Prepare to hunker down

If you’ve been keeping up with the Atlantic coast weather, you’ve noticed it’s been pretty busy the past couple days! Puerto Rico stared down Hurricane Irene Monday, those of Colorado, Virginia, D.C. and the Carolinas went through an earthquake today, all of us in Florida are enjoying severe thunderstorms, and I think the whole East Coast is carefully watching Irene.

It was a good reminder to break out what I lovingly call my “Hunker Down Supply Pack” to see what’s outdated, available and needed. Being a lifelong Floridian, and a very serious Girl Scout 😀 , I can’t imagine not at least having a first aid kit, some non-perishable food, extra water and candles or lanterns throughout the summer and early fall months due to our hurricane season.

I’m sure in other states they have their own disasters to prepare for—heat, drought, flooding, fires, mudslides, earthquakes, tornadoes, crimes, zombie attacks…it’s a scary world out there.

They're prepared for anything; how 'bout you?

Luckily, a little preparation can go a long way. The quicker you can go from everyday rigmarole to hunkering down with the necessities, the better off you are. Without sounding like a nut-case who has a house built under her house and multiple passports with secret identities, I thought I’d share some of how I prepare for disasters and give back some good reminders that I recently received.

The basics for protecting yourself from my favorite two resources, and (because I die for a good checklist and these sites have a ton!):

  • Do an insurance checkup now. Don’t wait until a storm is approaching. In fact, most policies have lockout clauses where you can’t change/update your coverage when there is an impending disaster.
  • Create a personal or family emergency plan. Write down your plans and share them with your family and an out-of-state contact. Make a list of what important papers you will need. List medications you or your family may need, along with prescription numbers. Think of all the details now and write them down.
  • Plan an evacuation route. Identify multiple places where you and your family can go. Have maps handy in case road closures and detours lead you to unfamiliar areas.
  • Designate an out-of-state contact. During a disaster, it is easy to get separated from your loved ones. Make sure all of your family members have this information with them in advance.
  • Assemble an emergency supply kit. Flashlights, batteries, food and water are essentials, but don’t forget things like games or toys that can entertain or calm your children. Think in terms of supplies you will need if you evacuate and supplies you will need if you have to stay at home with no electrical power for several days.

This is my in-house kit. It has a hand-crank radio; multi-tool; first aid kit; house, evacuation route and contact info paperwork; non-perishable snacks; dog bowl, food and leash; toiletries in a water-proof bag; and more.

  • Make arrangements for your pet(s). Find out which shelters or hotels on your evacuation route accept pets. Make sure items for your pet(s) are included in your disaster supply kit. NOAA, FEMA and the ASPCA have great resources.

I have print-outs with Bear's and Alaska's photos, immunization records and key features. You can also count on your pets to sense impending disaster and occasionally just get in your pre-made disaster kit. Great way to save a step. 😉

I keep most of my supplies in my linen closet in the backpack so it’s easy to grab and go if needed. Luckily, North Florida rarely gets any more than heavy rain and moderate wind. But, just in case, I also keep a bag with a change of clothes, hygiene supplies, solar blanket, flashlight, glow sticks and an assortment of other emergency supplies in my car trunk.

Quick getatways are no problem.

What kind of extreme weather happens where you live? Do you have a disaster plan or supplies?

P.S.- I have no idea who that man or cat is in the tin hats, but the picture is great. Source


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