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As a nation, we encounter we shoulder our share of natural disasters.
Hurricanes, Floods, Earthquakes, Forrest Fires, Blizzards, not to mention the possibilities of technological and accidental disasters, and the threat of terrorist attacks. Any of these can quickly cut you off from emergency services, community safety services and even routes of escape.
Electricity can be lost for weeks at a time as New England found out again this past October with the dangerous snow storm that had tree limbs snapping power-lines throughout the region. It took weeks to restore power to many of the homes and businesses throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts. Food in the refrigerator spoiled quickly and thousands of dollars were lost! What people needed was some type of Food Insurance!
And no one can forget the impact Katrina had on the families trapped after land fall.
You owe it to yourself and your family to be ready in-case the local government or utility providers can not or are unable to handle the shear scale of the emergency quickly.
Plan ahead and be prepared
Depending upon the nature of the emergency at hand and your circumstances, one of the first important decisions is whether to stay where you are or evacuate.
You should understand and plan for both possibilities.
Food and Provisions will be the things you need most if and when you need to take action.
Assemble a "bug-out" bag for quick evacuation.
Even if you are evacuating, you will need to have provisions and tools. Nothing guarantees that the evacuation point that you are being directed to will have enough provisions to go around. There is no need to have to fight for scraps. Be Prepared!
Find out from your local government emergency management teams how you will be notified for each kind of disaster, natural and man-made. You should also ask about alert and warning systems for your workplace, your child's schools, daycare and other locations that will be frequented by members of your family. Methods of alerting you of impending emergencies vary from community to community.
One of the more common methods of emergency notification is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. Your community might hear a special siren (ours has a WWII style air-raid siren), or get a telephone call, or in rare circumstances, volunteers and emergency workers may go door-to-door.
Find out how your community will attempt to get the message out and explain the delivery of the alert and what to do when it is received with your family. The quicker you can get the information the faster you can respond.
Ask local officials the following questions about your community’s disaster/emergency plans.
What hazards are most likely?
How will I get alerts and warnings?
What is the advice and plans for sheltering and evacuation for the hazards that may impact the community?
Are there emergency contact numbers I should have for different situations?
Are there opportunities for preparedness education and training?
Does my community have a plan?
Can I obtain a copy?
What does the plan contain?
How often are plans updated?
What should I know about this plan?
What hazards does it cover?
Asking the questions above will get you well on the way to creating your families emergency plans of action.
What your "Bug-Out" Bag should include
You should have:
Food for you and the family
Pocket Knife (a multi-tool would be best) and other assorted tools
All of this can be purchased in a prepacked system already bagged up and ready to go for you! Click here to see the options that are available.
Stay Put and ride it out "Self Sheltering"
Some emergencies may cut you off from evacuation routes or you may simply be safer staying put in your home, especially if you are prepared to ride out the emergency.
If you are going to stay in place and ride it out until the emergency passes or help can get to you, you will need to be prepared with the proper provisions and supplies.
The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies.
You may already have many of these on hand or you can purchase an emergency pack of freeze dried foods put together for you. Past disasters have illustrated the need to have plenty of supplies stored at home. It may be days before evacuations take place or help can arrive, and if large numbers of people are evacuated there might not be enough food at the shelters. The solution is for people to be self-sufficient.
Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener and pocket knife.
Protein or fruit bars
Dry cereal or granola
Salt free Nuts
Salt free Crackers
Non-perishable pasteurized milk
High energy foods
Food for infants
Evacuations are more common than many people realize. Fires and floods cause evacuations most frequently across the U.S. and almost every year, people along coastlines evacuate as hurricanes approach. In addition, hundreds of times a year, transportation and industrial accidents release harmful substances, forcing many people to leave their homes.
Plan how you will assemble your family and supplies and anticipate where you will go for different situations. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency and know the evacuation routes to get to those destinations.
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