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Emergency Preparedness Guidelines

It seems that there are few places to live in America where you don’t have to be prepared for some kind of natural disaster. Around the Gulf of Mexico and up the east coast, you have to be ready for hurricanes. Hurricanes can take down power lines and cut you off from commercial areas, leaving you stranded in your home for days. In the northeast, you have to be ready for a wicked nor’easter in the winter that can knock out power for days. All over the midwest, you could lose power during the winter or summer with one of the many powerful storms that bring blizzards or tornadoes, depending on the season. On the west coast, you have your own natural disasters to be ready for. There are earthquakes and mudslides and rolling blackouts in the summertime. No matter what type of emergency you need to be ready for, Barocook thermal, no-flame cooking can play a role in your emergency kit.

In this week’s article, we will look at some common items that should be in your survival kit, regardless of the reason you have it.

Survival Kit Ideas

First Aid

One one of the first things you should have in your survival kit is a first aid kit. Besides the normal items that might include a tourniquet and band aids, you should make sure that you have any prescriptions that your family needs. Of course, because they take them regularly and because medicine has expiration dates, you can’t pack them away far ahead of time, but when a storm is imminent, make sure you remember to gather them and put them in the kit. Items such as rubbing alcohol, and basic medicines such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can be included as well.

Health Supplies

You should make sure that you have any prescriptions that your family needs. Of course, because they take them regularly and because medicine has expiration dates, you can’t pack them away far ahead of time, but when a storm is imminent, make sure you remember to gather them and put them in the kit. Put a list of prescriptions and their numbers in your kit. If anyone in your family has any special needs, such as batteries for hearing aids, you’ll want those in your kit, too. Items such as feminine hygiene products, rubbing alcohol, and basic medicines such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be included as well.

Disaster Clean Up

When you are putting together a kit to be your resource closet after a natural disaster strikes, you should remember that if the worst occurs, you will be your own first responder and have to start cleaning up. For this reason, you should make sure your emergency kit has several pairs of sturdy gloves, bleach, a tarp, duct tape, towels, and blankets in case you are without shelter. Be sure to include dust masks, eye protection, and some basic tools such as a wrench for turning off utilities and a multi-tool for everything else. Be sure to have a hand crank radio or battery-operated one and extra batteries. Whichever type you get, be sure that it can be used to charge cell phones as well.

Food

If you lose power and the ability to travel by car, you will have to shelter in place, and if this happens, you’ll need to have food and water for several days. The rule for water is one gallon per person per day. This is for evacuation. A two-week supply is recommended for storage at your home. For food, you’ll have to access your family’s normal eating habits and have enough for three days, for evacuation, and a two-week supply for at home. You’ll need easy to store, easy to prepare food, and if you choose, a way to prepare it. Freeze-dried food is a great way to go. If you suspect there is a gas leak in the vicinity, it will not be safe to have an open flame, but you can still have a hot meal thanks to Barocook flameless cooking. You can have a freshly cooked meal that will fortify you to ride out the storm or do the cleanup. We offer several sizes, including a thermal cup, small, medium, and large pots, and a thermal pressure pot for larger meals. Don’t forget utensils! You’ll want a manual can opener if you are storing canned goods to eat. Barocook offers a handy BPA-free spork and our thermal pot gripper has a can opener on one end.

Kids

Children need special attention when it comes to making an emergency preparedness kit. Depending on the age of your child, you’ll need to include different things. If you have babies, a supply of diapers, baby wipes, formula, food, extra sets of clothes, and some simple toys like toy cars can make waiting more tolerable until the power is restored, or when you can get out, much more pleasant.

Pets

Don’t forget your animals when making your emergency preparedness kit. A list of phone numbers for vets and people who could be contacted in case of emergency should be in your kit. Don’t depend on having your smartphone. Make sure to list the phone numbers. Include food and water, medications, leases, and any supplies your specific pet needs such as toys, brushes, etc.

Paperwork

When you live in an area where you have to take shelter relatively frequently, such as in tornado alley or where hurricanes and tropical storms occur yearly, you should develop a system to have the most important paperwork easy to grab and take with you in case of evacuation. You should do this even if it’s just to the tornado shelter for the duration of a tornado warning. One way to do this is to create an accordion file with birth certificates, passports, titles to homes and cars, insurance cards, and immunization records.

You may think that this is a lot of supplies to keep handy, but there are ways to organize it so you can store and transport it conveniently. You can keep Rubbermaid® bins with the bulk of your supplies in your garage or your tornado shelter and just keep the paperwork and the temperature sensitive medicines in the house to take with you for evacuation. When you are making your survival kit, be sure to turn to Barocook for your flameless cooking supplies.