Emergency Family Preparedness
When the sky darkens with
storm-clouds and the mighty winds of a
hurricane begin to blow, or when a
tsunami lifts its foaming brow from the sea to rush roaring onto the land, the
finely-tuned infrastructure of modern life is often shattered for a time.
Power lines are knocked down,
snapped by the fall of boughs or whole trees that are ripped apart by the
frenzy of Nature. Roads may be blocked, with windrows of debris swept across
flood waters or bridges washed out. Fires may prevent travel or force
evacuation to temporary quarters until the danger of incineration is past.
Even when such dramatic damage isn’t
inflicted, there are many ways in which an emergency or localized disaster can
disrupt you ability to
get the everyday necessities. A burst water main,
flooding some streets of a city, can result in whole districts being
without potable water for days. A
blizzard can trap you at home for a week
until the snowplows finally reach your back road, and if the nearest grocery
store is ten miles away, walking to it for food is hardly practical.
However, although these events can
be disruptive and even highly dangerous to our well-being, it is possible to
store up some emergency supplies so th
at if the worst happens, you will be
prepared to survive it and help your family come through the time of disaster
relatively unscathed. Emergency supplies can make you considerably safer and
more comfortable, and more able to deal with the hazards of the situation in a
timely and effective way.
Emergency supplies include several
different categories of items, ranging from food with a long shelf life
(typically either dried or canned goods, although there are some exceptions)
that will keep you supplied with a well-balanced diet for a week or two at
need, to water purification and filtration equipment that ensures you are not
quaffing dangerous microorganisms or pollutants that will make you sick or give
you life-threatening diarrhea at a time when you cannot reach the hospital, to
A tool kit, communication equipment, and sources of light or heat.
Emergency supplies include much more
than some tinned meat and a good
water filter, although both of these things
are imperative as well. You should hav
e some way of signaling other people in
case rescuers pass nearby – flares, for example, or even a flashlight or mirror
that you can use to signal to people at a distance.
A tool kit that lets you modify your
environment a bit – for example, a pry bar to open
jammed doors or move fallen
timber off something that you need, a handsaw, some cording or rope, and
similar hand tools – will let you deal with different situations more
efficiently. A good
first aid kit is a vital part of any emergency
supplies as well, as is a supply of any medicines that you can’t do without.
Having emergency supplies on hand
helps in several ways besides the immediate satisfaction of bodily needs for
nourishment, hydration, warmth, and, in the event of injur
y, some sort of
treatment. They also help to free you from the necessity of looking for these
basic elements of survival, and give you the opportunity to try to improve your
situation in other ways. If you are spending two-thirds of your day trying to
find drinkable water, for example, then you cannot use that time to try find a
way out of t
he situation or improve your immediate conditions.
However, if food, water, and basic
medical care are easily dealt with thanks to your emergency supplies, then you
can confront your situation with confident energy, and not only survive but
probably weather the disaster in quite good condition as well.
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