These days, it seems like natural disasters are on the rise. Between hurricane-related destruction, spreading wildfires, and a global pandemic, it’s more important than ever to prepare for the worst. These disasters are even touching areas they haven’t before, meaning you may have to make preparations you’ve never thought about before. Here are some disaster preparedness basics to keep in mind in case disaster strikes.
Start a stockpile. We’ve gone over the essentials in starting a stockpile on our blog before. (If you’d like to refresh your memory, our previous post goes into more detail.) In an ideal situation, a stockpile has enough clean water, nonperishable food, and medicine for each household member to last a week. Don’t forget a manual can opener!
Pack a first aid kit. You never know what could happen, and you don’t want to be caught without a first aid kit. Hopefully you won’t need it, but having the supplies to treat common injuries will give you peace of mind.
Keep water on hand. Tap water can become contaminated in a flood or hurricane. Standing and flood water are also the perfect place for mosquitoes to breed. In the case of a flood, you’ll want to have water on hand (at least one gallon per person per day, for at least 3 days).
Be ready to go at a moment’s notice. If a disaster is approaching your area, you may be instructed to evacuate. Generally, the sooner you can get out, the better. Have a go bag ready with clothes and supplies so you don’t have to waste time packing. Also keep your gas tank full so you don’t have to wait in line to fill up.
Take steps to protect your documents. Keep any important papers and documents in a waterproof, fireproof container to ensure their safety.
Don’t forget about other emergency supplies. There are lots of supplies that are good on hand in case of an emergency. For example, power banks can keep your cell phones charged if you lose power. It’s also a good idea to keep wipes and towelettes on hand for personal sanitation. If you haven’t built an emergency supply kit, check out the government’s full list of recommended supplies.
Finally, don’t forget your pets. Pack a bag for them too. You may not be able to take them in an evacuation, or they may panic and run away. Making sure they’re tagged and microchipped increases the chance that you’ll reunite with your furry friends if they escape.