The rainy season is upon us and will run through the remainder of the year with the hurricane season ramping up as well. As we work through the issues with the current pandemic, we also need to prepare for our rain and storm season. We may see tropical storms, hurricanes, heavy rains, flash flooding, and many more risks and hazards. Being prepared can go a long way in helping you get through an emergency. Involving your family in creating your plan is both informative and actionable where when the situation occurs, everyone is in the know in what to do as to reduce chaos.
Being prepared can not only save your life, but help you maintain your health through the event. When an emergency occurs, we tend to either “fight or flight” where we address it or run from it. The health benefits of being prepared are numerous including reduced fear, anxiety, and loss that could accompany any emergency and disaster. Knowing what to do during and after is half the battle and if you are prepared you will be on your way towards reduced stress and improved resiliency. Resiliency is your ability to bounce back after a stressful situation. As we prepare and learn to cope and deal with issues, our resolve and resiliency are improved.
When planning, there are several things you should discuss with your family. How do I and will I receive alerts and warnings? What is my shelter plan? What is my evacuation route? How do we communicate as a family? Is my emergency kit updated? Other considerations including special needs of family members – dietary, medications, disabilities, cultural, and pets.
It is important to have a place to store your home safety essentials and your personal emergency travel bag in a safe and secure storage area. Keeping your official financial documents in a safe, dry, and secure place. Preparing is half the battle and you can get your self ready both physically, emotionally, and mentally. By working on a place with your family, reviewing it, and practicing it, you will be confident in your ability to get through an emergency or disaster.
The following are some sample lists of items to consider putting together to prepare for an emergency or disaster:
Financial Preparedness Ideas
- Assess and compile your important financial documents – request copies and secure originals if needed.
- Move accounts online and save copies online or in print any statement for bills paid automatically. Take photos of documents and store online.
- Take photos or videos of home and valuable belongings
- Keep cash in safe place – based on family size and need
- Review your insurance policies and financial paperwork to make sure that your coverage is in place and up to date.
- Store paper copies and important document in a safe, secure, water and fire-proof box.
- Have a water-proof travel container for important documents
Emergency Kit Ideas
- Water (one gallon per day for three days – for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods)
- First Aid Kit
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and weather-specific radio –extra batteries
- Toiletries – soap, toothpaste, feminine supplies, etc.
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers
- Manual can opener
Emergency Travel Bag Ideas
- Sleeping Bag or warm blanket
- Complete change of clothing and consider weather conditions
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Candles, matches, and lighters
- Cash or travelers’ checks – depending upon size of your family
- Prescription medications and over the counter – ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin
- Special consideration: infant formula and diapers
- Emergency reference material
- Important Family Document
- Household chlorine bleach and dropper (16 drops/gallon of water for purification and sanitation)
- Pencil and paper