Emergency Preparedness

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Emergency Preparedness

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Emergency Preparedness

Are you prepared for a natural disaster? No matter where you live, it's a good idea to have a basic emergency preparedness kit ready at all times. You can purchase complete emergency kits, or you can put one together on your own. Here are a few things it should include.
Water and food will be your first concerns. Experts recommend having food storage that will last for at least three days. Always have at least two methods of filtering water on hand; this guarantees that you'll have clean water if one water filter breaks or if the water is especially dirty. One of the most reliable methods of treating water is to boil it. Anything from a portable grill to a camp stove to a campfire will do the trick; keep several fire starters, propane tanks and waterproof matches with your emergency supply to boil water and heat food.
Aim to have at least two medical or first-aid kits around, and keep one of them at work or in the car. Stock your home and vehicles with hand-powered flashlights and lanterns in case of power outages. Hand- or battery-powered radios can help you find out what's going on and what you should do next in an emergency situation. Reflective mirrors, signals and flares are essential communication supplies if you're lost or unable to help yourself. All-weather blankets and ponchos will keep you warm and dry until a rescue party can help.
In addition to your emergency kit, plan where your family will meet if a disaster occurs. If you have young children in your home, role play what you will do and where you will go; make it a game, and they will be less frightened when the situation is real. Also, be sure you know where to turn off your utilities; keep a wrench in your kit to help you. A little preparation will go a long way -- toward your peace of mind as well as your safety.

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