Are you ready for any disruption in those day-to-day conveniences that we take for granted? I offer the following for your consideration:
For your Family:
1. Determine their needs if the power were to go out. Would you still have a water source, if you lived in a rural area?
- Perhaps you may invest in a generator? Something small enough to provide your family with enough power for the refrigerator, your furnace and be easy to operate.
- Have plenty of non-potable water available for flushing toilets, cleaning, etc.
- Flashlights, batteries, and a portable radio (There are new devices that will actually charge USB units) Our local CERT team offers a rechargeable flashlight for $20.00 available at Fire Station 1.
2. Can you pool your efforts with other family members?
- Especially during cooler months, basic needs can often be shared and utilized more efficiently.
3. Drinking Water:
-Stock up on drinking water in the event power goes out. Water supplies may become contaminated if wastewater treatment plants or processes are interrupted. I would suggest storing water in bottled form. The cases are easy to move, it’s easy to determine how much is needed per family member, and it’s cost effective to purchase by the case.
- The rule of thumb for drinking water: 1 Gallon per day per person in a home. So, a family of four to sustain 72 hours (minimum) would require 12 gallons of DRINKING WATER (Potable)
4. Don't forget about your pets.
Your pet may be your favorite family member. Their needs are similar to your family's requirements. Where cats can usually forage for themselves, dogs and other more intelligent animals have higher gestational standards. You will need to have enough food and water on hand for them also.
5. Family Activity Kit: Especially important for families with young children.
When storms or incidents interrupt our daily life, Power, the Internet, and cell phone service may be affected. While some of us grew up in an age where this was not – and would not be an issue, this could be “devastating" to the average teenager.
- A small kit with playing cards, board games, and coloring books with crayons can serve as a perfect distraction to what's happening in the real world.
6. Take the time to prepare your family during the month of September. Find out what they would do, if you weren't available.
How would you communicate?
Where would you meet, if you were separated?
Are there family members out of state that you would need to notify?
How long could your family be OK, if you weren't around to immediately help?
Who could step in until you got home?
By engaging your family, you may be surprised at the answers that you'll receive.
This is a responsibility that we all must bear for ourselves and our loved ones.