by Barbara Latta
|Several people were killed by tornadoes last week.|
Tornadoes in Texas killed several people and caused widespread damage to property. Flooding in several states, including my home town in Arkansas, abounded last week. Most of the time we do not think about the possibility of evacuation, but a few tips and preparedness can save us a lot of heartache if we will plan ahead.
In the event of a disaster that does not require leaving the home, living for days or weeks without electricity can be a possibility. 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:
- 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
Store shelves will empty fast during an emergency.
- 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. Waterproof matches are available to purchase at camping supply stores because wet ones will do no good.
- Propane lanterns are safer than candles, last longer and produce brighter light.
- 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 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.
|Rising Caddo River in Glenwood, Arkansas|
(Photo by Rodney Woodard)
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?
How to prepare for a natural disaster (click to tweet)
Emergency readiness tips (click to tweet)