As we embark upon the second half of the month, I wanted to call your attention to National Preparedness Month and a few things you can do to make sure you are prepared in the event of a disaster.
There are any number of agencies and organizations that provide this type of information, but the most popular, and perhaps the most informative, is FEMA. Not only does FEMA have a wealth of information on their website, anyone can take their online courses to become more aware and prepared.
This isn’t about underground bunkers and bomb shelters like in Brendan Frasier’s movie “Blast from the Past,” although I think that would be really cool to have. Unfortunately Texas soil is not quite ideal for underground shelters or even basements.
But it is about just having a few things available ready to grab or use in the case of an emergency. We have tornadoes here so disasters come with little or no specific warnings—but there is a lot we can do to be ready for the inevitable power outages. Those of you in hurricane areas or flood zones have your own issues.
Here is a list of things that FEMA recommends you keep available in a basic emergency supply kit. Remember, you should be able to support yourself after an emergency event for at least 3 days.
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- 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, inverter or solar charge
You can find more comprehensive information at FEMA.gov.