How to Prepare for an Emergency

Unless you’re one of those Doomsday preppers, chances are you’re not really all that prepared if an actual emergency occurred. News reports are filled these days with stories of all kinds of natural disasters (hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes - even the rare sighting of a Sharknado).

If disaster ever struck your family, would you have the right supplies or know what actions to take to protect your loved ones? It’s okay if you’re not equipped with a bomb shelter and gas masks. Just follow these tips, and you’ll have some peace of mind that if an emergency happens, you’ll be prepared to face it.

Be informed.

It’s crucial that your household knows what type of disasters could strike in your particular area. The preparation for various emergencies could be slightly different (like hurricanes vs. earthquakes). Knowing what you’re up against is the key to effective preparation.

First, figure out how local authorities would notify you during an emergency and how you would get information (like through local radio or TV). Know the differences between weather alerts - watches and warnings could mean you need to take specific action.

Have a family disaster plan in place.

It’s imperative that your family has a plan set before disaster strikes. You shouldn’t have to worry about making a basic plan once an emergency is already taking place. Sites like Ready.gov can be really helpful when you sit down to make a plan.

Your plan should include a defined meeting site for your family (like a local school or community center), a list of emergency contacts that you can reach out to, and a game plan for how you will react in different situations. You should also look into what emergency plans your work or child’s daycare or school has already in place.

Have at least one person trained in CPR or first aid.

You might not have access to medical professionals in a time of crisis. You can give your family plenty of peace of mind if one person in the household is trained in CPR or basic first aid. Even knowing how to treat minor injuries can be a lifesaver when an emergency is occurring.

Stock a first-aid kit.

Speaking of first-aid, it’s important that your emergency supplies consist of an updated kit to help with any injuries that might occur. Keep a kit in your car and home, so you have access wherever you are.

First-aid kits are sold at most drugstores, but make sure yours includes:

  • Any medications your family takes (at least a 7 day supply)

  • Compress dressings

  • Adhesive bandages

  • Cloth tape

  • Antibiotic ointment packets

  • Antiseptic wipe packets

  • Aspirin

  • Hydrocortisone cream

  • Scissors

  • Gauze pads

  • Tweezers

  • Optional: instant cold compress, non-latex gloves, roller bandages, thermometer, etc.

Make sure you’re periodically checking your kit to ensure that nothing is expired or unusable.

Keep a survival kit in your home.

If an emergency occurs, you should have these basics in your home:

  • Water (one gallon per person, per day - up to a 2-week supply)

  • Food (see below)

  • Flashlights

  • Battery-powered radio

  • Extra batteries

  • Multi-purpose tool

  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items

  • Cell phone chargers

  • Blankets

  • Optional: medical supplies (like glasses or contact lenses, syringes, etc.), baby supplies, pet supplies, manual can opener

Some experts recommend keeping copies of personal documents (like important medical information, IDs, birth certificates, insurance policies, etc.) and maps of the area on hand. It’s also a good idea to keep some extra cash stashed away in a safe place in case you can’t get to a bank or ATM.

Buy several weeks worth of food.

The last thing you should have to worry about in an emergency is how you’re going to get food. eFoodsDirect has a great selection of easy to prepare foods that allows you to store them without worrying they’ll go bad.

You can purchase anywhere from 1 week of food to a 1 year supply. The packets include soups, grains, entrees, desserts, and drinks - all in an easy-to-store heavy-duty tote. Their products are affordable, and you can get great savings when you use a coupon code at checkout! The best part is that you can buy the supplies now, store them somewhere in your home or garage, and then continually have peace of mind that you and your family won’t run out of food in an emergency.

If you follow these steps, you’ll be all set if a disaster ever occurs!

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