You can't turn on the news today without hearing about one disaster or another somewhere in the world!  While no one can be entirely prepared for an unexpected event, certainly preparing ahead would alleviate some of the problems and a lot of the stress a victim has to experience.  Why even in Leelanau County, a huge disaster was experienced on August 2, 2015, the BIG STORM.  But what can one do to prepare ahead for something like this without seeming like an extreme worrier?  Is there really anything you can do to prepare, since disasters such as these are sudden and unexpected?  The answer is yes.  And following these suggestions could even save a life, maybe yours!

* Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit  -  We use a couple of plastic totes for ours and keep them in the closet.  Good things to include:  flashlights and batteries, a battery or wind up radio, a blanket, a change of clothes, a first aid kit with a whistle (in case you need to summon help), some dried and canned food (don't forget the can opener!), eating utensils, bottled water, a plastic tarp (for makeshift shelter), toothbrushes & toothpaste, soap, towels and some toilet paper.  Also include these key items:  List of emergency contacts and their phone numbers (written down, not just in your phone!), some cash, waterproof tape, pocket tools, dust masks, extra set of house & car keys, waterproof container with matches, your medications and copies of your important documents - including your home and auto insurance information! You may also want to put in some games, color books, crayons, etc., if you have children.  And don't forget any supplies needed for any elderly or special needs persons in your household.

* Determine ahead of time what you will do with your fur family and other pets.

* Make a Fire Exit plan ahead of time with a meeting place and rehearse with your family.  Practice staying close to the floor and quickly getting to the exit.

* Determine the safest place in your home in the event of a tornado and be sure all in the family are familiar with where to go.  If time permits and you do not have a storm shelter, get to the nearest community shelter without delay.

* In the event of a flood - Stay OUT of flooded buildings and AVOID wading in or driving through floodwater!  The water is often very dangerous, hiding downed power lines or debris and could also have sewer backup.  And only two feet of water can carry a car away - so don't test out that Land Rover.

* Text don't call! Cell phone calls are often intermittent in a disaster, so try texting instead. 

* Follow the Direction of the Authorities!  - If told to evacuate, grab your family & totes and GO!!!  If told to stay put, stay put! 

Some people have even smaller "kits" called "go-bags", with necessities packed in a backpack.  Do whatever is best for your family.  Even if you never use your Emergency Supply Kit for an emergency, you can rest easier knowing you have pre-planned as best you could for your family.  And don't forget to refresh your food and water supplies and batteries each year to be sure they aren't expired.  You can even have an "Emergency Planning Party" with your kids and eat up the old foods and replenish with new and practice your escape plans!  

Doing these things in advance should help make things go more smoothly in the event of a real emergency.  

Be safe friends!

As always, I'm still yet... Nancy

 

*Source Material:  Awake!, No.5 2017.  

 

 

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