In Case of Emergency…

September is National Preparedness Month

Presidential Proclamation: “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.”

The time to prepare is BEFORE an emergency. Once an alert has been given, it takes only a few hours for store shelves to be emptied.

My sister, Linda, lived in California during the Northridge earthquake. She learned firsthand what happens in an emergency. Unlike hurricanes, earthquakes give no warning. One moment everything is normal, the next you’re in disaster mode.

Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.

Ethan isn’t sure what he’d do
in an emergency.
Do you?

Yesterday, September 6, Fourmile Canyon Fire forced the evacuation of Boulder, Colorado. At the end of day two, over 90 structures have been lost in the wildfire. Nine firefighters have lost their own homes. Families had just enough time to run to their cars to flee the area. Many did not even have time to take anything with them.

It’s a good idea to have a “Go Bag” packed with essentials like personal items and a change of clothing for everyone in your family. Keep it near a door or in the garage close to your car. You can grab it as you are evacuating your premises.

Emergency preparedness is no longer the sole concern of earthquake prone California, those who live in “Tornado Alley,” and people living in beach towns on the east coast or the Gulf. Preparedness must now consider man-made disasters as well as natural ones.

Possible disasters: Blackouts, chemical threat, earthquakes, explosions, extreme heat, fires, floods, hurricanes, influenza pandemic, landslide, nuclear threat, radiation, threat thunderstorms, tsunamis, volcanoes, wildfires, winter storms and extreme cold.

The following is a basic emergency supply kit list from the government. I’m adding one item to the very top of the list. This comes from my sister’s experience in the Northridge earthquake. CASH…when preparing items for an emergency, make sure cash is on your list. The amount is up to you, but it should all be in small denominations. Linda quickly learned that the first stores to open after the massive earthquake were operating on a limited basis and the banks were CLOSED. Stores were only accepting cash. They did NOT make change at all. So have single dollar bills, fives, and tens…Nothing larger than a twenty. Keep the money where it is out of sight (so you won’t spend it), but easy enough to access. Put some in your “Go Bag.”

Make a family plan: How will you communicate, if your family is not together? Where will you meet? What items would you take from your home if you only had a few minutes to leave?

Items to Consider for Emergency Preparedness:
These recommends are for 3 days provision as a minimum.
Think about what your family might need for 3 weeks or even 3 months.
Click Here to read Rainy Day Health Insurance for more on food storage.

Water: one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days.

Food: a three-day supply of non-perishable food.

Can opener

Battery-powered or hand crank radio

Flashlight and extra batteries

Candles and matches

First Aid Kit

Whistle to signal for help

Dust mask (plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place)

Personal sanitation items: moist towelettes, garbage bags, feminine supplies, etc.

Local maps (GPS)


Diapers, formula, baby wipes and ointment

Pet food

Fire extinguisher

In addition, learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. For more information on National Preparedness Month 2010, check the Ready.Gov site here.

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