Home Preparedness - Part 1
How (and why) you need to build a GO-BAG.
Being prepared is one of the most important things you need to be. If you are one of those people, like many, that sleep in their birthday suit, this is the one reason you need to a Go-Bag. Let’s say there is a fire in your house. You are in a deep sleep. It started with a faulty electrical connection in the wall next to your bedroom closet. Suddenly the fire alarm in the hallway goes off, wakening you. You jump out of bed and realize you cannot retrieve you clothes from the closet. WHAT WILL YOU DO!
If you had a Go-Bag next to your bed, you would pluck it up and exit the room using one of you planned emergency exits. Once outside, you would open your Go-Kit, retrieve and slip on your extra pair of sweat pants and shirt before embarrassing yourself in front of the responders and your neighbors.
Having emergency clothing is just one of the things you need in your Go-Bag. Every member of your household needs to have their own Go-Bag located somewhere that they can easily get to it in the event of an emergency. Besides the basics, each Go-Kit needs to be personalized for its intended owner. Men need some small handy tools such as a wrench to turn off the gas. Women need personal hygiene products. The kids need a toy, a small games or books to keep comfortable during the emergency. New mothers need a small container of formula for their baby. Seniors need extra medication in their Go-Bag.
Everyone need a couple of bottles of water, energy bars, list of emergency numbers, extra cash and as I mentioned before, an extra pair of clothing. For the adults, I recommend a large duffle bag for carrying some of the large bulky items. Kids love small backpacks filled with everything they need.
Beside the personal Go-Bags, every household needs a Household Emergency Kit. This is a larger Kit which should be stored in an easily accessible locations that is not in the house or garage, such as a garden tool shed or a plastic bin behind the gate leading to the backyard. It will contain the following
- Water (1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days)
- Food (for at least a 3 day supply)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- And MONEY!
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Glasses and contact lens solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Next Blog - Home Preparedness - Part 2
Kids Emergency Survival Kit