Emergencies happen every day. Some of them are small in nature, but we have seen increasingly larger emergencies occurring all over the place. Massive flooding in Colorado, Hurricane Sandy, The deep freeze of this past winter, Hurricane Katrina, the massive tornadoes that struck Oklahoma recently, the incident in Japan and the massive Tsunami, are all examples of things that can happen every day.
The focus of this article is to show city dwellers how to prepare for emergency situations that last for more than 24 hours. As such, the following list are easy to accomplish goals that will make a difference to you and your family during an emergency.
1: Map It Out
Map alternate ways out of the city in which you live. Some emergencies may require that you evacuate your home and/or city. Knowing how to get out quickly will be important because the freeways will be clogged. Make sure to mark gas stations along the route, and especially the 24 hour stations. Always keep your vehicle’s gas tank half full or higher. If you have to bug-out, do so early as the roads will be less congested.
2. Food and Water Supplies
Food and water are essential items. Each home should have a back up supply of both. The rule of thumb is minimal three days worth of food and one gallon of water per day per person. A better plan is six months worth of food and three weeks of water. A good tip is to fill up unused freezer space with containers of drinking water. The extra water can be part of your water storage plan and the frozen water will help keep the freezer cold if there is loss of electricity.
3. Medical Kit and Emergency Training
A basic medical kit is essential. If you have medications, keep a back up supply. It is a good idea to undergo medical training for emergencies. Most local community colleges have Emergency Medical Technician courses. They are inexpensive, short, and they will teach you a lot about what to do in an emergency. A food backpack should also be stored in each of your vehicles, along with a water supply, blankets, and a flashlight. Your local Red Cross may also have training classes.
4. Essential Items
There is a long list of essential items that should also be kept on-hand and in your vehicle. A crank radio is one such piece of equipment. Others include a pocket knife, a hand spade or multi-use tool, camping supplies, non-cook food, water, maps, money, etc. The idea is to have supplies on hand that will allow you to survive for an extended period of time in either your home or your vehicle. A home based supply closet will be geared to staying put. The vehicle supply chest will be geared to get you from one place to another.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
It is one thing to make a plan, and quite another thing to take it seriously. Make a habit of testing yourself and your family by practicing the plan. A good tip is to follow the map you made. It will allow you to see if gas stations have closed, etc. The goal is to get the piece of your plan to become second nature with you and your family.
6. Start Gardening
A garden is a good source of fresh food. Starting a garden is a good family exercise that will help get everyone into the habit of food production. It is also a good way to teach children how to become self sufficient during an emergency. A garden is also a natural food storage unit. Fresh food does not require special care if it is still growing.
The editor of Resounding Earth, and pursuer of relatively interesting information, Simon has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales, and is a photo-journalist and writer whose written and photographic work has been represented by the AFP news agency and appeared in newspapers across Europe and Asia.