A few short months ago, many of us, and around the world, quickly learned that we were not prepared for an emergency. And while it didn't turn out to be the type of emergency we thought it was; there was really no need to buy all that toilet paper. It reminded us that we are not invincible, and that we really should have an emergency plan and supplies in place. If you haven't already put together your own emergency plan and supplies, it's not too late. Take the following steps to make sure your family is prepared.
Making an Emergency Plan:
Not all emergencies are the same, but there is plenty of overlap in how you can prepare. You want to consider what you would do if the things you normally rely on to meet basic needs; like food, shelter, water, or electricity were scarce or temporarily unavailable. What supplies would you need? Where would you go? Who would you need to call or contact? Make a list of potential emergencies specific to your location and situation, and sketch out what you would need and what steps you would take to respond effectively. If you're not sure how to plan for a specific scenario, do some online research and take notes. Once you've worked through your list of scenarios, follow up by gathering supplies and information, communicating the plan to everyone involved, and finalizing everything in writing. Keep it in an accessible and safe place.
Most experts say that you should have backup supplies to survive for at least 72 hours. But for "slower" emergencies, like the pandemic, it's not a bad idea to think more long term. Here are some supplies you should consider keeping on hand and stocking up on, if you can afford to:
Food: Pantry cooking has become all the rage on food sites, and now we know that we can eat pretty well by cooking almost exclusively from our pantry. Stock up on non-perishable foods like pasta, beans, rice, tomato paste, canned vegetables and shelf stable milk to keep your family well fed during a stay at home order or other emergency scenario.
Supplies: Consider what you would need if the power or electricity were out in your home for several days, and make sure you have things like candles, matches, flashlights and blankets on hand. Camping gear is always a plus.
Water: Humans can technically survive for a while without food, but not without fresh water. Always have purified water on hand and/or a way to purify it yourself if necessary.
First aid: In the case of the pandemic or another emergency, you may need to perform basic first aid or nurse someone who is ill without going into the doctor. Be sure you have basic first aid supplies, over the counter medications, and back up prescription medications for all family members and pets. If you can, set up telemedicine services with your family physician before they become necessary.
We can't anticipate every emergency or expect to have the perfect response when we find ourselves in a difficult situation. But doing some basic planning and gathering a few supplies can go a long way in keeping you and yours safe, calm and secure should an emergency arise.
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