We’ve had another vivid reminder in the past few weeks that we’re in the midst of a severe weather season. So let’s take a moment to review the important factors to keep in mind, to keep your family safe.
First, plan ahead! The best time to get things in order, is in less stressful, more organized times. When threatening weather approaches, additional decisions must be considered such as “stay or evacuate.” So it makes sense to control what you can, long before conditions get ominous. This even includes making arrangements to stay with someone outside the area. If you know places you can evacuate to in advance, it becomes one less critical issue to resolve at crunch time.
Of course most emergency situations don’t involve leaving the area. Every family must have a house escape plan that is reviewed with everyone in the household. Discuss and practice with your children. Have 2 ways out of each room, so there’s always an alternative for escape.
Use “normal times” to put together your emergency prep kit with materials to last for at least 3 days. Food products should be non-perishable, filling, nutritious and not require electricity. Include a manual can opener and don’t forget food and water for your pets. Speaking of water, 1 gallon per person, per day is a good rule of thumb.
Your family first aid kit should also be fully stocked. Remember to include family medications and keep them in a water-proof container of some sort. Make sure prescription information is in your security kit as well, especially if you are vacating the area. Store your kit in a cool, dry place that is easy to get to.
You should have easy access to the usuals … flashlights, batteries, matches, candles, portable radios, as well as tools like pliers, wrenches and screwdrivers. Remember that you may need to locate these items in total darkness, if emergency conditions occur at night. Consider staggering usage of family cell phones and have a plan to keep phones charged, so that you have access to communication for as long as possible.
Natural disasters have their share of pressure and peril. Do the best you can to minimize the dangers for your family.