Are you prepared?

In light of the recent earthquakes and impending hurricane Irene (not to be confused with MB member, Irene) we thought it was a good time to address emergency preparedness.

After 9-11 many of us bought or assembled emergency kits but if you’re like me, you’ve either pilfered the kit over the years or failed to keep it updated.  Or, you still may not have one at all.  Even if you don’t have a full on alien-invasion-I-can-survive-for-a-month-underground-kit you should have something ready in the event you are without power for a few days or forced to evacuate your home.

Before you build your kit you should take an inventory of your home and try to include serial numbers or some other form of identification for items in your home.  Photographs of your home and valuables will also be helpful.  This will ensure a fast and fair settlement with insurance companies.

You should also make copies of your birth certificates, ID’s and social security cards and put them in your emergency kit in water tight bags.  Being able to provide identification during an emergency will speed up being able to receive aid.

And then… BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER FILES.   It is wise to back your files up both with an online storage system (check with your internet provider, mine provides this service for free and I wasn’t aware of it until recently) as well as an external hard drive.  I bought this one, It is portable and very simple to use.  I procrastinated backing my files up because I wanted a “real” portable hard drive, a big 1T one.  But, I’m glad I decided to get what I have because it was more than enough to store 5+ years of photos (it was!) and all of my files.  Plug it in, transfer files, done.   My review is on the page as well – to prove I really do own it.  It would be wise to scan all vital documents (household inventory, mortgage documents, will and testament, name address and phone numbers , employment records, school transcripts, cherished family recipes, employee benefit information…) and back them up as well.

There are many, many items that can go into an emergency kit but many lists are daunting and expensive to put together.  We’ve put together a top 5 of items you should have in your kit in the hopes that this will motivate you to start one.  We also encourage you to visit Ready.gov for a full list of essentials to make sure your family is prepared in the event of an emergency.

#1: Water.  One gallon of water per person per day to total at least three days’ supply, but a week is better.

#2: Food.  You should have at least a three day supply of non perishable food.   Pack food your family will eat.  MRE’s may seem like the way to go, but if your children won’t eat them, they won’t do them any good.   Suggested items would be peanut butter, dry cereal, granola, crackers, canned items, non perishable pasteurized milk (or milk substitute).  Be sure to check expiration dates and update your kit when needed.  And don’t forget a can opener!  If you really want MRE’s, this seems like a pretty good deal

#3 Battery powered or hand crank radio AND a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.  This radio gets excellent reviews, and it covers both your bases.  I’ve been researching this for a while and this is the radio I plan on getting (and I’m an over researcher).  It can operate as a solar powered radio, or a hand crank.  It also serves as a  solar powered cell phone charger.

#4 – Flashlight and extra batteries.  I am going to recommend this compact flashlight.  In addition to being compact it is bright and inexpensive so you can pick one up for each member of your family.  LED lights typically last a long time and the reviews on this particular flash light are excellent.

#5First Aid Kit – there are many more to choose from and you should have one in each of your cars as well as in your emergency kit. 

Be prepared, stay safe and visit Ready.gov for more information on creating an emergency kit for your home.

I cannot believe I forgot THE most important disaster relief item to put in your kit.  One of our smartest members, Marie, was kind enough to point it out.  Beer.  And wine.  And Beer.

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the reminders! Hopefully no one will need these items, and everyone will stay safe, but you are right, better safe than sorry.

  2. Dangit! I KNEW I forgot something. Beer!!!

    Still, well done! I need to update our stuff.

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