With the recent flooding in Georgia the country is reminded again to always be prepared for a disaster. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has the ongoing job of being prepared for emergencies, and Agencies such as Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) have a large role to play individuals also need to take some personal responsibility.
Getting organized doesn’t take too much time, usually doesn’t take much money and could possibly save your life, or the lives of your family. Having an emergency kit ready should be a part of every household, just like having smoke alarms. If you have some basic preparations ready you are more likely to be able to hold out in an emergency until State or Federal aid arrives. The FEMA site suggests that your emergency kit should hold enough to last at least 3 days.
Basic supplies that should be included are:
- Water – the best way is to keep a 3 day supply of store bought bottled water in your emergency kit. You can bottle your own water, but it is important that the containers are sanitized and dated. They should be replaced every 6 months.
- Food – this needs to be non –perishable and ready to eat. It is unlikely that you will have access to heating. Canned foods are good (a manually operated can opener should be part of your pack). High energy foods like granola bars are an excellent idea too.
- First Aid Kit – there should be one not just in your home kit but in every car too. The FEMA website has a good list of what should be included in a basic first aid kit.
- Clothing and Bedding – such things as extra sleeping bags, thermal underwear and rain proof gear should all be there
- Sanitation items – toilet paper, soap, feminine hygiene products, bleach and disinfectant.
- A basic tool kit. A battery operated radio is essential for staying in touch with any emergency instructions. A flashlight is a must as are plastic utensils and plates. A whistle is recommended too.
For a full supply list it is a good idea to look on the FEMA website. Get your kids to look on their children’s page too, especially if their school hasn’t recently run a disaster preparation program.
Familiarize yourself with the advice given on your local Emergency Management Website too. Once an emergency strikes it is too late to find out then. It is up to the individual to be as ready as possible for any emergency. Protecting your property is part of being prepared too and it helps to be financially ready for recovery from a disaster.
The FEMA website has a wealth of information available on both getting prepared for any possible disaster and how to get assistance afterwards. Staying aware and being prepared are the best ways to ensure any possible emergency will have the minimum negative effects. Keep up with weather warnings and any other threats and get organized. The thing about disasters, whether local, national, or global is that you never quite know when they might strike.