Here are some pointers for getting started in preparing yourself for a disaster.
Staging Your Supplies
One of the most important concepts to understand for disaster readiness is staging your supplies in multiple locations. The locations and circumstances in which you stage your supplies will be dictated by what you can store in that particular location.
- Close friend’s house
- Family members’ homes
- Traveling to Work (if you take the Metro)
From DHS’ www.ready.gov
KIT STORAGE LOCATIONSBe Prepared For Emergencies While Traveling
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Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.
Your disaster supplies kit should contain essential food, water and supplies for at least three days.
Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
Additionally, you may want to consider having supplies for sheltering for up to two weeks.
You need to be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Make sure you have food and water and other necessities like medicines in your kit. Also, be sure to have comfortable walking shoes at your workplace in case an evacuation requires walking long distances.
Your kit should also be in one container and ready to “grab and go” in case you are evacuated from your workplace.
In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car. This kit should include:
- Jumper cables
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- First aid kit and necessary medications in case you are away from home for a prolonged time
- Food items containing protein such as nuts and energy bars; canned fruit and a portable can opener
- Water for each person and pet in your car
- AM/FM radio to listen to traffic reports and emergency messages
- Cat litter or sand for better tire traction
- Ice scraper
- Warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- A fully-charged cell phone and phone charger
- Flares or reflective triangle
- Baby formula and diapers if you have a small child
Be prepared for an emergency by keeping your gas tank full and if you find yourself stranded, be safe and stay in your car, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.
Supplies to Collect and Things to Do
- Scan all of your property records and photo IDs (be aware that copying CAC cards is generally a no-no) and store them on a secured remote file service
- Put an Otterbox on your phone
- Put an OtterBox on your iPad and/or Android tablet
- Buy spare phone and tablet chargers
- Buy a gas can for your car
- Buy Spare Knives
- I recommend MoraKniv for a well made and sharp fixed blade knife to keep in your pack
- Buy a few Leatherman Multi-tools
- Load up your Android Tablet or iPad with essential information
- Load the free PDF “Where there is no doctor” onto your tablet
- Load Survival Apps onto your iPad
- I would also recommend loading up your phone or tablet with cartoons and comics for the kids (big and little)
- Buy spare t-shirts and undershirts
- Buy spare jeans
- Buy spare packs of underwear
- Buy spare packs of socks
- Buy spare tennis shoes
- Buy spare cases of water
- Buy some prepackaged medical and first aid kits
- Buy water purification tablets
- Purchase a Katadyn brand water filter
- These are the “gold standard” when it comes to water filters
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes
- Garbage bags
- Plastic ties
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
More from DHS’ Ready.Gov
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler’s checks and change
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit – EFFAK (PDF – 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this web site. (See Publications)
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
First aid kit information from DHS’ Ready.Gov
In any emergency a family member or you yourself may suffer an injury. If you have these basic first aid supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones when they are hurt.
Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. You may consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.
- Two pairs of Latex or other sterile gloves if you are allergic to Latex
- Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
- Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes
- Antibiotic ointment
- Burn ointment
- Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
- Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant
- Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers.
- You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
- Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies
- Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
Other first aid supplies:
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
More from DHS’ www.ready.gov
Remember the unique needs of your family members, including growing children, when making your emergency supply kit and family emergency plan.
- Powdered milk
- Moist towelettes
- Diaper rash ointment
For more information about the care and feeding of infants and young children during an emergency, visit the California Dept. of Public Health website.
- Denture needs
- Contact lenses and supplies
- Extra eye glasses
Ask your doctor about storing prescription medications such as heart and high blood pressure medication, insulin and other prescription drugs.
If you live in a cold climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat. Think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including:
- Jacket or coat
- Long pants
- Long sleeve shirt
- Preparing for an Emergency (monarcaresblog.com)
- Serval Mesh Founders Aim To Create Disaster-Proof Mobile Network (huffingtonpost.com)