourage all Americans to recognize the importance of preparedness and observe this month by working together to enhance our national security, resilience, and readiness.” BARACK OBAMA