Whether an emergency is the result of a natural disaster or a man-made crisis, your family needs to be prepared. Being prepared will give you and your family peace of mind when circumstances are out of your control. There’s a lot of information out there on emergency preparedness, but below are four basic things you need to know now.
Emergency Prep Crash Course: Four Things Your Family Needs to Know
Have a plan
Disasters never wait until everyone is home from work, school or other events. Have a plan in place on where to meet and what to gather up on your way there. Remember phones and networking services may be down, leaving you unable to communicate with each other. In some circumstances, you may be forced to evacuate. Having a plan to move your family out on less frequently traveled roadways is highly advisable. Main thoroughfares will be crowded, which will waste time and fuel due to long delays.
Have cash on hand
By now, most of us have heard we need an emergency fund, but not very many of us keep our emergency fund in cash. Not only should you have cash on hand for an emergency but also it should be stored in several locations in small bills. No bills should ever be larger than $20.00. Storing it in several secure locations allows you to maintain access to some of it. Locations may become inaccessible due to fire, flooding, debris or contamination.
Have an emergency kit
Having an emergency kit is essential. A change of clothes, necessary medications and first aid supplies, food, water filtration and a source for heat and light are just some of the things needed in an emergency kit. There are many preparedness kits available today. Kits can even be customizable for the disaster, such as earthquake survival kits for those in areas likely to suffer from earthquake damage. Each family member should have a kit specifically for them. Even young children can carry a small pack with their own items inside.
Have usable food
Even a 72-hour supply of food is helpful in an emergency. Most preparedness experts suggest gathering and maintaining a two-week supply of food. A month’s worth of food for the entire family is ideal. Only store foods that you know you will like, are easy to store, and require little or no preparation. Foods that require extensive cooking may not be the best choice for an emergency. With food storage, you might consider storing fuel for cooking as well.