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19 August, 2010

Guest Post: 5 Things To Have Ready for an Emergency

by Louise Baker

No one ever dreams that they might be the victim of a natural disaster or a catastrophic event that may cut them off from normal services, but every year, people fall victim to tragic circumstances, often finding themselves unprepared for the situation. In these kinds of events, preparation can mean the difference between life and death, or at the very least major inconveniences. Here are the top five things to have ready for an emergency situation.

1. Water

The most important thing that you need to have ready for an emergency is a supply of fresh water. In a disaster scenario, emergency management agencies recommend at least one gallon of water per person per day. The best way to obtain water for emergency rations is by storing commercially bottled water. At the very least, you should stock a three day's supply of water. In addition, you can purchase extra plastic containers that you can use to store other sources of water that you can purify later. For example, if you are without running water for a period of time, but have access to a freshwater stream, you can collect the water in that container. It is also helpful to have a small amount of household bleach on hand to purify water. To purify fresh water, add 15 drops of bleach to a gallon of water, letting it stand for 30 minutes before drinking. Although one gallon of water per day is the recommended amount, people with certain medical conditions, the elderly, and the young may require more water. Also, if you live in a warm climate, you will also need more water in your emergency supplies.

2. Food

In addition to water, you will need to keep 3 days worth of canned and non perishable, dry foods. Do not forget to include food for pets and to consider special dietary needs. Also, packing a can opener is helpful.

3. First Aid Kit

In the event of a disaster, there are likely to be injuries. Having a fully stocked first aid kit can help to mend the wounded. Include sterile gauze, medical tape, bandages, scissors, antiseptic creams, and rubbing alcohol in your kit. Also include a 3 day supply of any medications that you or anyone in your family must have in the event of an emergency.

4. Identification

After many disasters like storms or earthquakes, police or other authorities may block access to your home neighborhood to keep looters and non-residents away. The only way you may be able to get back to the site of your home is to have proper identification on you that show your picture and address.

5. Shoes and Clothes

Many people don't think about this, but in the event of a natural disaster, there will be pieces of broken glass, metal, wood, and other debris that can make it dangerous to walk around. By having a pair of sturdy, well fitting shoes ready, you can be prepared if a disaster strikes and you find yourself in a situation where there is a lot of rubble on the ground. Finally, be sure to pack an extra change of clothes in case yours are damaged and you do not have access to any others.

Louise Baker writes about online degrees for Zen College Life. She has recently also wrote about the best schools online.

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