Imagine... you can't leave your house for 3 days AND you have no utilities or services (no power, no water, no natural gas, no cable, no phone service, no mail, no deliveries) AND the businesses within walking distance are closed, too.
What would you need? Where is a flashlight? Do you have extra batteries? Do you have enough water to drink? What do you have to eat, will it spoil without power? How are you going to cook it? Can you stay warm (or cool) and dry enough? Is everyone else ok? Do you have enough of your prescription medication? Enough diapers? Enough chocolate?
Now... a police officer knocks on your door. You're going to have to leave your house right away. They are setting up a temporary shelter in the grade school gym about two miles away. You need to go right away. How quickly can you leave? Are you ready to take your pets? How will the rest of your family know where you are? What should you take with you? Who will tell you daughter at the local college not to come home and where to find you?
When you arrive at the shelter, everything is confusing. Families are separated. Children are missing. Your family is all safe, but a few people obviously need some first aid. No one knows how long you'll be away from your homes. You are worried about your elderly mother across town. Most of the roads in town are closed, but the only open roadway from here leads out of town.
You're considering getting back in your car and driving to your sister's about an hour away. How will your husband at work and your daughter at school know where to go? Do you have enough gas to get out of town? With the power and phone lines out, gas stations aren't accepting credit cards, do you have cash to pay for gas (if anything is open)? You were supposed to get a check in the mail today, there's no way you'll make it till next week with your current checking account balance.
You probably remember more than one news story where people, maybe people you know, have lived out at least part of this scenario. Disaster preparedness helps you think ahead and address these types of concern BEFORE you face them in real life.
At Everyday Providence, we'll provide easy and affordable solutions to disaster preparedness. You don't need a stocked cabin in the woods or a year's worth of food stashed away to be ready. Join us this year in getting your family prepared. Take a little time and a little cash each week to put away just a little bit of what you'll need in your Disaster Kit. Take a few minutes each week to add one more detail to the information you'll need in your Emergency Plan. We'll be here to help and answer questions.
For more tips and tricks to keep your family safe, like Everyday Providence on Facebook and follow @eProvidence on Twitter.