Sheldon Cooper takes emergency preparedness to an extreme level, but then again he does that with everything. Although his antics are entertaining and over the top, being prepared is an excellent thing. I don’t recommend waking up your family or roommates in the middle of the night, but this clip reminds us that we need to have an emergency plan. FEMA and Ready.gov provide excellent resources for preparing for emergencies, but I have summarized them here.
Meeting Places. Establish a common meeting place for several different types of emergency. ReadySetGoKits recommends four different meeting places. The first should be in the home: basements or cellars for those who have them. For those who don’t, an inner room with no windows. This is used for take-cover-immediately situations, like a tornado or earthquake. The second should be outside the home. When I was a little girl, my mom established this as the mailbox. It’s far enough away from the house to keep the family from immediate danger. The third meeting place should be in your neighborhood or town, in case your home is inaccessible or damaged. Finally, there should be an out-of-town meeting place which considers what kind of disasters might affect your area.
Emergency Kit. Ready.gov provides the following list for a basic emergency kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
These are just a few ways to start preparing. For further resources, visit www.ready.gov and www.fema.gov.
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