60% of Americans believe preparing for disasters is important and only 17% claim to be very prepared*. From experience, you know this to be true…when a storm approaches the grocery and hardware stores are filled with people—each trying to find the same items.
Storms bring high winds, rain, and thunderstorms which can cause power outages, flooding, and lightning dangers and more. How might these things impact you?
It’s important to think about how these possible events can impact your normal activities.
If you are in a warning area but don’t have a plan or for anyone else not yet affected, right now, think about how you will handle impacts in five key areas:
Finances, Shelter, Communications, Food-Water, and Transportation:
- You need to have cash. You can’t rely on ATMs, banks, or stores to have power that will allow you to use your credit/debit cards.
- Consider your important papers (passports, certificates, insurance policies;, etc), first aid, sanitation, lighting/cooling/heating and support supplies like batteries, car chargers, etc. in the shelter category. How are you set? Do you know where everything is and can you get to them easily.
- How will you learn of new warnings? How will you contact family members to let them know you are okay?
- If you rely on technology and the power is out for extended periods (especially if you use computers to run the family or business, e.g. access to online accounts) how will that impact you? It’s important to consider now.
Food, Water, Medicine, Eyeglasses:
- Do you have an adequate supply for those who are sheltering with you? When will the supply run out?
- If you plan on buying as you need, remember the stores may be sold out, have no power to run their checkouts, or trees could be knocked down across the road keeping you from getting to the store at all.
- If you have to evacuate the area, do you have space in your vehicle to include everything you’re taking?
- How much fuel is in your vehicles? What if you can’t get any additional fuel until you’re out of the area? Maybe keep your fuel tank no lower than 1/2 full routinely.
The storm warning has been issued. You now have 5 categories to consider for your protection from the storm’s impact and add to your emergency plan.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) recommends you have on hand for emergencies enough food and water for at least three days. You can purchase or create your own survival kit that will easily meet this requirement.Paul LaPointe is host and frequent contributor for beforeyouneed.com