Credit: http://www.ksro.com/emergencypreparedness/guide.aspx

There is much deserved attention being focused on the need for emergency preparation, as Hurricane Sandy barrels towards the most populated regions of the eastern seaboard of the United States.  The need to be ready for an emergency always seems to happen to someone else, far away.  Does your family, neighborhood or community have an emergency plan for whatever natural disasters are most likely in your particular region?

As a family, it is advised to have survival kits for at least three days for each member of your family.  These kits should include clothing, food, water, cash and medication as a bare minimum.  If you have children, you can put a few little things in the kits to keep them happy and comfortable in an emergency.  (Small dollar store type toys can be tucked into the nooks and crannies of a kit.)

For each person in your family you should have:

  • One gallon of water per day (more for a nursing mother)
  • Ready to eat food that does not require a lot of water to prepare (camping and outdoor stores have a variety – try different varieties and try to buy what you will eat), jerky, protein bars, trail mix, etc.
  • Plates, eating utensils, a cup or water bottle
  • First aid kit
  • Hygiene supplies (toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer, feminine supplies)
  • Warm clothing
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Medication
  • Diapers, formula and baby food for babies

For the family you should have:

  • All important documents, sealed in a large Ziploc bag
  • Cash
  • Manual can opener and cooking supplies
  • Work gloves
  • Tarp and tape in case you have to seal windows
  • Heavy duty trash bags and a bucket (your own port-a-potty)
  • Flashlights
  • Hand or solar crank to power a cell phone

You can work with your neighbors to set up plans for your neighborhood in case of an emergency.  Since disasters tend to bring communities together, you can work with neighbors to set up plans for communication, central meeting places, and exchange phone numbers (cell phones) so that in an emergency you are not cut off.  Getting an idea of what types of large tools are available in your neighborhood allows you to see what may be needed in an emergency.  (How many chain saws, lawn tractors, etc. are available?)  Creating a make-shift inlet filter to filter the debris from ground water may help prevent further problems with flooding in the event of heavy rainfall.