Gather and stash to always be ready
You’re going to need supplies not just to get through the storm but for the potentially lengthy and unpleasant aftermath. You will want to plan for two situations: Remaining in your home after a disaster or evacuating to a safer location. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of one week. Electricity and water could be out for at least that long. You’ll need extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. Many of us have cell phones, and they all run on batteries. You’re going to need a portable, crank or solar powered USB charger.
The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes offers this disaster supply checklist:
- Cash -- Banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods
- Water -- at least one gallon per person per day for three to seven days, plus water for pets
- Food -- at least enough for three to seven days, including: Non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices, food for infants and the elderly, snack food, non-electric can opener, vitamins, paper plates, plastic utensils
- Radio -- battery powered and NOAA weather radio with extra batteries
- Blankets, pillows etc.
- Clothing -- seasonal, rain gear/ sturdy shoes
- First Aid Kit -- plus medicines, prescription drugs
- Special items -- for babies and the elderly
- Toiletries -- hygiene items, moisture wipes, sanitizer
- Flashlight and batteries
- Toys, books, games
- Pet care items, proper identification, immunization records, ample food and water, medicine, a carrier or cage, leash.
- Store important documents in a fire and water proof container.
- Insurance papers
- Medical records
- Bank account numbers
- Social Security cards
- Deeds or mortgages
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Stocks and bonds
- Recent tax returns
Water should be of chief importance. Stocking an emergency water supply should be one of your top priorities so you will have enough water on hand for yourself and your family. While individual needs will vary depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet and climate, a normally active person needs at least two quarts of drinking water daily. Children, nursing mothers and people who are ill need more water. Especially in South Louisiana, very hot summer temperatures can double the amount of water needed. Because you will also need water for sanitary purposes, and possibly for cooking, you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. Store water in thoroughly washed plastic, fiberglass, or enamel-lined containers and don't use containers that can break, such as glass bottles. Never use a container that has held toxic substances. Camping supply stores offer a variety of appropriate containers. Plastic containers, like soda bottles, are best. Seal your water containers tightly, label them and store them in a cool, dark place.
Remember to keep your kit fresh. Replace stored food and water every six months. Keep a supply of fresh batteries on hand and keep your most important up-to-date family papers in a fire and water proof container.
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