Are You Ready For An Emergency?

Editor's Note: This was published in 2011, but the information is still relevant. I had planned on writing something totally different, hear that, PLANNED! We can plan, think ahead and still we do not really know for sure what's going to happen tomorrow. I live in Southern California now but, in my life, I have lived through the worst snow storm, horrible flooding, the riots in LA, many earthquakes just this year, and a tsunami which they thought would wipe out the entire West Coast. My family in Louisiana has endured several hurricanes.
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Being prepared for unexpected emergencies is important. If you didn't think so before, look at the East Coast this week. Many have experienced their first earthquake and now the worst hurricane in decades. I'm sure not one person was prepared for a natural disaster in the summer of 2011. Since we all know now, there isn't a way of knowing for sure we can still be prepared with what I have learned living where earthquakes happen. My family has lived through times when power lines are down, no electricity, phones, etc..

What everyone recommends is 3 days worth of everything such as WATER; drinking water and water for cleaning yourself up. In a case where we know it's going to hit, have everyone take showers or bathe and be clean. Fill tub up with water. If you do have a back yard, porch or balcony, you may want to fill buckets or tubs with extra water. Putting water in pots on the stove can work also.You may or may not have electricity or running water, you've got to think ahead. Remembering DRINKING water is the most important so 3 days worth of fresh, clean water!

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Food is the same rule, since we don't know how long electricity might be down. You need to get non perishable items like tuna, bread and peanut butter. Pop some popcorn up, it stays fresh quite easily in a grocery bag. I eat organic but rules may need to be broken on what kinds of food last without refrigeration so plan for at least 3 days. Any canned items, juices, Gatorade, or snacks will be very tasty, if needed. If subways, buses, roads or traffic lights are down, you aren't going anywhere for a little while at the very best.

You will need batteries (make sure you have plenty), a portable radio with AM/FM, have all cellphones charged, have charger packed with suitcase, if possible. Have candles, flashlights, matches or lighter, first aid kit just in case. Your usual things need to be in first aid kit: antiseptic, band aids, aspirin, etc. Baby wipes, paper towels and hand sanitizer are a must to stay clean without using water. Also VERY important, have 3 days worth of prescription medicine. If possible, get medications refilled.

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Have important papers put in a case next to bags in case of having to evacuate. Remember what's really important. Every material item can be replaced, however important documents can be very hard to track down.

I think having a bag or suitcase ready is a good idea. You never know if there may be an evacuation. Having it ready ahead of time means less stress in an already stressful situation. Have all cars filled with gas, battery checked, oil and tires filled, just in case. It's better off being done. If it's not needed, you have saved yourself a trip when it all passes. If you live where you can have an extra gas can filled with gas, it may not be a bad idea.

Have things to keep yourself occupied, such as cards or games that you can play or paper and coloring books for the kids. If you have small Gameboy type thing, this is one time you will not be putting a time limit on it. If children are busy and you aren't acting like you're afraid, they wont be either. Have blankets and pillows out and ready in case lights are off. Don't worry, you can easily put them back when the emergency is over.

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I hope this at least gave you a few much needed ideas and got you thinking.

By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

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September 12, 20110 found this helpful

These are some very good tips. You've definitely got me thinking!
Our power was off for a couple of hours last month due to an auto accident involving local power lines. We were without power for about 15 hours when the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through Ohio. We were very thankful our gas stove still worked, even though we needed matches to light burners. Of course, we still need to get flashlights - not for me since I'm blind anyway, but for hubby, lol! We'll be working on the rest of your preparedness tips. Thanks!

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