Raise your hand if your home area has been hit by a huge storm in the past year!
Raise your hand if you have lost power to your house for more than 24 hours this past year!
I know I still shudder with a chill remembering that October we had no power here in Connecticut for 7-10 days!!
Use these tips for emergency preparedness to keep your family safe!
September is National Preparedness Month (sponsored by FEMA’s Ready campaign) – and when Briggs & Stratton offered to send me some Red Cross Emergency Preparedness kits to use and donate, I knew it would be a great time to share my preparedness tips with you!
Even without storms, an average 3.5 million Americans experience a power outage each week (Edison Electric Institute). So it’s best to prepare now before you’re left scrambling in the dark.
Emergency preparation tasks you should do now:
1. Home inventory of your pantry – do you have enough shelf-stable (non refrigerated) supplies to feed your family for 72 hours (3 days)? Stock some shelf-stable milk boxes and items that are easy to open and need little to no cooking. If you have a camp stove you will be a step ahead when it comes to food prep (always use fuel-generated items OUTSIDE!).
2. Stock up on batteries and flashlights – keep a set in each room.
3. Invest in backup power
4. Create or buy an emergency preparedness kit for the home (and car!).
Backup power via generator can help keep your family safe and comfortable.
Generators are important not so you can keep the TV running – in fact, you probably won’t want to use your precious power on that – but for keeping essential electronics running. Like that freezer fully stocked with make-ahead meals? (or the half cow you purchased!?). Or medical devices.
“Portable generators provide backup power during utility outages while keeping families comfortable,” said Eric Loferski, director of marketing for Briggs & Stratton Corporation. “… they can be very dangerous if not operated properly. Because portable generators are powered by small engines that emit potentially harmful carbon monoxide gas, it is critical for both experienced and new operators alike to understand the hazards.”
Emergency Preparedness Kits are especially handy if you have to evacuate.
You can make your own emergency kit with items you probably have around the house – medical supplies, hygiene items, shelf-stable foods. However, my kit easily cost the same as or more than the pre-packed emergency kits sold by places like the Red Cross.
This basic emergency preparedness kit from Red Cross contains essentials for one person for $55. The food would last less than a day, but the medical supplies should easily serve a whole family. I like that it comes in a sturdy red backpack. The red color will help you identify the kit fast, and the backpack makes for easy handling. Plus there’s plenty of room left for adding your own supplies.
Here’s a few other items I’d recommend adding to customize it for your own use:
- Cash (small bills)
- Plastic water bottle for refilling
- Medical supplies
- Copies of your family’s important papers (Driver’s License, Birth Certificates), perhaps laminated or in a plastic ziploc bag to avoid damage
Don’t get left out in the cold this year! Do a pantry inventory, stock shelf-stable foods, and make sure you have enough batteries and flashlights! Look into getting your home a generator and preparedness kit as well.
What are your tips for emergency preparedness?
WIN IT: One lucky reader will be more prepared after they win a fantastic Red Cross Basic Emergency Preparedness Kits! ARV $55. Enter in the Rafflecopter form below!
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Thanks to Briggs & Stratton Corporation for sending products to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% my own.