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What Should I Know About Emergency Preparedness?

Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 January 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Many people go through daily life dealing with concerns that are obvious and normal, such as how to pay their bills and care for their health. In the regular hustle and bustle, however, many overlook other important considerations, such as emergency preparedness. No matter where you live, it is important to put planning for emergencies on your list of things to do, as you never know when and where an emergency situation may strike.

One of the most important things to have on hand during an emergency is cash, in case you have an emergency and you cannot access an ATM, use a credit card, or get to your bank. For example, if you had to evacuate your town rather quickly, you probably wouldn’t have time to stop to make a withdrawal, even if you could find easy access to an ATM. Some experts suggest having about $100 US Dollars (USD) on hand for each person in your family. It’s also a good idea to have it in smaller bills, as you may have difficulty using larger denominations in certain types of situations.

Emergency preparedness also involves making sure you have flashlights and batteries. Since it’s difficult to predict how long you will be without lights in a power outage, you should also have backup batteries for each flashlight. If you are single, a couple of flashlights will probably do. If you have a family, however, it may be best to have several on hand, considering the possibility that one or more of them may break at some point.

No one is likely to forget food and water when talks of emergency preparedness come up. It’s a good idea to have enough water on hand to last for at least three days. This means stocking at least a gallon (3.78 liters) of water per day for each person in your family. This allows each person two quarts (1.89 liters) of water each day for drinking. The other two quarts (1.89 liters) could then be used for preparing food, washing hands, and other things.

You’ll also need a supply of non-perishable food. Opt for selections that have a very long shelf life and don’t require cooking, such as canned and jarred goods. You can even purchase some milk products in a box, or you can opt for powdered milk. Keep in mind, however, that using powdered milk will cause you to dip into your supply of emergency water.

Having a first aid kit and sanitation supplies on hand is also very important. It’s a good idea to purchase a well-stocked kit and keep it just for emergencies. Then purchase a separate kit for your family to use on a daily basis or buy the supplies you need separately. Your emergency preparedness stock should also include toilet tissue, moist towelettes, soap, detergent, dish liquid, disinfectant, chlorine bleach, rubber gloves, a bucket with a top that fits tightly, plastic garbage bags with ties, and any other items you need for personal hygiene. It’s also wise to have feminine supplies on hand if there are females in your household, even if they haven’t yet begun to menstruate.

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