THis article was one that I had writen for a local paper.
We don't get first impact open water from Hurricans but 35 years ago today Wilkes Barre and several other areas in PA were devestated. Buildings leveled, water over the roofs, the business district of downtown never came back. Only a year ago the entire valley was evacuated and the water reached the dike, and went over in many out lying areas.
Then there was the F2 tornado that went through our small mountain town..who would ever think. Even as we headed to the basement, and heard it around us, I was in disbelief. The town highschool lost a roof, many homes too. The ball field torn up, entire forest a 1/4 mile wide leveled. The roads were impassable everywhere from 60 foot pines to hundred year old oaks.
Everyone was unprepared and for three days we were without power, many for over a week. The grocery store and strip malls lost their front windows, all blown out.
So I wrote several parts of emergency preparedness articles. This is one part; not sure if it is the final copy or not.....There is one for long term or evacuation, and also for food or meals to plan.
Emergency Preparedness Kit
When an emergency is imminent, is not the time to rush for a flash light, transistor radio or safe shelter. Having a preparedness kit, plan to implement and family understanding of what to do in emergency’s is critical. Just having a plan to where children will be safe and what they will take in an emergency will reduce anxiety during an emergency and help parents to implement what actions are needed.
But, preparedness starts far before the emergency. When the power goes off, how prepared is your family, do you scramble or have you prepared a kit and needed items at hand? With dollar stores and department stores competitive prices it is inexpensive to have items on hand.
First, are our short term immediate needs, and then a long term emergency kit. Determine will this be a short term inconvenience or long term emergency. There are six basics you should stock for your home in the case of an emergency: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items for medical conditions. These fundamentals can be kept in Rubbermaid type container to back-packs depending on the emergency kit prepared.
In this informational article I will share a simple kit for a short term emergency/power outage. For example; winter weather/summer storm related power outage.
One item that is extremely convenient is an emergency portable lighting that will activate in the event of a power failure. These units will give you immediate light in a hall, bedrooms, or major use areas. The typical emergency light will remain in an outlet and automatically light when a power outage happens. They will often hold a charge for the duration of short term power outages.
Another important item is a transistor radio, from the inexpensive to the NOAA weather band available are extremely valuable to learn about information relating to your emergency.The emergency radio that I purchased has several sources of power; rechargeable battery, hand crank, and AC adapter. Another option my Red Cross radio has is an outlet for charging cell phones or to power your cordless phone. That is another item to consider; an inexpensive land line phone; cordless phones do not work during power outages.
Additionally, I have a small battery operated television that was used during many recent outages to entertain the family throughout the long hours; some can even hook to cable. A real enjoyment was the rechargeable DVD player for our kids, keep yours charged and accessible. Board games, a deck of cards and music players are other sources of passing time.
For the Adults, keep in the kit; duct tape, plastic sheathing, whistle, flares, shut off wrench for gas and water, fire extinguisher, cash, aluminum foil, plastic zip-lock type bags, hygienic hand wipes, first aid kit, and lots of extra batteries.
For lighting, invest in LED rechargeable or battery operated lanterns and flashlights. They offer wide scopes brightness and have a long lasting light. Keep a supply of flashlights and small battery operated lighting; they are much safer then candles. If you use candles, do not leave them unattended and always in a container as a jar light. Avoid the use of dangerous stick candles.
Other areas of preparedness we all should consider are long term emergency kits and foods kit preparation to utilize during emergency use or evacuation. If an emergency or evacuation happened right now, what supplies do we have ready?
This Red Cross.org is excellant link with almost anything you need to know, about food, water, documents...