Thursday, October 29, 2009
Just in Case
Think back to the destruction of New Orleans and the fires of southern California. Suppose that a policeman came to your house to tell you that you needed to evacuate your home immediately and to plan to be gone for several days. What would you take with you? Bad times are presently here, and worse experiences seem to be coming. It may not take a natural disaster to provide the need for 72 hour kits. You can either take your chances that this experience will never happen or you can prepare ahead of time just in case. You might start your preparations by holding a "surprise emergency" with your family. You could call your family together, explain that this is a practice emergency drill, and tell them to gather what they will need for the next three days and be in the car within the next two minutes. This experience would dramatize the need for advance preparation. One big problem that often happens in an emergency setting is that people go into shock and can't think clearly, which causes a problem even when there is enough time to collect necessities. This is why it is so much better to plan and prepare ahead - just in case. Here are some suggestions as to what can be prepared for a possible emergency. Some people call this a 72-hour kit - things needed to survive for the next three days. The basic necessities for each individual should be put in a back pack or something similar that can be carried if evacuation needs to be on foot. Scriptures to feed the Spirit. Cash: Each individual should have some cash in small bills in their possession. Parents should carry the bulk of the cash in small bills. Determine how much cash your family would need for 72 hours. Food: Food in this kit needs to be nutritious and easy to fix. It needs to be edible even without heating it. Suggested types of food are: jerky, granola bars, trail mix, nuts, etc - foods that are light and easy to carry. Make sure that you rotate the food every six months or so. Clothing: A complete set of clothing (pants, shirt, underclothes, socks, shoes) for each individual. These clothes should preferably be sturdy clothes such as are worn for working outdoors or camping. Include the necessary items for protection from the weather. For example, here in Alaska we must plan for wet and/or cold weather. Baby Supplies: Extra sets of clothing, diapers, baby food, blankets, etc. Personal Supplies: tooth brush, tooth paste, soap, comb, brush, wash cloth, towel. Water: As much as the individual can carry. Flashlight: Include extra batteries or get a flashlight that doesn't need batteries. Radio: Needed to keep up with what is happening. Whistle Sleeping bag or blanket First Aid Kit Medicine Plan: Plan where the family will meet in case someone is not home or family gets separated. Important Papers: Keep copies of important papers such as marriage and birth certificates in kit. Photos and Journals: These can be put on CDs or DVDs in case the originals become destroyed. Copies can be sent to other family members - just in case. Pet Food Additional items that would add to comfort but would need a vehicle to carry would include the following: Gasoline: Develop the habit of keeping the gas tank full or nearly full. Camp stove with fuel Water purifier Sleeping pads Tents and tarps More food: I have a plastic tub by my garage door that I keep full of foods like canned goods such as chili, soup, fruit, tuna, chicken; peanut butter, and crackers along with can opener, etc. This list is only a suggestion. Every individual and family has different circumstances and needs. Do what works best for you and your family. I have a friend and her husband who purchased a trailer similar to a small U-Haul trailer. They keep their camping supplies such tents, sleeping bags and pads, cook stove with fuel, tarps, etc as well as their emergency supplies in this trailer. This trailer is parked in their garage and needs only to be hooked to a vehicle. They are also prepared for leaving on foot if necessary. Please prepare 72-hour kits for your family to use - just in case.