Click of the Wrist – Ready, Set

Every time a disaster strikes, we’re reminded that emergency conditions?whether an earthquake or a tsunami or a city-wide power outage or a house fire?can happen anywhere. And regardless of whether a disaster will actually affect us in the future, being ready just in case is never a bad idea. This week’s links offer some tips for sensible emergency preparedness.

Armed with a Plan

Nothing in an emergency situation is going to be simple. What if there are additional environmental hazards? What if your family is scattered across town when disaster strikes? The federal government recommends preparing an emergency plan so that everyone in your family will be on the same page. This site links to a form that will automatically generate your personalized emergency plan, or you can print the PDF and fill it in on your own.

Disaster Kit

Having a disaster kit on hand isn’t only for conspiracy theorists; many national and local governments recommend supplies sufficient to keep you going for at least three days (since in an emergency it can take that long for help to arrive). This checklist, from the state of California, will get you started.

Food Safety

It doesn’t take a large-scale disaster to affect our food storage?just a few hours without power can suffice to do some damage. This fact sheet, from the USDA, lays out how to tell if your refrigerated or frozen food is safe after a power outage, and when it needs to be discarded. It also details how to ensure that shelf-stable food is safe to consume following a fire, flood, or similar emergency situation.

Little Details

What disasters should you be particularly concerned about in your area? What to do in the event of a specific emergency, like a flood? What about odd situations, like chemical spills? The Government of Canada’s Get Prepared campaign has the answers (and recommends printing your local information and including it in your emergency plan).