Preparing for disaster

Posted on 04. Apr, 2012 by

I turned on the television at lunch yesterday just in time to see live footage of a tornado on the ground in Lancaster. Channel 8 was showing it live via helicopter.

I couldn’t take my eyes away. I was seeing buildings being ripped apart and the trailers of 18 wheelers not just being blown over but being picked up and tossed through the air. It was surreal, and I was watching it in real time.

It didn’t take long for the stories of survival to start being reported. People took shelter the best they could, and some managed to walk away even though their homes were destroyed around them.

Some were prepared. I found this story through a Twitter link shared by Red Cross DFW. A woman had put together a tornado preparedness kit just a week before, and she used it. She also had a plan of where to go in her home if a tornado was to hit.

That got me thinking: how many of us are prepared? Do we have a kit made up and a plan?

Here are some items the American Red Cross suggested for a disaster preparedness kit:

  • Water—one gallon per person, per day (3­-day supply for evacuation, 2­-week supply for home)
  • Food—non­perishable, easy ­to ­prepare items (3-­day supply for evacuation, 2­-week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery­powered or hand­crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7­-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi­purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area

The Red Cross also sells pre-packaged emergency preparedness kits.

Since we are just in the beginning of storm season, it’s probably not a bad idea to put together a kit and a plan. Next time, it could be Wise County in the path of the storm.

ADDITION: I meant to include this but forgot when I posted it earlier: If you want to donate to the Red Cross disaster relief efforts going on as they assist tornado victims, you can text redcross to 90999 to donate $10.

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