FEMA’s list of emergency preparedness supplies is pretty basic, food, water, radio, batteries, etc. The same is true for the number of items per person that they recommend. However, there is no way of knowing how long life as we know it could be disrupted due to any kind of natural or man-made disaster. A little extra planning might make the difference between thriving and merely surviving.
Five Emergency Preparedness Tips
FEMA recommends that you have one gallon of water per person per day on hand for a three-day period. Keeping in mind that you will need water for drinking, bathing, cooking, cleaning, and your pets, it is a good idea to have more. Another thing to consider would be if your children will drink the water.
During the last Super Storm, the recommended three days of food per household proved to be much less than people needed. Aside from weekends, many Americans are only actually home for two meals a day, some even less. When planning for the potential of being unable to reach a food source, consider the fact that both you and your children will be home all day every day for a longer period of time.
People also tend to eat more when it is cold or they are bored. Be sure the food you stock up on are things that will be easy to cook on a campfire, wood stove, or grill. Most importantly, be sure the food you buy is food your family will eat. Children are picky eaters by nature, and considering the stress, they will be under during a disaster situation, a little comfort food is not too much to ask for.
Just as with water, remember your pets. It is best to have an extra bag of food on hand for your animals at all times.
It is a good idea to consider what your needs will be in terms of keeping your home cool or warm depending on the season. If your home has a fireplace you will be much better off during a winter storm than those without. However, a fireplace without wood, a fire starter, or matches will be completely useless. Have extra of these items on hand at all times.
During warmer months it will be necessary to keep your home cooler. Opening windows will be your first line of defense whenever possible. Another option is having battery-operated fans on hand.
Grills require propane and charcoal and some source for lighting them. Keep this in mind when you suspect disaster is imminent. Something else you may need is a chainsaw to remove downed trees and limbs, along with extra parts and fuel to keep it running.
Keeping everyone in your home busy without electricity will be harder than you think. Having books, coloring books and crayons, board and card games, and even musical instruments around your home will be beneficial in helping your family to stay sane. For toddler and preschool-age children, busy bags are an excellent source of entertainment. Most of the items to make a busy bag can be found around your home making them cheap as well.
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