Saturday, August 27, 2011

Preparing for the worst

Hurricane Irene - National Weather Service
With the summer comes the threat of increased natural forces that test our emergency preparedness. No one wants to expect the worst, but often we don't have a choice when it comes to mother nature.
Lightning, hurricanes, earthquakes and flooding, all are potential events that challenge our ability to prepare.
The Red Cross as well as major emergency preparedness organizations offer guidelines to be safe, be alert and to be secure.
Here are some of the top five rules that can help you survive any natural disaster.

1. Know how to escape. In other words, be aware of potential escape routes of your office, your city or town and your state. If a hurricane is fast approaching, you don't want to be heading for the beach!

2. If you have family or friends, make a deal that if you get separated, everyone will contact a specific family member or friend OUTSIDE of the disaster area. That person will be the command post and report the status of others as they receive information.

3. If you need to be or are caught indoors, planning on the proper food and water can make all the difference. The rule of thumb on water is two liters of water per person per day for seven days. So start saving those two litter plastic containers as you use them and refill them with water.

On the issue of food, you want to have some type of energy food that will keep for a few months until you need it. Figure a five day supply. Stay away from products that need to be cooked or heated, because you often won't have the ability to cook anything during a disaster. A box of granola bars works well, as well as several boxes of energy drink packets. What you are looking for are electrolytes to replace the ones you will loose during the time your unable to get a full meal. Stay away from high sugar or products high in salt. These will only make you more thirsty. On the energy bars pick something that has fiber a little sugar and maybe a little fruit. And try to buy ones that are the softer version... The last thing you want to be chomping down on is a hard brick. try to keep calorie intake around 2500 to 3000 per day. Sounds like a lot, but during a disaster you will need all the extra for survival.

4. Clothing. Plan on simple basic clothes. Remember, during a disaster no one cares if you're rescued in a Armani shirt, but the designer shirt may not provide you the level of warmth or durability needed. Pick several items that are easy to wear as well as easy to remove. You don't want to get trapped by your clothes. Try to pick clothes that will wick away moisture but will still keep you warm. Sneakers are better than high heels, and a light weight all weather jacket is better than no jacket at all.

5. Emergency equipment. Here are several things you should keep ready and test every four to six months.
A flashlight. Get one that is waterproof and can keep burning for up to 24 hrs. If possible get one that has a crank so you can manually recharge it.
Radio. Try to get one that has a addition of a solar recharging.
Cell phone. If you have one, great, if not see if you can get one of the pay as you go kind. In an emergency it's been shown that while the actual phone call ability my be spotty, some social media such as twitter and texting seemed to be able to work well and got thru. That would be good if you need to let your central contact person know that you're alright.

For further information contact you local Red Cross chapter or local city officials.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad2

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