Simple & Easy – Emergency Preparedness
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Emergency Awareness Plan Part 2

LDS - Emergency Awareness Plan

The first step in your family preparedness plan is to create a good 72 hour kit that will provide for your basic needs, enabling you to be self-reliant for a three day period of time. It’s as though you’re preparing for a camp out for 3 days and 3 nights. You need to select items that can be stored for at least a year and are lightweight so you can evacuate your home, if necessary.

The following list can be used as you assess your family’s specific needs. You’ll need: food and water, equipment to provide heat and light, shelter, bedding, clothing, communication items, tools, first aid and medication, personal hygiene items, important documents and some extra cash. We’ll go over each of these categories and list useful items.

Let’s start with food and water. Thank you. Water is one of the most important elements in your 72 hour kit. There are a variety of products available for storing water. And some are more suited to 72 hour kits than others. Some excellent ways for storing water are: 1 – the prepackaged water pouches in Aqua box. These have an excellent storage life, pack easily and are… 3 – there’s a five gallon metalized Mylar bag. These bags inhibit bacterial growth by being light-proof and they come from the factories spore-free. The bag is protected by a 350 pound crush weight box and some of these boxes even convert into portable toilets. This type of water storage provides enough water for two people for 3 days. 4…

As far as the food for the 72 hour kit, some of the best for those are those that have been designed for the armed forces. These include the high-calorie food or energy bars such as Clip Bars, Granola, Hula Bars or the MRE meals which are ready to eat right out of the pouch. MRE or Meals Ready to Eat have a shelf life of approximately 5-7 years. They come in a variety of entrees and have all the moisture content intact within the pouch. They can be eaten hot or cold and don’t require a can opener. Familiar foods such as chicken stew or spaghetti and therefore, bring an element of normality to any emergency situation. MREs are generally available at sporting goods stores.

Did you know that a single match can make all the difference between survival and death? Warmth is especially important. Because of the danger of hypothermia, a condition where the body’s core temperature sinks too low and the brain and vital organs stop working. Every 72 hour kit should have warming equipment like warm packs that will keep your fingers and toes warm, even in severe weather. Candles, blankets – even a camp heater would be nice.

In most emergency situations, the loss of utilities is a common occurrence. That’s why it makes sense to have some form of portable light system in your emergency preparation. The chemical light stick makes an excellent source of portable light. They’re safe, non-toxic and have an excellent shelf life. And it makes a great source of light in case you suspect you have a gas leak inside your home. And they come in several different colors. It’s also important to have a good flashlight on hand, with plenty of extra batteries and extra light bulbs as well.

If you have to leave your home in a moment’s notice, you would probably be very grateful that you had in your 72 hour kit, reliable shelter, bedding and extra clothing. Your shelter can run the spectrum from the most elaborate tent on the market to a plastic poncho. Emergency or rescue blankets that have a metalized liner, will retain up to 90% of your radiant body heat and provide a light, effective mean of insulation. A good sleeping bag is probably your best investment and providing insulation from cold.

A synthetic fill material, such as Hollofil or Quallofil will retain much retain much as its loft or insulation value, even when it’s wet. Cotton is a cooling fabric and should not be used as insulation, especially when it gets wet. So when you’re picking clothing for your kit, remember to find fabrics that dry quickly and keep you safe.

Can you imagine how terrible it would be to go without any information during an emergency? Some simple communications gear would certainly be needed for a good kit. An AM/FM radio is an essential item for you kit – something that runs on batteries or one that has some additional power sources: a solar cell on top and hand-crane generator on the side. Having a radio in your kit ensures that you always have emergency broadcast information during a crisis.

Signaling devices such as a whistle can be used if you’re stranded without help. Some tools would also be helpful in an emergency. There are many helpful tools in this inexpensive pocket knife. A small shovel can be useful. We don’t know why – but we’ve been told it might be useful. Some nylon stocking just in case you wanna rob a bank. The nylon cord can also be used to dry out wet clothing, clash together some handy camp gadgets.

A variety of other hand tools might be needed. Choose tools that have a variety of uses, conserve weight and space in your kit. A first aid kit and personal medications are the next items to include in emergency supplies. When it comes to first aid, all of the supplies in the world will do you no good if you don’t know how to use them. So first and foremost, get some training. This is generally available through your local Red Cross, hospitals or fire department.

Then, armed with this knowledge, you can help those around you. Basic supplies should include assorted bandages, dresses and ointments. Pain relief tablets, splints and compresses are also excellent to have on hand. You can increase these types of supplies as your level of knowledge and expertise increases.

Toiletries and personal hygiene items are important during a three day period away from the comfort of your home. This is an item that is often overlooked, but really ought to be addressed. In your 72 hour kit, you’ll want to include such personal hygiene products as toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors and shaving cream. Also, shampoo, soap and toilet tissue. Also include diapers and wipes for the infants and feminine hygiene products as well. You will also need to include some sort of portable toilet – a water sanitation kit that we talked about earlier is an excellent means for providing for this need.

Create a red file with important documents. Documents that should be included: certified copies of deeds, entitles to property, insurance papers, wills and trusts. A medical history for each member of the family plus important personal papers: family photographs and other irreplaceable documents. This can also be scanned and store on a thumb drive or CD – hard-copy documents should be kept in a water-proof container such as this zip bag and stored in or near your 72 hour kit.

A little money could be important and when we say money, we don’t mean “Keep it in your ATM”. In the event of a general disaster, maybe cash and carry for a while. And as we learned from recent disasters, the banks may not have the electricity either. So keep an adequate amount of cash in small bills in your 72 hours kit. Cell phones may also be useful, but may or may not function. Pay phones are some of the first phones working after a general disaster so keep some change in your kit.

Designate an out of area contact as a focal point for your family in the event of a local disaster. With all these supplies collected and put into a suitable container, you’ve made an important step towards becoming more self-reliant.

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