Preparing Your Family and Home for Weather Emergencies
The record-breaking cold rages on, bringing icy blizzard conditions along with it. Before too long, we will be facing summer heat, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. The truth is that you should always be preparing your home and family for weather emergencies—that’s the thing about those situations, they often strike without warning.
The facts we’re sharing today are not just an opinion. According to the website ready.gov, every household should remain vigilant throughout the year. Indeed, they warn that families who educate themselves on emergency preparedness and commit a staying prepared are the families who survive disasters relatively unscathed.
Here’s a checklist of those essentials that you must keep on hand to provide for your family and maintain your home during a weather emergency.
Checklist of Basic Emergency Supplies for Your Family
Begin building a basic supply of items that your family could need.
- Water: A 1-gallon jug of water per family member each day that water might be inaccessible. This amount of water will cover both drinking needs and personal hygiene. Experts recommend you keep a minimum of three to five days supply. However, pet owners should also plan an extra daily gallon of water to meet pet requirements.
- Non-perishable Food: Stock your home with a supply of three to five days of non-perishable foods. If you purchase in bulk and divide the foods like dried beans or rice into containers, be sure always to label and date the foods. Be certain to included canned proteins like tuna or chicken. Rotate stock as needed. Be sure to keep a manual hand-crank can opener available!
- Baby Supplies: Plan to keep up to 5 days of diapers, wipes, bottles, and formula on hand for baby.
- Pet Food: If you have pets, pick up an extra bag. Store it in an air-tight container, labeled and dated. Rotate it and replace if you don’t use it within a few months.
- Money: Weather events knock out power, rendering ATMs useless.
- Medication and Hygiene: When a storm is imminent, refill your prescriptions. Fill a waterproof tote with all medications needed by your family, eyeglasses, toilet paper, and other hygiene items.
- Important Paperwork: Keep important family paperwork like ID, banking records, marriage certificates, birth certificates and insurance policies stored in a fireproof and waterproof box.
Checklist of Emergency Supplies for Your Home
If your home remains safe in an emergency event, it’s recommended that you stay in the house. Roadways quickly become littered with downed trees, vehicle accidents, and floods.
- Hand-crank radio or NOAA alert radio: Keeping a hand-crank radio allows you to listen for important alerts.
- First-aid Supplies: Have an always stocked first aid kit ready at a moment’s notice. Keep one inside the home and one in every vehicle. Rotate the items with expiration dates.
- Flashlight and Extra Batteries: Access to a flashlight enables you to light the way if you need to fire up a generator or connect your portable power system.
- Tool Kit: Keep basic hand tools available so you can cut off utilities if necessary, such as the case of a natural gas leak.
- Sanitation Supplies: Have on hand sturdy trash bags, antibacterial gel, wipes, and a can with a lid to store trash properly.
- Portable Power: Often mistaken for a generator, a portable power system delivers the electricity that will assist in the comfort and safety of your family—it’s similar to a generator but recharges via solar power. You will not only be able to charge your phones for communication, but you’ll also be able to run wall outlets for light and security. Once charged, it retains power for around six months.
- Gasoline-powered Chain Saw: Should a tree limb block your driveway or any entrance to your home, you’ll need to move it to create safe egress. Ensure that you have a gas-powered chain saw to complete that chore—and that it’s in working order.
- Cleaning Supplies: Consider stocking up on bleach for disinfecting surfaces and water, pre-moistened cleaning wipes, and paper towels for cleaning up before and after handling food.
- Fire Extinguisher: While you probably have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, have you checked to see if it still works correctly? If you’re uncertain, take it by your local fire station for a checking-over and replace if needed.
While icy winters and severe summer weather can wreak havoc in an instant, you should always remain prepared. Some emergencies are predictable, but others such as earthquakes or tornadoes can strike with very little to no warning.
The time you take to prepare your home and family improves your chances of a positive outcome in these events.