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If Disaster Struck Would You Be Ready?

Terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and mechanical failures are commonplace today. Trains derail, power outages occur, rivers over flow their banks. How can you prepare for such events? How can you cope without feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or lost? If disaster struck…would you be ready?

You will… if you make a plan!

Repeatedly the request has gone out from The American Red Cross, FEMA, and New York City Office of Emergency Management that every individual and family should have a survival plan, which would include an evacuation plan if necessary. In the midst of a disaster, you will not be able to think clearly to pack all the essentials. But if you have them already prepared you can get out of dodge quickly. They strongly suggest that you pre-pack all that you will need. Store it in an easily accessible place—that all family members know.

What items should be in your emergency kit?

A random search on the internet will yield dozens of sites that offer suggestions, tips and survival kit supplies from free to a cost. How do you choose?

What do you want to be ready for?
First, decide what you want to be prepared for—a blackout, hurricane, tornado, biochemical warfare, etc.

How long do you need to be prepared for?
Then consider how many days you expect to need rations and supplies for: a day, three, a week a month etc.

How many people or pets will need supplies?
How many people do you need to provide for, yourself, kids, spouse, parents, grandparents, your dog, cat or hamster?

Each of these considerations will affect the how much you need and how much it will cost you upfront. Now you are ready to start to build your survival kit.

First aid kit
With every disaster, the possibility exists that you might need a first aid kit to help bandage and treat wounds, and cuts to prevent infections. This is top on the list. The first aid kit should include all medicines that an individual is on as well as painkillers. It is true that humans can survive days without food, but water is absolutely essential. Man can survive from two to ten days without water depending on the temperature and climate.

You should keep a gallon of water for each person per day on hand as recommended by the Red Cross. It helps to have rations of food available as well: can goods that don’t require cooking, bars and comfort foods (which to help reduce stress).

A basic kit includes:
• A radio
• Batteries, various sizes
• Toilet (optional)
• Femine care products
• Sleeping bag
• Thermal underwear
• Poncho
• Change of clothing’s
• Bath care products (travel size)
• Vitamins
• Flashlights
• Thermal blanket
• Flairs
• Food
• Water

If traveling with young children include:
• Formulas
• Diapers
• Wipes
• Jared foods
• Games
• Books
• Favorite toy(s)
• Additional water

If traveling with a senior include:
• All medications (speak with doctor about proper storage for medications)
• Assistive devices
• Depends (if necessary)
• Additional water and food

If traveling with pets:
• Foods stored in airtight and water proof containers
• Water (calculate pet into the water equation)
• Toy (if applicable)
Survival Kits can be purchased
If you buy a survival kit, many of the foods have a shelf life of five years. If however, you assemble your own survival kit, you should check your supplies and batteries every six months. Replace any expired items.

Run Drills
Run periodic survival drills—at least two per year. Assign tasks to each member that is able to shoulder responsibility. Time how long it takes you to get the supplies from the pre-selected location.

Escape ladders
Consider purchasing escape ladders for each room. Identify two ways to escape from each room within your home. And as with fire drills, practice will help to ensure smooth implementation of plans without much thought.

Living in a world of uncertainty one should always be prepared. Keep a miniature version of your home survival kit in your car and at work. As we all witnessed on 9/11 one never knows where or when disaster will strike.
For additional information visit:

The American Red Cross

Survival Information for Kids
Information for Pets
A Guide to Winter Storms Preparedness

NYC Office of Emergency Management
Download your copy of A Household Preparedness Guide

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