I don't relish the idea of going days without power (or a shower). Honestly, I hope to avoid it altogether, but let the record show that my home averages once a year without power or water at some point. We are dependent on utilities, communications, and technology like never before, but still we need to function when they fail. And we are each unique - with individual needs, certain resources and our own tolerance for mayhem. Be certain that your own preparedness will support you and your family when our modern life caves in. Hopefully these questions will help you begin or build your state of preparedness.
- Do you have a specific disaster kit at home that will support your family for three days without help (at least a flashlight and batteries, some food, bottled water, and a first aid kit)?
- Do you have an written emergency plan at home that covers the most likely and most concerning possible disasters for your family (at least what to do in a house fire, storm, earthquake or local disaster, shelter in place emergency for a chemical spill and evacuation)?
- Do you have a crisis communication plan that enables your network of family (and friends) to communicate effectively if separated after a disaster that leaves you with limited communication options?
- Have you planned for any medical or dietary needs in your household that are likely to arise if you were isolated for two weeks without utilities? (Machines, medication, baby food, diapers, etc.)
- Do you have a weather radio (with battery back-up) in your home? Do you have a standard portable, battery operated radio (with extra batteries) to use in a power outage?
- Do you carry emergency supplies with you always (like important medications and a pen light)?
- Are you familiar with the emergency plans for locations where you and your family spend significant amounts of time (work, school, daycare, church, gym, etc.)?
- Do you have an alternate way to prepare (cook) food at home (in the case of an extended utility outage)?
- Do you practice disaster drills at home and at work (like your children already practice at school)?
- Have you (and your family) taken any training related to emergencies? (first aid, CPR, disaster preparedness, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), or other related classes)
There is always room for updating and improving your plan, but did any of you said Yes! to all of these. Either way... Congratulations! You're on the right path, so keep on walking.