Click of the Wrist – Be Prepared

After Hurricane Sandy’s winds, rain, and flooding brought the East Coast to a standstill, it seems a good time to evaluate our own emergency preparedness. After all, disaster conditions–whether an earthquake, blizzard, city-wide power outage, or even a house fire?can happen anywhere. 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 will help you create an emergency plan that meets your particular needs.

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 food storage?just a few hours without power can cause damage. This fact sheet, from the USDA, explains how to tell whether your refrigerated or frozen food is still safe to consume. It also details how to ensure that shelf-stable food can be safely consumed 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.