National Preparedness Month Coming in September
September is National Preparedness Month and since 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has sponsored this program to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies. No one can stop a disaster but everyone can take steps to get through the disaster with less loss of life and property. More importantly, most of these steps are simple, inexpensive, and can involve the entire family in the planning and implementation of each disaster plan.
If the Maintenance Guru is going to be involved, you know there will be checklists to assist in the planning process. Every subscriber to this service has access to the internet so if you have a particular disaster looming, please research the specific disaster to learn what can be done to prepare in advance. I will offer the following checklist adapted from the Broward County, Florida web page at http://www.broward.org/Hurricane/HurricanePreparednessGuide/Pages/Guide3.aspx.
Hurricane Kit Checklist
· Drinking Water: At least one gallon per person per day for three to five days, preferably two weeks. Extra water is needed for food preparation and personal hygiene. To store drinking water, use food-grade containers. You can use clean, airtight containers such as two-liter soda jugs, but no milk containers. If you re-use disposable plastic bottles, do not keep them for more than a month.
· Food: At least enough for three to five days, including non-perishable packaged or canned food, canned or shelf milk, cereal, etc.; ice and snack foods
· A three- to five-day supply of special items for babies such as formula, food, wipes, diapers; special foods for the elderly; toiletries and extra toilet paper
· Manual can opener/bottle opener
· Paper goods such as plates, bowls, napkins, towels, and plastic eating utensils
· Unscented household bleach and medicine dropper
· Extra bedding such as blankets, pillows, sleeping bag, etc. in case you must evacuate
· Clothing, including rain gear and sturdy shoes
· First aid kit
· Medicines/prescription drugs: A two-week supply
· Hand sanitizer
· Flashlight and extra batteries
· Battery-operated or hand-crank radio
· Disposable batteries, car charger or solar charger for your cell phone
· Hardline telephone with jack (not cordless)
· Books and games or toys
· Pet food, cat litter and other pet care items
· Tool kit including cord, rope, hammer, wood nails, saw, hatchet or axe, crowbar, chain saw, tarp, duct tape, and heavy work gloves
· Plastic trash bags and ties
· Extra resealable plastic storage bags, heavy-duty aluminum foil and disposable aluminum pans
· Extra charcoal or propane gas for outdoor cooking. Sterno can also be used. Never cook with any of these items inside your house. The smoke and fumes are deadly.
· Fire extinguisher (ABC type)
· Matches in a waterproof container
· Mosquito repellent with DEET, and sunscreen
· Any special equipment or items you may need