It’s safe to say that if you’ve lived in California long enough, you’ve felt your fair share of minor earthquakes and witnessed a handful of wildfires during dry months. Whether it’s a long-term power outage or a large-scale earthquake, preparing for the unexpected can be simple and you can get started today.
September is National Preparedness Month, and there is no better time to get started on an emergency supplies kit. A natural disaster can strike at any moment. Getting prepared can be as easy as gathering a few items that are already around your home.
According to U.S. Tornado and Weather Extremes database, the most likely natural disaster for Orange County residents is flooding. However, in a region prone to earthquakes, extreme heat and other disasters, the goal is to gather enough emergency supplies to ensure you’re ready for anything.
Depending on the severity of the disaster, you may be without help for a few hours to a few days. According to FEMA, you should have one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. Water should be stored in a cool area that gets little to-no sunlight, and food should consist of non-perishable items. Check your pantry for any canned goods or bottled water that could be set aside into your kit.
Locate Emergency Supplies
Seniors should aim to maintain an emergency supplies kit that can last for seven days, and keep an up-to-date list of emergency contacts handy. At a bare minimum, keep the following materials in a sturdy, waterproof container that is easy to access.
- Food and can opener
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Important documents (medical, insurance, identification, etc.)
- Blankets and sanitation items
- Portable radio
- Prescription medications and instructions
- Family emergency plan (templates available at ReadyOC.org)
Identify Specific Needs
With the basic essentials accounted for, you can now tailor your emergency kit to your specific needs. Keep a list of items you use daily, such as glasses, hearing aids and wheelchairs and then determine if you will be able to function without them in an extreme event. During a natural disaster, access to power and water may be limited. If you are dependent on an electronic device, include a portable power source in your kit.
By gathering household items as emergency supplies, you and your loved ones will be better prepared when little or no support is available.
Check your home for any comfort items you’d want stored for an emergency. Whether it’s a family photo album or a deck of cards, comforting personal items can provide peace of mind when disaster strikes. You can also refer to Orange County’s emergency preparedness resource, ReadyOC for more information.
Build a Plan
A family emergency plan will allow people in your household and select others, such as your immediate neighbors, to know your safety plans and what to do during a disaster. For example, part of that plan is to identify a safe place in your home where you could take shelter, and to locate an escape route in case of a fire or quick evacuation.
Within your plan, it is also recommended to maintain a record of medication, several weeks’ worth of any prescriptions, and details on any allergies you have. Once you have completed these steps, establish an emergency contact, which can be a family member, caretaker, friend or neighbor who knows to come check on you. This person should also know what medication you take, where it’s located and if you depend on any devices or an oxygen tank.
By gathering household items as emergency supplies, you and your loved ones will be better prepared when little or no support is available. The decision to create an emergency kit can be lifesaving, so get started today!