Preparedness on a Budget

September is “National Preparedness Month” – You can be the hero!

 

Being prepared for emergencies doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

For most of us it just takes some planning and slow-and-steady commitment to follow through.  Check out my article Basic Preparedness for a list of essential items to have in your emergency supplies kit.

Plan

Beyond the emergency supplies (food, water, first aid supplies), you need to have a plan in place.  Talk with your family about the kinds of disasters and hazards that can happen in your area, and have a designated meeting place near your home, and another one outside of your neighborhood in case it is not possible to meet close to home.

Gather

Make sure you have updated contact information for family, friends, and neighbors on hand. If the power is out, your computer is not a great place to store your contact list.

Gather copies of important paperwork, such as birth certificates, insurance policies and place those in your emergency kit.

Purchase emergency kit supplies whenever you are able to and don’t stop until you have everything you need. Watch for sales, or buy just one extra item at a time.

Check

About once a year, check your emergency kit and update paperwork and  contact information.  Once a year is also a really good time to rotate your stored food and to check the expiration dates on everything.  If you are storing tap water in re-used plastic bottles, you should change out the water a few times each year.

Check out this guide from FEMA for National Preparedness Month for more ideas: NPM: Preparedness on a Budget

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Emergency Preparedness Class in Shreveport

Join us for a FREE Emergency Preparedness Class and discussion

September 10th at 6:00 PM at the Shreve Memorial Library on Texas Street in Downtown Shreveport

Please RSVP on FaceBook  or call (319) 459-8707 to reserve your seat!

DisasterPrep

Basic Preparedness: Severe Weather Season

Starting this now could save your life.hurricane

Hurricane season began on June 1st, and according to NOAA, this season is expected to be “active or extremely active”. 

Preparing for severe weather and other disasters isn’t difficult or expensive.  If you are as financially-limited as most of us are these days, just build up your disaster supplies over time.  Put together whatever you have on hand today and add things one item at a time whenever you can.

Water: 1 gallon per day, per person. 

If you have nothing else, have 3 days’ supply of water stored up. If you can’t buy bottled water, fill soft drink bottles with water from your sink, cap them tightly, and store them away from sunlight. Sanitize the bottles, first.   Look for the triangle recycling symbol with the number 1 on it.  Any other type of bottle might decompose or break.   Then, every 6 months, pour the water out and replace it with fresh water. Add a bottle of water to your stash whenever you can and you’ll have what you need pretty fast.

Food: 3 day supply, non-perishable

Store a 3 day supply of food for each person. Canned food is best, but don’t forget to include a manual can opener!  Try to avoid dried or salty foods, as you’ll need lots of extra water. If you can’t spend much, buy just one can of food for your disaster supplies whenever you go to the grocery store.

Radio: Hand-crank or battery powered

You will need to stay informed of news and weather reports when the power is out. A quick internet search turns up several used emergency radios for less than $5.00, and new ones for about $15.00.   That might seem like a lot for one item, but staying informed can save your life.

First Aid Kit

If you can’t fork out $15 or so for a first aid kit, start with what you have: a zip top bag with some bandages, gauze, medical tape, and alcohol wipes or cotton balls and a bottle of alcohol if that’s what you have. Try to have some triple antibiotic ointment, as well.  It is very important that you can clean and bandage small wounds to protect against infection.

Whistle

If you are in serious trouble, yelling won’t last long.  Your will only be good for a few shouts before you start to lose your voice.  A whistle makes a very loud sound with almost no exertion.

Dust Mask

Protecting your breathing passages from contaminants can be critical to protecting your life.  Mold can be a huge problem after a hurricane or flooding.

Don’t forget special-needs items:

Medicine
Supplies for babies: extra formula and diapers, etc.
Supplies for pets: food, liter, extra water

Other items which are good to have in your disaster kit:

Plastic garbage bags
zip-top bags
liquid household bleach
wet-wipes
duct tape
plastic sheeting
extra clothes and shoes
sleeping bags or blankets
games and toys
candy and comfort foods