Sunday, December 2, 2007

Emergency preparedness

Yesterday, my area was hit with all sorts of precipitation: snow, sleet and freezing rain. As my mom clearly reminded me, ice-coated power lines can spell trouble for people as enough weight can bring them down. She recommended I take a shower while there was still power and to stash water for use. Electricity runs many things in my house including the furnace, lights, DSL modem and stove. So are you prepared for a few days without power?

Since there was ice coating things last night, I brought out candles for lighting and make sure I knew where lighters and flashlights were. I did the laundry during the day to ensure I had plenty of clean clothes to layer if need be. I have a down comforter on my bed and plenty of blankets to add if the cold was an issue. The cats and I could also lay next to each other and conserve body heat. In addition, I filled an empty gallon jug with water and left next to the toilet to ensure it could be flushed. My pantry (and refrigerator) had food that could be prepared without heating so I would not need to worry about a stove or using my charcoal grill. Thus, I could get through at least one day if not two without power.

I have very slowly started to gather an emergency preparedness kit. I have three gallons of purchased drinking water in the basement along with a couple gallons of tap water to be used for cooking. I have some bandages in my stash, but that is about all. My cats drink distilled water so I usually have two gallons of that for them along with a reserve of their food. I also make sure I have a few days supply of my medications so I do not have to worry about running out. My emergency kit is not currently portable, but I plan to rectify that in the future.

Would you be able to survive two or three days without electricity? The FEMA web site has a list of items that should be part of an emergency survival kit. Keep your pantry stocked with food that is edible without heat. Granola bars, canned fruit and veggies, or even MREs (meals ready to eat) would be useful. If your emergency may involve leaving the area, not only have a packed kit, but make sure to have copies of important documents like birth certificates and property deeds to bring with you. Have cash available for purchases during emergencies. A mix of large and primarily small bills are likely to be useful for most emergencies. Since I use my credit and debit cards for nearly every purchase, I tend not to have much cash and will need to start a stash for emergencies. Without electricity, access to accounts using a ATM or debit card is gone.

No comments:

Post a Comment