After having had a rare earthquake yesterday and anticipating a hurricane this weekend, it seems now is a great time to share some tips about how to make an Emergency Kit. While I live inland from the North Carolina coast, hurricanes can mean severe storms and tornadoes, so its important to be prepared for what may come. My first and best resource for extensive emergency information and precautions come from FEMA , READY.GOV , and the American Red Cross
For today’s video, I’ve got a few lesser known tips that will make your emergency kit just that much better taking care of the little things to help you weather the storm, whatever form it may take. Here are my favorites:
1. Keep your kit year round. Designate it to serve this one purpose by giving it a nice big label and stocking it with the obvious items you might need no matter what the emergency. Think batteries, flashlights, non-perishable foot items, bottled water and more. The point is you’ll get a jump start every time there is the need for this kind of support by having it set needing just a quick refresh, ready to go.
2. Have a paper checklist. I love the one my insurance agent just sent because it includes all the important phone numbers I might need. Remember, when severe weather hits, cell phones can be a saving grace but they too can be out of service. Don’t depend solely on your electronic calendar or information. Have one set of important papers copied and stored in a waterproof case inside this bin to make sure if you need to find key information, its just a file folder and piece of paper away.
3. Charge everything with a switch. Think mobile phone, cameras, and video cameras to make sure you can both communicate and journal any damage your property may experience. My secret weapon for staying connected? My GO GREEN mobile charger is the bomb! Charge it as you do all other media and then when juice runs low, you can recharge without an outlet anywhere you go. You might consider having more than one of these on hand to charge your family completely.
4. Plan for pain. Make a travel kit of comfort items for personal hygiene and physical care. Think medicine for an upset stomach, fresh wipes, or aspirin for the headache you might get when your kids are whining. Think of any kind of personal care item you don’t want to be caught without and choose travel sized items to make sure you aren’t left feeling more miserable than need be. Make a separate kit for your kids needs because they will be unique to your own and likely require different solutions.
5. Don’t run on empty! Think prescriptions, cash, and gas. Fill your prescriptions for a month, have a stash of emergency cash, and get both cars to a full tank of gas as early as you can before the lines are too long. If you lose power, you won’t have the ability to use the cash box or get gas because those machines won’t work. And if you need to leave town, you’ll find yourself stuck and that’s not a good place to be.
6. Pack an activity bag. Pack one up for each child including the kinds of things you know will keep them happy. Think small electronics like Ipods and Nintendo DS games (charged of course), coloring supplies, books to read and more. Make them unique and even ask them to join you to assemble them. Include a flashlight in each bag and if the kids are territorial, a label will make all the difference in knowing whose is whose. Icing on the cake? Through in a game or two and make the most of your family time having fun while you wait out the weather.
7. Share your plans. Let a family member not in the area know what your plans are. That way, when the weather is upon you and communication isn’t possible, they’ll know what steps you are taking, where you may be going, and when they can anticipate hearing from you again. You can’t put a price tag on keeping nerves calm for friends and family who can’t wait to see you through safe and sound.
Remember, these are just a few of the less obvious tips that will help make your Emergency Kit complete. Should your family be faced with a natural disaster, I hope you stay safe and weather it well. What is the most important thing you include in your Emergency Kit?
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