Hurricane Katrina 7 year anniversary is this week and in light of the Tropical Storm Isaac coming close to landfall and potentially becoming a Category I or Category II; we figured we would give a quick list of things to do in an emergency. Many things may be common sense but hopefully this will trigger other ideas as well. Preparation is the key and these five steps should get you started!
An emergency kit – You can either buy one or create from scratch. The American Red Cross will have a list of suggested items to be included in your kit. You should have enough items for the number of people in your family. Other things to include in your kit; water-proof matches, paper and pencils, resealable sandwich bags, duct tape, super glue, a sewing kit, and a small compass.
An emergency radio – These radios come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as prices. Keep in mind how to power the radio, some use batteries some use cranks. Choose one that fits your needs. Also keep in mind weather resistance, frequencies and other additional capabilities such as cell phone charging and lights.
A Multi-Tool – This can be either a Swiss Army knife or a Leatherman-type tool. Never underestimate the usefulness of a Swiss Army knife!
Important Documents and Irreplaceable Items – If you have to evacuate your home in a hurry you will not want to spend time trying to grab these things. Items to store off-site should include: birth certificates, social security cards, house and car deeds, and passports.
Have Emergency Cash Available – If there’s a true natural disaster, you might find that your debit cards, credit cards and check book are not accepted. A couple of hundred dollars could go a very long way.
Now that I have a plan, it’s simply a matter of execution. Putting all the above supplies together should take only 2-3 hours and less than $200. I have only one problem. Where do we store the final kit? Do we store it in our home and hope that in an earthquake, there is time to grab it and go? Or should we store it in one of our cars? In the later case, we can immediately get out with just our car keys and not have to worry about something collapsing on our heads.
Is there anything that my emergency plan is missing? Where would you store your emergency kit?