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You can only predict some natural disasters like hurricanes and a possible volcanic eruption, but mother nature has her way even then. What we expect sometimes turns out to come in different forms and forces us to make other plans on the spot.
However, if we had plans in place, it wouldn’t have been so hard to adjust to any change in the conditions. For a fact, when a natural disaster strikes, you may have little or no time to get particular stuff done, which should have already been in place.
The best bet…prepare now and be on the safe side even if it doesn’t come! Planning is the best way to cope and protect yourself and your family in the case of an emergency. But what is the best way to know what you need to have and do? Create Disaster Prepper Check List.
What To Put On Your Disaster Prepper Check List
Why Have A Disaster Prepper Check List?
A disater preparedness checklist is the best way to be sure you have all the items you need and what you should do when an emergency arises. It provides a guide for the entire family and reduces the risk of potential panicking. When you create a checklist, discuss it with your family as well as put it up around the home where everyone can see it (refrigerator, notice board, or even in the kitchen).
To protect your community by extension, you can check with your local office or authorities about the disaster which may happen in the area. Checklists come in many different forms, and all are vitally important. When planning, you need to:
Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit
This task is, by far, one of the most important stages of preparing for an emergency. You can store the items in a backpack or travel bag (or whatever you deem fit) that is portable and can move with when rushing. This kit includes:
- Water – Every member you are preparing for should have enough drinking and cooking water to serve for a few weeks or months (an estimated one gallon per person per day).
- Non-perishable Foods – These include canned foods or those packaged foods (no refrigeration needed).
- Clothing – Rain gear, sturdy boots, and warm clothes
- Blankets, sleeping bags or sponges
- Medication (including prescription), and first aid kit (bandage tape, rubbing alcohol, pain killers, cotton, etc.)
- Battery-powered flashlights, radios (and fans if needed), and a few packs of batteries
- Cash and credit card (you never know if you may need to purchase something along the way!)
- Extra set of car and house keys
- Emergency contact numbers including contacts for the family doctor(s)
- Personal and essential documents should be kept in a fire and water-proof holder (ID, Driver’s License, Passport, Birth Certificates, etc.)
- Important items necessary for infants and the elderly (such as unique serial numbers for medical devices like glasses, wheelchairs, pacemakers, etc.)
There are other items you can add to the kit as you deem fit, which you may need if you have to move out.
Contact Your Local Emergency Management Office(s)
Are you aware of potential disasters or emergency activities prone to your area? If not, contacting your emergency management office is the best option. They will have all the information you need to help you to prepare adequately. You can find out details such as:
- Disasters that happen most in the area
- The best way to prepare for any potential disaster
- How they issue warnings in an impending disaster (so you can keep your radio or television on)
- The evacuation routes for the area
- Possible assistance for infants, elderly and the disabled
It is also essential to check your workplace emergency plans, your school, and that of your children (including daycare).
Emergency Family Planning
Every family needs to have a time they set aside to discuss details should an emergency strike. Enlighten them about disasters such as fire, weather, earthquakes, and more are essential.
Also, the response action for each should be detailed. A safe spot in the home should a disaster strike is necessary and should have all the emergency items listed in the kit above. However, when choosing this location, ensure there is an alternative escape you other than the main entrance. But what should you discuss with your family? Here is a guide on what you may talk about:
- Power outages and how to respond to them
- What to do in case you get injured during the emergency
- Design a floor plan and highlight two escape routes for each room
- How to disable the power, water and gas switches should the need arise
- Distribute a list of all emergency contacts as well as place them beside home phones. You should also discuss when it is necessary to call 911 or any other emergency contact. Also, give a local and out of state friend and family contact should there be separation during an emergency. (The central communication point will be able to provide location and whereabouts of each member).
- Central assemble areas close to your home and out of the area in case you have to evacuate.
Discuss basic first aid and CPR practices (demonstrate if needed) Discuss essential details such as:
- Before opening a door, check the bottom of the said door with the palm. If the door is hot, then it is safer to use another escape route (during a fire).
- In case of a fire, it is safer to stay low on the ground and crawl to safety.
You should also consider having the following items when preparing for an emergency:
- A collapsible ladder if one has to escape from a high-rise building
- A fire extinguisher (one that all family members can operate)
- A whistle to alert unsuspecting family members of an emergency
- Smoke detectors
- Water sprinklers
Be Flexible & Proactive With An Escape Plan
You need an escape plan for every type of emergency, as not all require the same. You should develop a plan for your home and discuss it with your family because emergency calls for flexibility and fast action. Detail every route and how to get there no matter what area of the house you are.
Also, a note to add, putting emergency kits close to evacuation routes, is ideal, and you can grab on the way out. This detailed plan should show everything that is required (highlight the gas, water and electrical switches in different colors, etc.) Once you highlight all escape routes, emergency kit location, switches, and other necessary ems, you need to point a safe area outside where all family members should meet (driveway, lawn, poolside, play area, etc.).
However, the best way to know if everyone understands it is to practice. At least twice per year, one should do a mock emergency evacuation drill.
Your car could be a critical tool in case of an emergency, and you have to travel out of the area or even stay put for a while. As such, having a disaster preparedness checklist for this is important! Having a ready kit will go a far way. For this kit, you should have:
- Battery-powered flashlight and radio (with extra batteries)
- Blankets and other items of clothing for you and the family
- Fire Extinguishers (you can research which is best to use)
- Booster cables
- First aid kit and medical kit
- Water and non-perishable foods
- Spare tire and kit (air pumps, etc.)
- Charging cables for your phone
Additional Tips To Consider:
- Prepare pet evacuation
- Design home with an emergency in mind (strap large appliances to walls or ground, hang picture and glasses away from the bed, store hazardous chemicals in non-leak containers, fasten shelves to prevent falling, etc.)
- Repair defective wiring and gas leaks
- Other actions you feel are necessary.
Emergency happens when it sees fit, and though you may prepare, one still has to be on their guard. Last, but certainly not the least, if you have to evacuate, remember to lock your doors as not everyone is up to good while a disaster is on. Stay safe and alive!
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