When a disaster occurs, it's sometimes hard to think about the things that you need in regards to your personal health and the health of your family. This is why it's important to gather the items that are needed before a disaster occurs, keeping them in a container that is easy to access when they are needed. Some items might require a bit more space, such as a basement or a closet, where you know that you'll go if there is a disaster or where you'll be able to get to the supplies with ease.
It's best to plan for the first 72 hours after a disaster, which means that each person needs one gallon of water a day for three days. The water will be used to drink and to wash the face and hands. You're also going to need food for each person. The food should be non-perishable, such as crackers, canned goods that you don't need to heat and granola bars. Peanut butter is also a good item to have as it will provide the protein needed to get through the day.
A first-aid kit should be kept for any disaster. You can get a small plastic box to keep alcohol wipes, band-aids, antibiotic ointment, a small pair of scissors and other items that would be needed for cuts, burns, and other injuries. Consider taking a first-aid training course offered by a local hospital or a nurse, with the proper education like a masters in science of nursing, in the area who is trained to offer this kind of class so that you know how to perform basic techniques.
In the event that you're trapped, you're going to need a way to alert someone to where you're located. A whistle is the best thing that you can have because you can blow it to make a sound to alert people who are looking for you. A horn of some type works as well. Make sure you have a battery-operated radio and a way to charge your phone to get in touch with emergency personnel if the power goes out.
Keep a few changes of clothing in your disaster kit along with diapers and baby wipes. You also need blankets to stay warm in the winter. Boots are a good item to have as well as they make it easier to walk through mud, water, and snow.
Keeping a disaster kit is a good idea in the event of anything from a flood to an ice storm. The items that you pack should be in a plastic container that will stay protected and that is easy to access. If you're prepared ahead of time, then you'll be able to get through almost any disaster. If you’re lucky enough to not experience a disaster, you can also use these kits to help others in the world. Currently there are many who live in conditions where the lack of clean and transportable water doubles.
Stories by Emma Sturgis