If And When Natural Disasters Happen, Your Family Needs A Plan.
The statistics on natural disasters in the United States indicate that since 2010, more than 300 million Americans have been affected by a natural disaster. For some perspective, the total population of the US is about 328 million people – that means almost every American has been affected by natural disasters. However, the stats also indicate that over sixty percent of Americans have no emergency plan to put into action when natural disasters happen. This statistic needs to change!
Instead of holding onto blind hope that you will be in the overwhelming minority of Americans who are unaffected by natural disasters, make a plan instead! This article outlines some of the most important resources to stock in your family’s emergency case, as well as tips for other ways to make sure your family is prepared in case the worst happens. Having the right resources at your disposal in an emergency can save lives and keep your family from being overwhelmed by a crisis.
Emergency Case Item 1: Food And Water
You might be thinking, “Okay, JUDY, but I always have food – I own a refrigerator!” However, natural disasters can often leave you without power or access to a grocery store, meaning you’ll need food on standby that is non-perishable. Don’t count on the food in your fridge or pantry to be reliable in emergencies. Not only is refrigerated food perishable (it can go bad), it also often can’t go with you if you need to make an emergency evacuation. If a natural disaster forces you and your family to leave your home in a hurry, you need food that is easy to transport and can stay in storage for years without going bad.
An emergency case needs to be stocked with 72 hours worth of non-perishable food, enough for each member of your family. The best food option to make your go-to for emergencies are energy bars. These non-perishable, high-calorie, nourishing bars are designed to replace meals, packed with the macronutrients that your body needs to stay fuller longer. Instead of trying to stock clunkier, bulkier non-perishable food sources like trail mix or dried fruit in your emergency kit, prioritize meal replacement bars instead. An important rule of thumb to consider with your emergency kit is to opt for items that give you the highest amount of functionality while taking up the least amount of space. In terms of food, energy bars are the winner in that department, no contest.
Your emergency case also needs to contain 72 hours’ worth of non-perishable water. You might be scratching your head, thinking, “Non-perishable water? How can water go bad?” To clarify, water bottles can go bad. After a while, the plastic in water bottles starts to deteriorate and lose its integrity, seeping harmful chemicals like BPA into the water inside. These chemicals are seriously bad for your health, so you’ll need an alternative water container option for your emergency case, something with a long, long shelf life.
This is where water pouches come in. Classified as non-perishable thanks to their shelf life of up to five years, water pouches are compact and easy to store in your emergency kit. They follow the same rule as meal replacement bars, our pick for emergency food – they take up minimal space while providing maximum utility. Make sure that your emergency case has 72 hours worth of water pouches in it, enough for each member of your household.
Emergency Case Item 2: Tools For Quick Repairs
Natural disasters can quickly and easily damage your home. With strong winds blowing dangerous debris around, rain causing flooding, and more, there’s plenty of reasons to keep repair supplies in your emergency case.
The goal of the tools you keep in your emergency kit is to make quick, temporary repairs as fast and efficiently as possible. In the midst of a natural disaster, you likely won’t have time or resources to make a full-fledged, permanent repair to a broken window, leaky pipe, or another component of your home. Instead, use the resources in your emergency kit to make a temporary fix until you are able to work on a more permanent one.
One of the most important tools to keep in your emergency kit is duct tape. Ever-reliable and with many practical uses, duct tape is the perfect quick fix for a broken window or leak. With its extremely strong adhesive surface, duct tape can hold back wind and rain to protect you and your family from the elements if you are stuck in your home during a natural disaster. Duct tape can be applied in layers for compounded strength, but a little bit goes a long way.
A multi-tool is another must-have in your emergency kit with a wide variety of uses in crises. A multi-tool consolidates all of the most important items in your toolbox into one portable device. With pliers, a saw, a mini knife, a screwdriver, and more all rolled into one, the multi-tool saves space in your emergency kit and is easy to access and use when you can’t get to larger tools. If you need to evacuate your home, it’s far better to have a versatile multi-tool in your emergency supplies than a bulky toolbox that will weigh you down.
Emergency Case Item 3: First-Aid Supplies
If someone gets hurt in the wake of a natural disaster, you need medical resources on hand and to know how to use them well. A well-stocked first-aid kit should provide you and your family with everything you need to treat minor injuries like burns, cuts, and scrapes, as well as any emergency supplies for any specific medical conditions present in your family.
Make sure your first aid kit contains gauze and bandages, both of which are necessary for dressing bigger or smaller wounds. Educate the members of your family on how to take care of big and small injuries, creating a plan of action for how to address different types of wounds, and practicing the steps involved.
Your kit will also need antibiotics, antiseptic wipes, non-prescription painkillers, and other smaller items that can help treat injuries immensely. Of course, there are some circumstances where you’ll need to seek further medical assistance, but the resources in your first aid kit are invaluable in treating injuries that are smaller. If someone gets seriously hurt during a natural disaster and you and your family do not have immediate access to emergency medical care, train yourself and your family to make the most of the resources in your first aid kit to reduce the severity of injuries until help can be sought.
Being Prepared Is Worth The Effort.
It may be an investment to get your household the resources you need for emergency preparedness, but you won’t regret it. With natural disasters declared in all fifty states in the past five years, nobody is an exception when it comes to the necessity of an emergency kit and plan.
In addition to keeping your emergency kit handy for natural disasters, make sure your family has an evacuation plan if you need to make a quick exit from your home in an emergency. Map out the best exit routes from each area in your house and practice evacuating with your family. In tandem with your emergency kit, a well-rehearsed evacuation plan can get your family to safety and keep everyone safe and healthy in the wake of an emergency.
If you have additional questions, send them our way!