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Disaster Preparedness Checklist

How to get organized before disaster strikes


Being prepared for an emergency isn’t just for those living on fault lines or in tornado alley. This day in age, everyone should be ready in the event of a man-made or natural disaster. It doesn’t take long to come up with an emergency plan and survival kit, and it could save you if you ever find yourself in a situation where every second counts. Come up with a plan and put together a survival kit using the following emergency preparedness checklist. These kits can be stored in air tight, plastic containers such as Tupperware storage bins or even a large garbage can. And your emergency plan and contact list should be shared and reviewed with your loved ones every few months.


Basic Survival Kit:


  • Water. It’s suggested that you have at least one gallon per person per 24 hours to be used for sanitation and hydration. It also doesn’t hurt to invest in a water purification system or iodine tablets.
  • Food. Include at least 3 days worth of non-perishable foods. This can include freeze-dried meals, canned goods and energy bars.
  • Battery powered or hand-crank radio.
  • Extra batteries. Stock up on an assortment of battery sizes to keep all of your electronics operating.
  • Flashlights.
  • First aid kit (LINK TO /1staidcompany.htm) Create a kit with all medical essentials, including prescriptions (to be replaced every 12 months), bandages, hand sanitizer and antibacterial ointment.
  • Cell phone charger. Communication in these situations is critical. Be sure to have a solar charger or inverter for your mobile device.
  • Pet food & extra water for your pet.


Additional Items:


  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Matches in waterproof container.
  • Cotton swabs dipped in Vaseline. If you need to start a fire, this is a sure way to get one going.
  • Blankets. Down is warm and packs up small. A few good down sleeping bags & insulated base layers will help if temperatures dip.
  • Cash or travelers’ checks.
  • Watch with fresh batteries or a hand-wound clock.
  • Camping stove with extra gas & basic mess kit for cooking.
  • Bleach. This can be used for sanitation needs or for sterilizing drinking water. Research the basic steps for water sterilization & write them down to avoid contamination.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Tools. A wrench to turn off utilities, can opener or multi-tool, such as a Leatherman.
  • Books & games can be a welcome activity during days without electricity.


Emergency Plan:


  • List of contacts. Keep a running list of family members’ & friends’ contact information. Let them know they are on your list and make sure a few of the contacts are out of state, in case local lines of communication are down. Include a phone card to use from a pay phone if your mobile device looses power.
  • Important documents. Having copies of family documents such as insurance policies, IDs & bank records can prove helpful.
Sign up for emergency alert services. Some communities offer texts or e-mails that include up to date information on weather, local evacuation plans & road closures.

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