North America and many other places have been deluged with weather emergencies. It has been happening since there was life on earth but now with cell phone cameras, TV and Internet we get close up views of what is going on. Some upset weather is worse than others.
Where we live we can predict with certainty the power will go off in the winter andÂ some times spring. With North West winds off the AtlanticÂ and salt spray from the oceanÂ we can be plunged into darkness easily. A few years ago we had a lot of snow and fierce winds. The power was off for four days and other places much longer. By preparing ahead your life doesn’t have to become a disaster when the weather turns bad.
Here is a list of things you can do to prepare for this type of emergency ahead of time.
A battery radio and a hand crank radio
To cook if you don’t have a wood stove a two burner propane cook stove will do. A fondue that uses a little candle is another alternative that can heat water or soup.
If you use a propane or kerosene heater becarful to have an uncombustible surface to set them on and proper ventilation.
Have sleeping Â bags or warm blankets for each family member.
Small generators are also available and battery packs that can be re-charged by a car battery.
Store five gallon containers of water for washing and flushing the toilet. Store other water for drinking and replace it often to keep it fresh.
Have an ice chest and useÂ ice packs frozen in the freezer. When the power goes off only open the freezer long enough to get the ice packs. Then close the freezer and wrap blankets around it to keep it frozen longer.
Have a non-electric can opener and a supply of canned food your family likes. Also store skim milk powder, dried fruit, crackers kept in air tight cannisters, canned beansÂ and soup and granola bars. Replenish the stored food every few months to keep it fresh.
Keep some cash on hand. Banks close and debit, bank machines and credit card machines don’t work when the power is off.
For extreme emergenciesÂ if you live in areas prone to tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and earth quakes you will need a second emergency plan.
First have a family plan and know Â where everyone should meet or contact other family menbers in a weather emergency.
If an order to evacuate is given don’t procrastinate or refuse to go. We have had one hurricane in Nova Scotia a few winters ago and no one took it seriously. That won’t happen again and there was alot of damage that could have been avoided. Stupidity is not using common sense.
Tornadoes and hurricanes are usually predicted ahead of time and there is time to take shelter or leave. Some tornadoes come up quickly but if you have an emergency plan you will survive easier than if you don’t.
Here are a list of suggestions on how to prepare.
Have a knapsack for each family member. In it put extra socks, a change of under wear, change of clothes, sweater, knit hat and gloves and nylon rain poncho. Keep rubber rain boots handy so you don’t have to search for them if needed quickly
Put in dried fruit, granola bars, nuts, chocolateÂ or any non perishable food that does not to be cooked and tea bags.
Have a camping plate, bowl, knife, fork and spoon and water bottle.
Put in a foil emergency blanket that folds small
A face cloth, hand towel and bar soap, tooth brush and baking soda or tooth paste
You can keep a nylonÂ ground cover and nylon pup tent with strings that tie to a poles or trees in the knap sack. These take up very little room. I keep a half dozen wooden clothes pins with mine as they come in handy for fastening many things.
For adults have a second knap sack which Â includes Â fire starter sticks , water proof matches , a small fry pan, turner and fork, a small metal pot for water and cooking and a metal coffee pot. Don’t forget dog or cat food if you have a pet.
A small grate like from a hibatchi grill set over rocks makes a good cooking surface.
Have aÂ smallÂ hand strainer toÂ strain water if needed
Have photo copies of important papers such as deeds and birth cirtificates and insurnce cards and perscriptions put in a plastic bagÂ in the bottom of the knapsack for safe keeping. . Don’t forget your passport and drivers license when you leave the house. The originalsÂ of photo copies should be in a safty deposit box at a bank.
Keep cash on hand because banks will close and machines don’t always work in emergencies.
Keep medications handy so you won’t forget them. Take a water bottle for each family member.
Pack a first aide kitÂ with essentialsÂ in it. Include sun screen and bug repellent.
Keep your emergency bag packed andÂ store near your sleeping bags.
If evacuating by auto and have a tent take it with you . Store it neer your emergency pack.
If you are staying in a storm shelter or basement during a storm many of the same things will help you so take your knapsack with you.
This list may seem like a lot but really packs small. I travel by bicycle alot and and take most of these things with meÂ to camp with. The bike has saddle bags and a front carrier. I also take a four and a half foot tent and self inflating sleeping mat tied on topÂ secured with a bungy cord. HikingÂ I have used the same knap sack and a two wheeledÂ wire shopping cart to haul the tent and sleeping mat. The point is if I can carry what is needed in an emergency or to campÂ with out a vehicle anyone with a vehicle shouldn’t have a problemÂ if prepared ahead of time.
Hopfully your emergencyÂ measures won’t have to be used but if needed they will be ready for you and your family to evacuate or ride out a storm at home. Keep things together and easy to get to. Then relax and live your normal life knowing you are prepared as much a humanly possible for what ever nature brings your way.