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Be Prepared for an Emergency

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One year ago this month I returned from a trip welcomed by hurricane winds followed by a week without electrical power. I live in Ohio. We don’t get hurricane winds so it was not exactly the homecoming I was hoping for.

I am sure the good people of Atlanta did not expect Noah’s Ark to come through their city without notice this week either. No one expected the levy to break during Katrina and we have still not recovered. The point is emergencies happen everyday, most with little warning. It is important to be ready and an emergency kit is a great way to help prepare for the unexpected.

I always keep extra food and water in the house but I realized in preparing for this talk that I really don’t have everything handy. With a little time and a quick trip to the store I was able to get my kit together pretty easily.

Have a plan.

Talk with your family and develop a plan. Know where you would meet and what person will pick up the kids at school.

Talk to you neighbors and find out who will check on whom.

An out of town contact number is important as local service could be overloaded during an emergency. Have all of your family members use the same one to keep informed.

An emergency contact should be kept in your cell phone under the name ICE (in case of emergency) so people know where to look if you are unable to talk.

Know where to turn off utilities and have a tool handy so that you may do that.

Prepare a Kit

Have a kit in your basement, under the steps or even under your bed in a cool dry place. It helps to have an evacuation bag within the kit or in your car in case you have to leave suddenly. The kit should include:

1) Water, 1 gallon per person per day for 3 days for evacuation, 2 weeks for home

2) Food for 3 days for evacuation and 2 weeks for home (canned food, protein bars and rotate out on a regular basis))

3) Flashlight

4) Bleach (16 drops can disinfect a gallon of water)

5) Hand sanitizer

6) Disinfecting wipes

7) Battery powered radio (preferable hand cranked and NOAA weather too)

8) First aid kit

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.