How To Be Ready If The Worst Happens
If you’ve ever been affected by a natural disaster, you know they are life-altering crises. In the aftermath of a tornado, earthquake, flood, hurricane, or another emergency, picking up the pieces and getting back to normal life can be a daunting challenge. This is especially true if you find yourself in the midst of a natural disaster without the resources you need to stay safe and healthy.
Being prepared in the event of a natural disaster means you and your family will be able to ride out the crisis with the essentials on hand. It means you have what you need to address injuries, stay well-fed, and keep warm and dry. In this article, we’ll cover the five things you need to be prepared for a natural disaster. We all want to hope that the worst won’t happen, but it’s essential to be ready in case it does.
1. Food That Won’t Go Bad
Your emergency preparedness kit should be equipped with non-perishable food that is calorically dense. Non-perishable food has a long shelf life, doesn’t need refrigeration, and, ideally, is lightweight and easy to carry. One of the best options for a non-perishable food source are high-calorie energy bars. These bars might not be something you’d eat on a daily basis, but in the event of a natural disaster, they’re the perfect food to have handy. Energy bars give you a significant amount of calories, helping you stay full longer.
When natural disasters happen, access to food can easily be restricted by power outages and damage to infrastructure. It’s essential to have food with you that you can count on instead of assuming that you’ll have access to a grocery store under all circumstances. Being prepared for a natural disaster means having everything you’d need handy to stay alive for up to 72 hours without access to outside sources of food and water. In your emergency kit, pack sources of food that are high in calories and have a long shelf life, packing enough for every member of your family.
Other sources of non-perishable food include canned goods, crackers, and trail mix, but these can weigh more and take up a more significant amount of space in your emergency kit. In addition, some cans of food can explode when dropped or jostled, which leaves you at risk of ending up with an emergency kit that is soaked in SpaghettiOs or canned beans. In general, the best option for emergency kit food is something that gives you the most energy possible while taking up the least space possible. For this reason, energy bars are always a safe and reliable go-to.
In addition to food, you’ll also want to make sure to have water on hand in a compact and easily transportable form. The best form of water to keep in your emergency kit is water in pouches, which are easier to carry than bottles. Packing water pouches instead of bottles will save you precious space in your emergency kit, so that it’s easy to store and take on the go.
2. An Emergency Phone Charger
Tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and other natural disasters all have the potential to leave you and your family without power. When a natural disaster occurs, it is essential to have a means of charging your phone in case you lose access to power. Carrying a power bank for your smartphone in your emergency kit is a must. A power kit should give you at least one full charge for your phone without requiring any charging up itself.
If the power goes out because of a natural disaster, use your phone as sparingly as possible. You’ll want to conserve its battery life for any essential functions. Having a battery pack in your emergency kit is also a potential lifesaver if you end up stranded in a broken-down car, if your phone dies during an emergency, or in other similar situations.
3. Flashlights And Glowsticks
Your smartphone might have a flashlight on it, but if the power goes out during a natural disaster, you need a backup source of light. Even with a battery pack in your emergency kit, your phone may die before you have access to power again. For this reason, other sources of light like flashlights and glow sticks are essentials for your natural disaster survival plan.
If you’re going to have only one source of light in your emergency kit, glowsticks are a great option. They don’t require batteries to work and are great for situations where you need light in a pinch. However, having both a battery-powered flashlight and glowsticks in your kit is ideal. Having multiple options for light sources compounds the effectiveness of your emergency kit by giving you extra preparedness in the event that you’re without power for long periods of time.
4. Masks And Hand Sanitizer
Natural disasters can leave behind harmful dust and debris that you want to avoid inhaling, if possible. In addition, a good mask can help protect you from airborne viruses, bacteria, and allergens. Masks are a must-have in your emergency kit, not only for natural disasters but for other situations. Have a mask on hand for each member of your family, both to protect from exposure to germs and to avoid harmful debris.
In addition to masks, hand sanitizer is another need for sanitation and hygiene. You might not have access to running water in the event of a natural disaster, so having a reliable means of keeping your hands clean that is not dependent on water is a must. Hand sanitizer helps you and your family stay safe from germs when washing your hands with soap and water is not an option. When you’re in a situation where many of your resources are compromised, including bathrooms and running water, having a means of cleaning your hands after you do your business is also extremely important, and hand sanitizer will get the job done.
5. First Aid Supplies
If you or one of your family members gets injured during a natural disaster or in its aftermath, your emergency kit can save a life. Packing first aid supplies like bandages, disinfectant, antibiotic ointment, and other essentials will keep you and your family prepared in case someone gets hurt.
In addition to having a first aid kit, it’s important to know how to treat cuts, bruises, and other injuries if they happen. Getting first aid training will equip you to use your emergency kit well and provide you with peace of mind knowing that you’ll know what to do if someone gets hurt. Everyone in your family should know how to use the items in your first aid kit so that if someone in the family is compromised, the other family members can step in and help.
Ultimately, surviving a natural disaster comes down to having the resources you need on hand and keeping a clear head. In a crisis, having an emergency kit with you can make the difference between life and death, and it’s well worth it to be prepared. With food, water, first aid gear, and the other essentials on this list, you’re well on your way to having the ability to navigate a natural disaster well. Keep your emergency kit in a place you can access easily in case you need to evacuate your home with it. If you’re traveling, keep it in your car. You never know when it will come in handy!
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