by Barbara Latta
Recent flooding in Louisiana has brought to light once again the importance of being
prepared for any kind of emergency.
|Flooding damages homes and vehicles.|
Thousands of residents had damage to homes and vehicles who did not live in a flood plain. They had no flood insurance because they did not see the need for the coverage. We can see now how helpful a plan covering water damage would have alleviated so much financial ruin.
In the event of a disaster that does not require leaving the home, you may be living for days or weeks without electricity. Pre-planning can avoid scarcity and empty shelves. If homes do not have electrical power, neither will the stores, banks, ATM’s or gas stations.
The following steps can be a start in the preparation process:
|Propane stoves are good backup cooking.|
- Review insurance policies on homes, vehicles, and personal property.
- Store a supply of bottled water. Calculate how much you would need for your entire family, including pets, for at least one month. Don’t forget you will need water for washing clothes and yourself at some point.
- Keep your vehicle as full of fuel as possible at all times. If your entire community is evacuating, gas lines require long waits. Also, if there is no power, gas pumps will not work.
- Put a first aid kit in your vehicle along with flashlights, a blanket or two, and a small compressor for low tires.
- Try to keep an amount of cash on hand in a safe, but easily accessible place for you. If ATM’s don’t work, neither will credit card machines in stores.
- Pre-packaged food in sealed containers is available for purchase at many outlets. Buying a few month’s supply of this type of nourishment can give you what you need in the event stores are over-run with a stampede of panicky people. These packages only require adding water and could be prepared on an outdoor grill or campfire.
- If you have a propane grill or fireplace, keep the fuel levels as high as possible. Extra tanks of fuel for the grill is a good idea. Propane lanterns are safer than candles, last longer and produce brighter light. Also, small propane stoves serve as backups.
- Buy a generator.
- Refill medications as often as possible to have extra supplies available.
- Pack a container such as a large plastic foot locker and keep important papers such as passports, birth certificates and other irreplaceable or hard to replace items inside. Pack your extra medications, water, food, flashlights, and medical kits. The entire container could then be picked up and taken with you if you had to leave in a hurry.
We never know what awaits us in the future and proper planning can save us a lot of headaches and pain. Most of the time we do not think of having emergency items stored away until it is too late to do so.
What ideas could you add to this list? Are you prepared?