Extreme weather and emergencies can take us by surprise. Being prepared can help you take action when you need to whether it’s bad weather that has you hunkering down or an emergency that has you leaving home in a hurry. We’ve had our fair share of issues including power outages and storms, so I share some ways you can be prepared.
Create Go Kits:
A Go Kit will include supplies you can grab and go. In a fast time period you’ll be able to get out to safety and take what you need. It should include items like water, protein bars, a flashlight, glow sticks, a lightweight blanket, poncho, first aid kit, and a few other items.
You can purchase pre-made kits (one for each member of your family) or make your own kits by using a backpack and supplies.
Backup Important Documents:
Backup your important documents such as deeds, car titles, loan paperwork, etc. both digitally (use a scanner and save them to your hard drive and the cloud) and make copies to store in a secure location such as a safety deposit box, water and fire proof safe, or with a relative or your lawyer.
Keep Insurance Info Handy:
Make copies of your insurance cards to store digitally, in your wallet, and in a secure location. It’s also a wise idea to keep your insurance company’s phone number(s) in your phone and include your policy number in the notes.
Keep Cash on Hand:
Keep some cash on hand since ATMs may be down during power outages, and you may need cash when stores are open since credit card machines often go down in power outages.
Prepare for Lack of Electricity and Water:
Having a plan of action if you lose power and/or water can be a little trickier. If you run on a public water system you should keep water purification tablets on hand, and a supply of bottled water. Well owners should also keep a supply of water and fill their bathtubs, and buckets with water for using during the power outage.
Electricity can be generated by a portable or stand-alone generator in the case of a power outage. Doing some research will help you figure out what type of generator you need. For many people a portable generator is suitable to keep their fridge cold, and power a few small appliances.
Have a Plan of Action:
Have a plan of action in case you need to leave your home quickly. A fire safety plan is important. It’s also have a plan for where you can meet if you need to drive away from your local area. Especially important if you work or go to school in different areas from your family.
Keeping your car gassed up is an easy way to stay prepared. Keep your take no less than half full at all times if possible, and be sure to gas up well before a storm. If you have a gas-powered generator be sure to fill up with fresh gas.
Make sure all your phones and other devices are charged both for communication and entertainment purposes. Picking up rechargeable battery pack that you can use to recharge devices is a great way to extend your battery life.
To stay informed on weather events you can sign up for text alerts from a variety of sources like Weather.com.
Pay special attention to evacuation orders, and take cover when necessary. Ignoring those orders can be the difference between safety and danger.
For ways you can help after a natural disaster read the my tips on how to help including links to various aid organizations.
What advice do you have for preparing for emergencies?